Does forest regeneration maintain continuous forest cover? Dynamics of forest regeneration and forest landscape configuration in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, Mexico (2000 – 2019)

Authors: Alana Rader*, Rutgers University, Laura Schnedier , Rutgers University
Topics: Biogeography, Land Use and Land Cover Change, Remote Sensing
Keywords: forest regrowth, tropical forests, LUCC, biogeography, remote sensing
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 32
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Dynamic and simultaneous processes of deforestation and regrowth are occurring globally, with rates of regeneration following deforestation in Latin America and the Caribbean higher than the global average (Arroyo-Rodriguez et al., 2017). However, a contradiction exists regarding the role of forest regeneration in forest recovery. While regenerating forests are increasingly recognized for their role in maintaining and enhancing biodiversity, providing climate services, and sustaining diverse livelihoods, forest regeneration occurs in a variety of spatio-temporal patterns that may be associated with continued forest loss elsewhere in human-occupied forest landscapes. In the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor of Mexico, a variety of forest uses, conservation strategies, and environmental disturbances transform the landscape into a mosaic of land use and land cover types, and second growth forest patches of multiple successional stages. As such, the MBC provides the opportunity to understand the role of regeneration in maintaining forest cover in the larger landscape matrix. Using a land sparing and land sharing framework, this paper will characterize the spatial and temporal patterns of forest regeneration in the MBC from 2000 – 2019, a period encompassing multiple environmental disturbances (i.e. hurricanes and droughts) and local level changes to land use. Further, the relationship between patterns of forest regeneration and forest configuration (i.e. fragmentation, core forest) will be assessed. Synthesizing patterns of forest regeneration in a larger context of forest landscape configuration will speak to the role of the forest regeneration in maintaining socio-ecological forest landscapes of the MBC.

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