Deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics have importance to the global carbon budget and biodiversity conservation disproportionately greater than the area concerned. Many studies have examined the patterns and processes of deforestation, but information about factors influencing forest degradation is still limited. In this study, we examined the factors influencing both deforestation and forest degradation in production forests of the central Bago Mountain area, Myanmar, which have been managed under the Myanmar Selection System (MSS) since 1856. We used forest canopy density maps derived from 1989 and 2006 satellite imagery together with environmental factors, locational attributes and selective logging records in logistic regression models. Our results showed that elevation and distance to the nearest town strongly influenced the likelihood of both deforestation and forest degradation, while logging intensity and distance to the nearest village were correlated only with the likelihood of forest degradation and not deforestation. We conclude that selective logging in this study area does not cause forest degradation provided that logging intensity is below the allowable cut prescribed under the MSS, but above that intensity, the likelihood of forest degradation increases markedly.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law