From: Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM, More from this Affiliate
Published September 4, 2012 04:28 PM

Forest expands 3% in Colombia during 2000s, but loss grows in llanos region

Colombia gained nearly 17,000 square kilometers of forest between 2001 and 2010 as forests recovered in mountainous regions in the Andes, reports a new study published in the journal PLoS One. The research, based on analysis of satellite imagery, assessed vegetation change across all Colombia's six biomes and 13 ecoregions. Unusually, the study was able to account for forest recovery. Most research has typically only account for net forest loss.

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The study found sharp increases in forest cover in areas classified as mangroves (55 percent increase - 149 sq km), desert (45 percent - 1,630 sq km), and mountain grasslands (14 percent - 56 sq km).

With an increase of 16,077 sq km (3 percent), moist forests expanded by the greatest total area. Dry forests grew by 687 sq km or 3.4 percent.

Grasslands experienced a sharp loss of 8.1 percent or 1,637 sq km of forest cover. That loss occurred entirely within the llanos ecoregion located in the eastern part of Colombia. Industrial agriculture expansion and oil and gas development is occurring rapidly in the region.

Article continues at Llanos.

Llanos Forest image via Wikipedia

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