Image Database Export Citations


Assessing Forest Change in Human Impacted Forests

Show full item record

Type: Conference Paper
Author: Nagendra, Harini; Ostrom, Elinor
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7180
Sector: Forestry
Subject(s): biodiversity
monitoring and sanctioning
community forestry
Abstract: "Ecologists and practitioners have conventionally used forest plots or transects for monitoring changes in attributes of forest condition over time. Yet, given the difficulty in collecting such data, conservation practitioners frequently rely on the judgment of foresters and forest users for evaluating changes. These methods are rarely compared. We use a dataset of 53 forests in five countries to compare assessments of forest change from forest plots, and forester and user evaluations of changes in forest density. We find that user assessments of changes in tree density are strongly and significantly related to assessments of change derived from statistical analyses of randomly distributed forest plots. User assessments of change in density at the shrub/sapling level are also related to assessments derived from statistical evaluations of vegetation plots, but this relationship is not as strong, and only weakly significant. Evaluations of change by professional foresters are much more difficult to arrive at, as foresters are not familiar with changes in a number of local areas, and can instead better provide valid single-time comparisons a forest with other areas in a similar ecological zone. We conclude that in forests where local users are present, and capable of accessing the entire forest without restrictions on movement, they can provide reliable assessments of changes in tree density. Forest users are less able to accurately identify spatially variable changes in density at the shrub/sapling layer, and assessments of human disturbance and regeneration at this level may require supplementation by vegetation analysis."

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
747.pdf 209.1Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following document type(s)

Show full item record