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Abstract As the economies of developing countries grow, and the purchasing power of their inhabitants increases, the pressure on the environment and natural
 

Summary: Abstract As the economies of developing countries grow, and the purchasing
power of their inhabitants increases, the pressure on the environment and natural
resources will continue to increase. In the specific case of China, impressive eco-
nomic growth during the last decades exemplifies this process. Specifically, we focus
on how changing economic dynamics are influencing land-use and land-cover change
in Xishuangbanna, China. Xishuangbanna has the richest flora and fauna of China,
but increasing demand for natural rubber and the expansion of rubber plantations is
threatening this high-diversity region. We quantified land-use/land-cover change
across Xishuangbanna using Landsat images from 1976, 1988, and 2003. The most
obvious change was the decrease in forest cover and an increase in rubber planta-
tions. In 1976, forests covered approximately 70% of Xishuangbanna, but by 2003
they covered less than 50%. Tropical seasonal rain forest was the forest type most
affect by the expansion of rubber plantations, and a total of 139,576 ha was lost. The
increase of rubber plantations below 800 m, shifted agricultural activities to higher
elevations, which resulted in deforestation of mountain rain forest and subtropical
evergreen broadleaf forest. Although these changes have affected the biodiversity
and ecosystem services, we believe that long-term planning and monitoring can
achieve a balance between economic and social needs of a growing population and
H. Li Y. Ma (&) W. Liu M. Cao
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 88 Xuefu Road,

  

Source: Aide, Mitchell - Department of Biology, Universidad de Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology