Drivers and consequences of tropical forest transitions: options to bypass land degradation?


The early studies of the ASB Partnership for the Tropical Forest Margins stratified the domain for study into stages of a generic transition pathway that suggested a strongly non-linear trajectory of change. In this scheme, a phase of degradation of aboveground vegetation, based on over-logging or shortening fallow cycles in intensified swiddens can lead to a grass-fire cycle that needs special conditions to allow successful rehabilitation. Many places with current agroforestry and tree mosaics have gone through such a phase. A new review of the global literature on these ‘forest transitions’ by Meyfroidt and Lambin (2011) framed important conclusions.

ASB PolicyBrief
Patrick Meyfroidt
Patrick Meyfroidt
Professor of Land Systems and Sustainability Science

My research focuses on how land systems can contribute to sustainability.