Forest degradation deepens around and within protected areas in East Asia

Lina Tang, Guofan Shao, Zhengji Piao, Limin Dai, Michael A. Jenkins, Shaoxian Wang, Gang Wu, Jianguo Wu, Jingzhu Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Forest degradation in protected areas has been monitored around the world with remote sensing data, but degradation processes undetectable by widely used satellite sensors have been largely overlooked. Increased human pressures and socioeconomic development make forest protection more challenging, particularly for forest ecosystems that lie across national borders because of the differences in national socioeconomic policies and conditions within them. Here with Landsat data, Google Earth images, and field observations, we show that, in two adjacent biosphere reserves across the border of China and North Korea, over one half of primary forest landscapes have been deteriorated by exploitive uses, including seed harvesting and systematic logging. The combined effects of detectable and hidden degradation processes have further damaged forest ecosystems in the core areas in the two biosphere reserves, threatening sustainable biodiversity conservation in the region. It is urgent to develop cross-border collaborative conservation strategies that can help combat both detectable and hidden degradation processes at a regional scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1298
Number of pages4
JournalBiological Conservation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Biosphere reserves
  • Cross-border conservation
  • Forest degradation
  • Remote sensing
  • Temperate forest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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