Drivers of deforestation in the basin of the Usumacinta River: Inference on process from pattern analysis using generalised additive models


Autoři: Raúl Abel Vaca aff001;  Duncan John Golicher aff002;  Rocío Rodiles-Hernández aff001;  Miguel Ángel Castillo-Santiago aff003;  Marylin Bejarano aff004;  Darío Alejandro Navarrete-Gutiérrez aff003
Působiště autorů: CONACYT—Consorcio de Investigación, Innovación y Desarrollo para las Zonas Áridas (CIIDZA), El Colegio de San Luis (COLSAN), Fraccionamiento Colinas del Parque, San Luis Potosi, S.L.P., México aff001;  Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Bournemouth University, Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom aff002;  Laboratorio de Análisis de Información Geográfica y Estadística, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México aff003;  Pronatura Sur A.C., San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222908

Souhrn

Quantifying patterns of deforestation and linking these patterns to potentially influencing variables is a key component of modelling and projecting land use change. Statistical methods based on null hypothesis testing are only partially successful for interpreting deforestation in the context of the processes that have led to their formation. Simplifications of cause-consequence relationships that are difficult to support empirically may influence environment and development policies because they suggest simple solutions to complex problems. Deforestation is a complex process driven by multiple proximate and underlying factors and a range of scales. In this study we use a multivariate statistical analysis to provide contextual explanation for deforestation in the Usumacinta River Basin based on partial pattern matching. Our approach avoided testing trivial null hypotheses of lack of association and investigated the strength and form of the response to drivers. As not all factors involved in deforestation are easily mapped as GIS layers, analytical challenges arise due to lack of a one to one correspondence between mappable attributes and drivers. We avoided testing simple statistical hypotheses such as the detectability of a significant linear relationship between deforestation and proximity to roads or water. We developed a series of informative generalised additive models based on combinations of layers that corresponded to hypotheses regarding processes. The importance of the variables representing accessibility was emphasised by the analysis. We provide evidence that land tenure is a critical factor in shaping the decision to deforest and that direct beam insolation has an effect associated with fire frequency and intensity. The effect of winter insolation was found to have many applied implications for land management. The methodology was useful for interpreting the relative importance of sets of variables representing drivers of deforestation. It was an informative approach, thus allowing the construction of a comprehensive understanding of its causes.

Klíčová slova:

Agricultural workers – Agriculture – Deforestation – Forests – Livestock – Population density – Urban areas – Insolation


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