An ecosystem context for global gross forest cover loss estimates

  • Kurz W
  • 81


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 18


    Citations of this article.


Fundamental questions remain about the contributions of forests to the global carbon cycle and how these are affected by natural and anthropogenic drivers. Deforestation, the human-induced conversion of forests to non-forest land, currently accounts for an estimated 12% of anthropogenic carbon emissions (1). The future response of forests to global climate change could result in substantial positive or negative feedback to the carbon cycle, and this forest feedback will in turn affect the mitigation efforts required to reach stabilization targets for atmospheric CO2 concentrations (2, 3). Accurate quantification of land-use change involving forests (afforestation, deforestation), natural disturbances (fire, insects), and forest management (harvesting, fire suppression) is a prerequisite to estimating the net contribution of forests to the global carbon balance. However, globally consistent data on these processes are difficult and costly to obtain. Hansen et al. (4) address one of these issues with a synthesis of data from several continental-scale studies into a globally consistent estimate of gross forest cover loss (GFCL), defined by the authors as any “conversion of forest cover to non-forest cover.”

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • W. A. Kurz

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free