The survey is published in the July issue of Ecological Applications, reported by lead author S. Joseph Wright, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa and Carlos Portillo-Quintero from the University of Alberta; and Diane Davies from the University of Maryland.
“Satellite data on fire frequency provides a measure of park effectiveness across countries,” Wright said. “It is strikingly clear from our study that poverty and corruption limit the effectiveness of parks set up to protect tropical forests.”
The survey indicates that parks were most effective at reducing fire incidence in Costa Rica, Jamaica, Malaysia and Taiwan; whereas parks failed to prevent fires in Cambodia, Guatemala and Sierra Leone.
“Current integration of state-of-the-art remote sensing databases with Geographic Information Systems is allowing us to better evaluate the effectiveness of conservation efforts in tropical environments,” Sanchez-Azofeifa said.
While nearly all tropical countries have established parks to protect rainforests, not all have the political and economic means to enforce park boundaries and prevent illegal extraction of park resources.
To better distinguish functional parks from “paper” parks and to characterize the relationship between social factors and park protection worldwide, the team created an index comparing fire frequency inside and outside of 823 tropical and subtropical parks.
Low fire frequency within parks was chosen as an indicator of park effectiveness because the background level of fire in tropical moist forests is low, so the presence of fire often indicates that humans are engaged in timber extraction, clearing land for agriculture or other land-use conversion.
The frequency was based on fire detection data from NASA’s satellite-based Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). “The MODIS fire products enable us to monitor global fires and see how fire regimes are changing,” said Chris Justice of the NASA MODIS fire team. He noted that information from the NASA Fire Information for Resource Management Information System Project provides a prototype to provide future long-term fire information from space tailored to the needs of resource managers.
Wright added that satellite data has limitations. “The satellite data must be carefully screened. Perhaps the clearest examples of this system’s limitations were a park in Costa Rica and two parks in Indonesia where active volcanoes triggered the MODIS fire detection algorithm,” he said.
With fire frequency data in hand, researchers developed a set of social and economic indicators reflecting the level of poverty and corruption in each country. The Corruption Protection Index was provided by Transparency International; other information came from United Nations files and the CIA-World Fact Book.
As part of this publication, fire frequency data from 3,964 tropical reserves will be posted online. The authors hope that other investigators more familiar with reserves in particular countries or regions will use these data to better understand the causes of fires in parks and their management implications.
Minimized water consumption in CSP plants - EU project MinWaterCSP is making good progress
05.12.2017 | Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum
Jena Experiment: Loss of species destroys ecosystems
28.11.2017 | Technische Universität München
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."
Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
05.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Life Sciences
08.12.2017 | Information Technology
08.12.2017 | Information Technology