Value of timber stocks could predict future logging roads, deforestation in the Amazon

21 May 2012

A new model aims to forecast future logging road development by estimating the value of timber stocks across the Brazilian Amazon. The research, published in PLoS One, could help prioritize areas for conservation to protect the maximum area of forest.

Sadia Ahmed and Robert Ewers Imperial College London used data on tree species distribution and price information on commercially valuable timber to develop the model. In aggregate, the areas with the highest value timber were in the northeastern and southeastern parts of the Brazilian Amazon, regions where forest is more easily exploited. The southwestern and western Amazon had the least valuable timber stocks, according to the model.