New maps of Malaysian Borneo reveal worsening carbon losses along forest edges

Tropical forests are heavily fragmented as they are cleared for agricultural expansion and logging. Forest fragmentation leads to declines in carbon storage beyond just those trees that are cleared—the remaining forest at the edge of each clearing experiences environmental alterations such as increased sunlight and decreased soil moisture that can impact growing conditions for trees. These “edge effects” describe habitat disturbances that can lead to decreased tree growth and increased mortality, which change forest structure over time.

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