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Land 2013, 2(1), 1-19; doi:10.3390/land2010001
Article

Simulating Future Forest Cover Changes in Pakxeng District, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR): Implications for Sustainable Forest Management

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Received: 29 November 2012; in revised form: 12 December 2012 / Accepted: 9 January 2013 / Published: 21 January 2013
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Abstract: Future forest cover changes were simulated under the business-as-usual (BAU), pessimistic and optimistic scenarios using the Markov-cellular automata (MCA) model in Pakxeng district, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). The Markov chain analysis was used to compute transition probabilities from satellite-derived forest cover maps (1993, 1996, 2000 and 2004), while the “weights of evidence” procedure was used to generate transition potential (suitability) maps. Dynamic adjustments of transition probabilities and transition potential maps were implemented in a cellular automata (CA) model in order to simulate forest cover changes. The validation results revealed that unstocked forest and current forest classes were relatively well simulated, while the non-forest class was slightly underpredicted. The MCA simulations under the BAU and pessimistic scenarios indicated that current forest areas would decrease, whereas unstocked forest areas would increase in the future. In contrast, the MCA model projected that current forest areas would increase under the optimistic scenario if forestry laws are strictly enforced in the study area. The simulation scenarios observed in this study can be possibly used to understand implications of future forest cover changes on sustainable forest management in Pakxeng district.
Keywords: Markov chains; “weights of evidence”; Markov-cellular automata model; simulation scenarios; Lao PDR Markov chains; “weights of evidence”; Markov-cellular automata model; simulation scenarios; Lao PDR
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kamusoko, C.; Wada, Y.; Furuya, T.; Tomimura, S.; Nasu, M.; Homsysavath, K. Simulating Future Forest Cover Changes in Pakxeng District, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR): Implications for Sustainable Forest Management. Land 2013, 2, 1-19.

AMA Style

Kamusoko C, Wada Y, Furuya T, Tomimura S, Nasu M, Homsysavath K. Simulating Future Forest Cover Changes in Pakxeng District, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR): Implications for Sustainable Forest Management. Land. 2013; 2(1):1-19.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kamusoko, Courage; Wada, Yukio; Furuya, Toru; Tomimura, Shunsuke; Nasu, Mitsuru; Homsysavath, Khamma. 2013. "Simulating Future Forest Cover Changes in Pakxeng District, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR): Implications for Sustainable Forest Management." Land 2, no. 1: 1-19.

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