Mountain forests are being lost at an accelerating rate, putting biodiversity at risk, warns study

Worryingly, the rate of mountain forest loss seems to be accelerating: the annual rate of loss increased by 50% from 2001–2009 to 2010–2018, when we lost approximately 5.2 million hectares of mountain forests per year. The authors write that this acceleration is probably largely due to rapid agricultural expansion into highland areas in mainland Southeast Asia, as well as increased logging of mountain forests due to either depletion of lowland forests or because these lowland forests became protected.

Tropical mountain forests experienced the most loss—42% of the global total—and the fastest acceleration rate, but also had a faster rate of regrowth compared to mountain forests in temperate and boreal regions. Overall, the researchers observed some signs of tree cover regrowth in 23% of the areas that lost forest.

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