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Forest transitions in the Anthropocene and their Implications for Restoration values – a global assessment based on remote sensing
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 893060 Call for proposal: H2020-MSCA-IF-2019
Funded under: H2020 | MSCA-IF-EF-ST Overall Budget: 207,312 EURFunder Contribution: 207,312 EUR

Only 13.1 million km2 intact forests are left on Earth, and many risk degradations despite their importance for global biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and human well-being. Meanwhile, a global increase in so-called forest transitions, where deforestation is replaced by reforestation, is observed. It is still unclear how and why forest transitions happen in some areas and not in others, to what extent the new forests will recover towards their intact state, and how transitions are affected by the intensifying societal and climate changes of our current human-dominated epoch, the Anthropocene. FAIR aims to deliver the first global map of forest transitions, i.e., de- to reforestation shifts and analogous shifts in intactness, and to test potential links between their dynamic trajectories to societal and climate change. Various remote sensing (RS) products across the globe and novel approaches will be used to answer the following questions: 1) How can RS be used to map forest transition types in human-altered forests? 2) How do transitioning forests differ from intact forests in structure and composition globally? 3) How do increasing societal pressure and climate change affect forest transitions and what are the implications for future restoration? FAIR will be hosted at Aarhus University with supervision of Prof. Svenning, a world-leading expert on macroecology with special interest in trees and forests. The combination of the professional backgrounds of Dr. Li (advanced RS science) and the supervisor will allow FAIR to develop an effective analytical framework and truly novel understanding of forest transitions, providing an important basis for better development of landscape planning to promote forest ecosystem services in the Anthropocene. Prof. Svenning’s strong experience in public outreach and dissemination will facilitate Dr. Li in developing an effective communication strategy for FAIR to contribute to future forest restoration policies.

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