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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Deforestation in South America's tri-national Parana Atlantic Forest: Trends and associational factors

Mohebalian, Phillip M.; Lopez, Lucas N.; Aguilar, Francisco X.; Tischner, Angela Barbara


South America's Tri-national Parana Atlantic Forest, an ecological region spanning across the nations of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, is one of the most diverse in the world but also one of the most vulnerable to deforestation. A review of public policy interventions shows all three governments have taken major legislative steps to protect remaining forests, but studies evaluating deforestation trends and associated factors in this region are scarce or non-existent. Here, we make a direct contribution to this knowledge gap by assessing deforestation trends within Pararna Atlantic forests of Argentina's Misiones, Brazil's Parana, and Paraguay's Alto Parana be-tween 2000 and 2020. Over this period about 20% of forest cover was lost in Misiones, 13% in Parana, and 18% in Alto Parana. The odds of observed deforestation, else constant, showed nuanced associations with proximity to nearest roads, cities, and ports. Higher levels of economic growth were directly associated with deforestation, as were increases in population density over the entire period. Protected area designation between years 2000 and 2020 showed effectiveness in lowering odds of deforestation with heterogeneous associations across countries. Our results reflect associational inferences with estimated deforestation; future research should investigate causal effects of protected designation, and assess its role in avoided degradation and wider socio-economic impacts.


Paraná Atlantic Forest; Deforestation; Logistic regression; Remote sensed data

Published in

Forest Policy and Economics
2022, volume: 137, article number: 102697
Publisher: ELSEVIER

Authors' information

Mohebalian, Phillip M.
United States Census Bureau
Lopez, Lucas N.
National University of Misiones (UNaM)
Tischner, Angela Bárbara
Itaipu Technological Park Foundation
Aguilar, Francisco X (Aguilar Cabezas, Francisco X)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers


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