Assessing the ecological vulnerability of forest landscape to agricultural frontier expansion in the Central Highlands of Vietnam

Bourgoin Clément, Oszwald Johan, Bourgoin Jeremy, Gond Valéry, Blanc Lilian, Dessard Hélène, Van Phan Trong, Sist Plinio, Läderach Peter, Reymondin Louis. 2020. Assessing the ecological vulnerability of forest landscape to agricultural frontier expansion in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 84:101958, 13 p.

Journal article ; Article de recherche ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Abstract : Forest conservation in human-dominated tropical landscapes ensures provision of major ecosystem services. However, conservation goals are threatened by growing demands for agricultural products. As the expansion of agricultural frontiers continues to exert increasing pressure on forest cover, it is crucial to provide indicators on forest vulnerability to improve our understanding of forest dynamics and prioritize management actions by local decision-makers. The purpose of this study is to develop a rigorous methodological framework to assess forest ecological vulnerability. We aim at evaluating the potential of remote sensing to characterize forest landscape dynamics in spatial and temporal dimensions. We present an innovative method that spatially integrates current landscape mosaic mapping with 45 years of landscape trajectories using Sentinel-2 and Landsat imagery. We derive indicators of exposure to cropland expansion, sensitivity linked with forest degradation and fragmentation, and forest capacity to respond based on forest landscape composition in Di Linh district in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. We map current forest-agricultural mosaics with high accuracy to assess landscape intensification (kappa index = 0.78). We also map the expansion of the agricultural frontier and highlighted heterogeneous agricultural encroachment on forested areas (kappa index = 0.72-0.93). Finally, we identify degradation and fragmentation trajectories that affect forest cover at different rates and intensity. Combined, these indicators pinpoint hotspots of forest vulnerability. This study provides tailored management responses and levers for action by local decision makers. The accessibility of multi-dimensional remote sensing data and the developed landscape approach open promising perspectives for continuously monitoring agricultural frontiers.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Forêt, Déboisement, Terre agricole

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Viet Nam

Mots-clés complémentaires : Déforestation

Mots-clés libres : Deforestation, Forest degradation, Vietnam, Ecological vulnerability, Landscape approach

Classification Agris : K70 - Forest injuries and protection
E11 - Land economics and policies

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 4 (2019-) - Santé des plantes, des animaux et des écosystèmes

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Bourgoin Clément, CIRAD-ES-UPR Forêts et sociétés (FRA) - auteur correspondant
  • Oszwald Johan, Université de Haute-Bretagne (FRA)
  • Bourgoin Jeremy, CIRAD-ES-UMR TETIS (FRA)
  • Gond Valéry, CIRAD-ES-UPR Forêts et sociétés (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0002-0080-3140
  • Blanc Lilian, CIRAD-ES-UPR Forêts et sociétés (FRA)
  • Dessard Hélène, CIRAD-ES-UPR Forêts et sociétés (FRA)
  • Van Phan Trong, CIAT (VNM)
  • Sist Plinio, CIRAD-ES-UPR Forêts et sociétés (FRA)
  • Läderach Peter, CIAT (VNM)
  • Reymondin Louis, CIAT (VNM)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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