Research ArticleAPPLIED ECOLOGY

Fake legal logging in the Brazilian Amazon

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Science Advances  15 Aug 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 8, eaat1192
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat1192
  • Fig. 1 Discrepancies in timber volumes between logging permits and RADAM plots.

    The discrepancy between timber volumes registered to be harvested in forest management units of approved logging permits and those observed in RADAM plots (that is, plots surveyed through the national forest inventory of Brazil) was positively correlated with timber price of standing trees (A), as was the proportion of logging permits with timber volumes located in the quantile classes of >90% (all colors except blue) of the density distribution of timber volumes of RADAM plots (B). Vertical error bars in (A) represent the SD.

  • Fig. 2 Spatial distribution of logging permits according to their level of discrepancy in relation to RADAM plots.

    Distribution in the state of Pará of logging permits with timber volumes located in the quantile classes of >90% (all colors except blue) of the density distribution of timber volumes of RADAM plots (that is, plots surveyed through the national forest inventory of Brazil) of different Amazonian timber species. The top part of the figure shows the distribution of Handroanthus spp. Maps for other species are ordered from low- to high-value species from top left to bottom right in the layout.

  • Fig. 3 Distribution of potentially fraudulent logging permits and overestimation variation among foresters.

    Distribution of the average ratio of timber volume in logging permits to RADAM plots (that is, plots surveyed through the national forest inventory of Brazil) of each forester in charge of logging permit, ordered from lowest to highest ratio for each species group on the x axis (A), and positive correlation between the SD of the ratios associated with different foresters and timber price of standing trees (B).

  • Fig. 4 Proposed web-based system to register and manage logging permits.

    This system would require the documentation of species based on predefined, standardized botanical or commercial names, their associated timber volumes, and geospatial information on their localization in licensed forests, which would be integrated in the system with existing databases to assess the levels of discrepancies of informed and expected timber volumes in forest management units of logging permits. Field checking of logging permits would be guided by this analysis to optimize the use of a limited staff to control large areas of forest concessions.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    This PDF file includes:

    • Fig. S1. Study sites in Pará state, eastern Amazon, Brazil.
    • Table S1. Commercial timber species used in the study and their associated characteristics.

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