Title

Forty Years and More Trees: Land Cover Change and Coffee Production in Honduras

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-1-2006

Department

Geography and Geology

School

Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Abstract

Geographers interested in vegetation change increasingly focus on forest transitions. Several studies have documented an increase in forest cover in tropical America. This paper examines the nature of land cover change between 1954 and 1992 in a mountainous region of western Honduras. Analysis of aerial photographs indicates that tree cover increased by 17% around the town of Marcala. The accuracy of the aerial photograph analysis was assessed by field reconnaissance in 2004, which suggested that the increase in trees consisted largely of shade coffee fincas. More than 80% of the 46 field sites visited in this study experienced an increase in tree cover, which consisted of pine forest and several types of shaded tree canopies for the growth of coffee.

Publication Title

Southeastern Geographer

Volume

46

Issue

1

First Page

51

Last Page

65

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