Location factors and dynamics of tree plantation expansion in two coastal river basins in south-central Chile: basis for land use planning

Tree plantations have expanded rapidly during the last decades, specially in Asia and South America, and Chile has shown one of the largest increases in tree plantations in the world. The aim of this study was to analyze the dynamic and factors statistically associated with the expansion of tree plantations in two coastal basins in south-central Chile. We used logistic regression and a multimodel inference approach to assess the association of 13 location factors with tree plantation expansion in two periods (1987-2001; 2001-2015). The area of tree plantations increased by 292% and 196% in the Budi and Lingue basins, respectively. The presence of agriculture fields before conversion to tree plantations showed the greatest effect in both basins, followed by the suitability of the soil for forestry. Likewise, tree plantations were highly associated with the replacement of native vegetation, contributing to ongoing deforestation, and changes in forest policy increased the expansion in indigenous land.

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