UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Monitoring spectral forest regrowth trends in the Chapare watershed of Bolivia, 1985 to 2018 Kavlin Castaneda, Marcos


Forest restoration is increasingly seen as a promising solution that can help address global climate change, biodiversity loss, and support sustainable development. One of the main approaches is Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR), which increases tree and forest cover in landscapes, therefore enhancing carbon sequestration and storage. However, this approach is only effective if these restored forests have long lasting permanence on the landscape. In this study, I leveraged cloud computing and time series analysis (using the Landtrendr algorithm in Google Earth Engine) to evaluate the spatial and temporal trends in regrowth permanence in the Bolivian watershed of Chapare, between 1985 and 2018. I then conducted a multi-variate driver analysis to better understand what factors increase regrowth permanence within the watershed, as well as in its three distinct regions. On average, regrowth events persisted for 7.3 years, with the mean ranging from 7.2 to 9.4 years. Most long-lasting regrowth events tended to be clustered in the Andean region of the watershed, or around the village of Villa Tunari, one of the most populated settlements in the watershed. Proximity to roads and human settlements increased the persistence of regrowth events. Surrounding forest cover had a negative quadratic relationship with regrowth permanence within the watershed, suggesting a non-linear relationship whereby regrowth permanence was highest at medium forest cover. However, regional trends within the watershed were also apparent, shaped by local context and history. The Andes had the most persistent regrowth events, whereas the Amazon region had the shortest regrowth permanence in the watershed. The findings of this study highlight the importance that human factors play when determining the longevity of a regrowth event. Additionally, the differences seen between each region within the watershed highlight the need to approach this kind of study at multiple scales, as many insights could be lost otherwise.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International