Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Research Briefing
  • Published:

Tracking millions of farmland trees in India reveals a considerable decline of large trees

Using PlanetScope and RapidEye nanosatellite imagery, we tracked 0.6 billion farmland trees across India over the past decade. We find that approximately 10% of the large farmland trees have disappeared over this period, primarily owing to changing cultivation practices.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: Tracking individual farmland trees in India.

References

  1. Skole, D. L., Mbow, C., Mugabowindekwe, M., Brandt, M. S. & Samek, J. H. Trees outside of forests as natural climate solutions. Nat. Clim. Change 11, 1013–1016 (2021). A comment article that summarizes the importance of trees outside forests.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Terasaki Hart, D. E. et al. Priority science can accelerate agroforestry as a natural climate solution. Nat. Clim. Change 13, 1179–1190 (2023). A comprehensive perspective article on agroforestry.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Singh, P. et al. Agroforestry improves food security and reduces income variability in semi-arid tropics of central India. Agroforest. Syst. 97, 509–518 (2023). An article on the importance of agroforestry in India.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Reiner, F. et al. More than one quarter of Africa’s tree cover is found outside areas previously classified as forest. Nat. Commun. 14, 2258 (2023). This article provides more information on the PlanetScope nanosatellite constellation.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Coleman, E. A. et al. Limited effects of tree planting on forest canopy cover and rural livelihoods in Northern India. Nat. Sustain. 4, 997–1004 (2021). This paper reports that forest plantations in northern India might have limited ecological and socio-economic impact.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

This is a summary of: Brandt, M. et al. Severe decline in large farmland trees in India over the past decade. Nat. Sustain. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-024-01356-0 (2024).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Tracking millions of farmland trees in India reveals a considerable decline of large trees. Nat Sustain (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-024-01377-9

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-024-01377-9

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing Anthropocene

Sign up for the Nature Briefing: Anthropocene newsletter — what matters in anthropocene research, free to your inbox weekly.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing: Anthropocene