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Acta Amazonica

Print version ISSN 0044-5967On-line version ISSN 1809-4392


BATISTELLA, Mateus  and  MORAN, Emilio F.. Human dimensions of land use and land cover in the Amazon: a contribution from LBA. Acta Amaz. [online]. 2005, vol.35, n.2, pp.239-247. ISSN 0044-5967.

An understanding of changes in Amazonian landscapes depends on documentation about alterations in land cover. This article highlights the efforts of the Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazônia (LBA) related to the topic. In particular, a longitudinal study has analyzed the social and biophysical dimensions of land use/land cover, using a multi-scalar georeferenced approach. The study areas represent a gradient of soil fertility in Amazônia and include distinct landscape mosaics, from the Amazon estuary and the Bragantina region to northeastern Rondônia. Within the project, we emphasize studies in areas of rural settlement due to their social relevance and their impacts on land cover in local and regional scales. To illustrate the potential of such studies, we present comparative results for Machadinho d'Oeste and Vale do Anari, State of Rondônia. The multitemporal analysis included Landsat images and fieldwork. Land owners, loggers, rubber tapers, and other local actors were interviewed about their production systems and land-use history. The calculation of spatial metrics supported our conclusions. The results indicate that settlement design and institutional aspects play a central role in the process of landscape change. The combination of private lots with communal forest reserves, managed by local populations, produces positive outcomes in maintaining larger patches of forest. The methods used contribute to the analysis, integration, and monitoring of land use and land cover in Amazônia, subsidizing policies that incorporate the social and environmental dimensions of regional development.

Keywords : Amazônia; Rondônia; land use; land cover; human dimensions; LBA.

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