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Acta Amazonica

Print version ISSN 0044-5967


ROZON, Christine et al. Spatial and temporal evolution of family-farming land use in the Tapajós region of the Brazilian Amazon. Acta Amaz. [online]. 2015, vol.45, n.2, pp.203-214. ISSN 0044-5967.

Pressures on the Brazilian Amazon forest have been accentuated by agricultural activities practiced by families encouraged to settle in this region in the 1970s by the colonization program of the government. The aims of this study were to analyze the temporal and spatial evolution of land cover and land use (LCLU) in the lower Tapajós region, in the state of Pará. We contrast 11 watersheds that are generally representative of the colonization dynamics in the region. For this purpose, Landsat satellite images from three different years, 1986, 2001, and 2009, were analyzed with Geographic Information Systems. Individual images were subject to an unsupervised classification using the Maximum Likelihood Classification algorithm available on GRASS. The classes retained for the representation of LCLU in this study were: (1) slightly altered old-growth forest, (2) succession forest, (3) crop land and pasture, and (4) bare soil. The analysis and observation of general trends in eleven watersheds shows that LCLU is changing very rapidly. The average deforestation of old-growth forest in all the watersheds was estimated at more than 30% for the period of 1986 to 2009. The local-scale analysis of watersheds reveals the complexity of LCLU, notably in relation to large changes in the temporal and spatial evolution of watersheds. Proximity to the sprawling city of Itaituba is related to the highest rate of deforestation in two watersheds. The opening of roads such as the Transamazonian highway is associated to the second highest rate of deforestation in three watersheds.

Keywords : Deforestation; Watershed scale; Landsat Satellite Images; Cities; Roads.

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