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Effects of deforestation pattern and private nature reserves on the forest conservation in settlement areas of the Brazilian Amazon

The effects of deforestation patterns, private nature-reserve extents and agricultural fallow periods on forest conservation were simulated for settlement projects in the Brazilian Amazon that produce a fish-bone pattern of occupation and where slash-and-burn agriculture is predominantly used. Data for simulation was obtained from previous work at the Bragantina region, the oldest agricultural frontier in the Brazilian Amazon. Forest conservation was evaluated using the size of remnant forest fragments, the amount of interior habitat, the connectivity among fragments and the extent of fragmentation. Results showed that the best scenario for forest conservation is the maintenance of 80% of the lot as privatereserve using deforestation pattern that allow to group the reserves from different farmers at the end of the lot. When private-reserve coverage is bellow 80% of the landscape, forest conservation status will be influenced by the deforestation pattern. Some patterns (e.g. random location of deforestation plots) will then be particularly deleterious, producing a highly fragmented landscape, while other patterns (e.g., progressive deforestation from one edge) can allow the maintenance of large forest fragments. To get forest conservation in these cases, private-reserve extent and deforestation pattern should be considered together. Considering both forest conservation and agricultural use, progressive patterns of deforestation (or land use) in a lot of 2,000m by 500m, with private nature-reserves covering 50% of the landscape seems to be the best compromise. To guarantee the private forest preservation, these forests should be pre-established when settlements are planned and grouped at the end of the lots.

Deforestation pattern; private nature reserve; forest conservation; landscape planning; Amazonian tropical forest

Instituto Virtual da Biodiversidade | BIOTA - FAPESP Departamento de Biologia Vegetal - Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP CP 6109, 13083-970 - Campinas/SP, Tel.: (+55 19) 3521-6166, Fax: (+55 19) 3521-6168 - Campinas - SP - Brazil