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Slash-and-burn agriculture: use of forest resources and dynamics of rural landscape in Santa Catarina State, Brazil

The secondary forests in the small farms of Santa Catarina State are traditionally used as a component of the slash-and-burn agriculture. The purpose of this study was to analyze the agricultural system in the municipality of São Pedro de Alcântara, on the coast zone of the State, using the qualitative research approach. The results showed that there was a reduction of the cultivated area in 65% of the farms in the last 10 years, the fallow period was reduced, and the rotation time of each field plot was shortened. The restrictions imposed by regulations on forest resources use have contributed to a change in the composition of the landscape of the study area, where a shrinkage of the area used for traditional agriculture in favor of a larger area of with secondary forests is evident. However, a simulation of the field plots rotation revealed that, from the point of view of the land availability, the continuity of the slash-and-burn agricultural system is still possible in the long run, especially under the subsistence farming.

forest succession; secondary forest; Brazilian Mata Atlantica

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