Biogeochemical Consequences of Agricultural Intensification in the Amazon Basin
Carlos Clemente Cerri, CENA/USP (SA-PI)
Jerry M. Melillo, Marine Biological Laboratory (US-PI)
Intensification of agriculture is emerging as a major issue in the Amazon Basin because it is likely to have broad-scale biological and biogeochemical effects. We propose to study the biogeochemical effects of the intensification of pasture agriculture and the conversion of pasture to soybean monoculture. To do this we have established a series of large (40m x 40m) experimental plots on a ranch in Rond˘nia where we have studied pasture biogeochemistry for the past decade. Through a range of experimental treatments and a regional survey, we are developing a process-level understanding of how biogeochemical phenomena such as soil carbon balance, trace gas emissions and leaching losses of plant nutrients are affected by changes in agricultural land use. We will collaborate with other LBA investigators to scale site-specific data to the whole Basin.