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We summarize early research on land-cover, land-use, and biophysical properties of vegetation from the Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere (LBA) experiment in Amazonia. LBA is an international research program developed to evaluate regional function and to determine how land-use and climate modify biological, chemical and physical processes there. Remote sensing has played a fundamental role in LBA in research planning, land-cover mapping and in long-term monitoring of changes in land-cover and land-use at multiple scales. This special issue includes 12 papers that cover a range in spatial scales from regional mapping to local scales that cover only a portion of a Landsat scene. Several themes dominate, including land-cover mapping with an emphasis on wetlands and second-growth forest, evaluation of pasture sustainability and forest degradation and the impact of land-cover change on stream chemistry. New techniques introduced include automated Monte Carlo unmixing (AutoMCU) and several new approaches for mapping land-cover. A diversity of sensors are utilized, including ETM+, IKONOS, SPOT-4, Airborne P-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and L-band SAR. Census data are fused with an existing land-cover map to generate spatially explicit estimates of land-use from historical data. Several papers include important, new field measures of species composition, forest structure and biomass in mature forest and secondary succession. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

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