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Deforestation and colonization in Amazonia have attracted substantial attention. This article focuses on an area of 3,000 km(2) within the Brazilian State of Rondonia. Two adjacent settlements were compared to assess the role of their different designs in landscape change. Anari was planned following an orthogonal road network. Machadinho was designed with attention to topography in laying out roads and farm properties, while including communal reserves. Field research was undertaken in conjunction with multi-temporal classifications of remotely sensed data (1988, 1994, and 1998) and landscape ecology methods, The results indicate that large patches of communal reserves play an important role in maintaining lower levels of fragmentation. Analyses of landscape structure confirmed that forest patches in Machadinho are less fragmented, more complex, and preserve more interior habitat. By comparing the effects of different settlement designs on landscape change and forest fragmentation, this article contributes to the debate about colonization strategies in Amazonia

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