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Combining Landsat TM satellite data with ethnographic, botanical, and survey research allowed us to detect change between small areas of managed floodplain forest and unmanaged forest, and among 3 distinct age/growth classes of secondary succession following deforestation at both terra firme and estuarine sites in Brazilian Amazonia. Mechanized agriculture at one site has eliminated virtually all the mature upland forest. More diversified land use at another site shows a subtle cycling of flooded forest to managed palm forest in response to the price of palm fruit and cycling in the use of fallow land. A 3rd site, characterized by intensive colonization along the Transamazon Highway now consists largely of pastures degraded to various stages of secondary succession with crops constituting <4% of the total area. This study suggests how a balance between use and conservation in Amazonia may be achieved and the effectiveness of monitoring these types of land cover from satellite platforms

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