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Acre

Description:  Acre is located in the western Amazon, bordering Bolivia and Peru. The capital of Acre, Rio Branco, is located about 85 km from the Bolivian border with Brazil. The state of Acre has large–scale colonization projects, logging activities, extensive cattle ranching, and a population growing at one of the highest rates in Amazonia, 3% each year (Instituto Brasileiro de Geografica e Estatística, 1997). In addition, the region has unique characteristics for comparative studies of degradation because of its extensive areas of eutrophic soils intermingled with nutrient–poor oxisols and ultisols. The area also has some of the most innovative alternative land uses in Amazonia; 1.4 million ha of extractive reserves (e.g., Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve) have been established, which serve to maintain forest ecosystems and to provide income to forest residents. Acre also has about half of the 18 million hectares of bamboo–dominated forests of western Amazonia. A logging boom has begun in Acre, with companies migrating from Pará to Acre to extract mahogany and other hardwoods. Rates of land–cover and land–use change are intensifying, and examples of many land–cover changes occur within a 70–km radius of the city of Rio Branco. Acre receives 1950 mm of annual precipitation. Within this region, collaborating institutions (Federal University of Acre–UFAC and Federal Agricultural Research Company–EMBRAPA/AC) have over 3,000 ha in experimental areas. In addition to other sites, two UFAC study sites within 30 km of Rio Branco are used.


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