Amazon Scenarios: Modeling Interactions Among Land Use, Fire, and Climate
Carlos Augusto Klink, University of Brasilia (SA-PI)
Paulo Roberto de Souza Moutinho, IPAM - Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia (SA-PI)
Daniel Curtis Nepstad, WHRC
Amazonia has entered an era of rapid change as new transportation corridors traverse the region, stimulating the expansion of logging and agricultural frontiers. This large experiment in infra-structure investments presents an important scientific challenge to the LBA community—to simulate the effects of transportation infra-structure on regional patterns of land-use change and carbon emission. In this second phase of our LBA grant we propose to develop and refine a process-based model of ecosystem productivity and fire probability and economic models of agriculture and forestry that begin to address this challenge. These models will be coupled within a Pan-Amazonian GIS, and will be responsive to plausible policy scenarios, as model inputs. Model outputs will include spatially-explicit simulations of future land uses, fire regime, and associated carbon emissions. The interaction between land cover and regional climate will be investigated using both a meso-scale climate model (RAMS) and a global circulation model (COLA/CPTEC).
We will help reduce the considerable uncertainty about areas of logging and understory fire in Amazonia by geo-referencing, through fieldwork, the perimeters of logging and forest fire scars in each of five “reference landscapes”. Vegetation structure and biomass will be measured within a subsample of patches in each landscape. We will also establish a prescribed burn experiment in the Amazon-Cerrado transition forest of Mato Grosso. The proposed research will also be supported by datasets being collected at our ongoing rainfall exclusion experiments in Amazonia and the Cerrado (LC-14), and by measurements of sub-soil controls on the ecological dynamics of forest-savanna ecotones.