LC-09 Abstract

Human and Physical Dimensions of Land Use/Cover Change in Amazonia: 
Towards a Multiscale Synthesis

Mateus Batistella, EMPRAPA (SA-PI)
Emilio Federico Moran, Indiana University (US-PI)

Building on 30 years of research experience in the Amazon, this study will advance our understanding of land use and land cover change through integrative science activities and  by collaboration with 11 other LBA projects. This project builds on a seven-region study, along the LBA transects, supported for six years by NSF and NIGEC, and then for the past three years by LBA funds.  We have used a nested-georeferenced approach that collected soil analyses, vegetation stand structure and composition (100+ sites), land use histories, institutional analyses, demography of  600+ households, and land cover classification using Landsat  MSS and TM multitemporal data to understand land use and land cover change (LCLUC) trajectories. The seven regions in our  study,  represent a soil fertility gradient across Amazonia from most (i.e. alfisols) to least (i.e. spodosols) fertile and include  a wide array of land uses and land cover types along an east-to-west transect extending from the Amazon estuary and Bragantina region east of Belém, all the way to Rondônia in the west.

We propose in phase II of this NASA/LBA project to extend this work by:

1.  Developing a multi-scale synthesis of land use and land cover change dynamics integrating our seven study areas, in order to understand the role of demographic, economic, institutional and biophysical variables on LCLUC trajectories during the past 25 years.

2.  Developing a multi-sensor analysis of the capabilities and limitations of different platforms (IKONOS-TM & ETM+-MODIS)  for land cover discrimination using the full capabilities of artificial neural networks  for classification and modeling.

3. Developing an integrated study of land use, land cover, and land-water interactions by using a watershed approach encompassing at least two of our most intensive research sites (i.e. the Santarém-Altamira region), thereby addressing fundamental questions of the landscape-level controls on nutrient-carbon interactions within, and sustainability of forests in the Amazon Basin.

4. Developing a comprehensive scientific collaboration strategy within LBA projects to contribute to modeling and synthesis efforts by formal collaboration with 11 LBA projects, hands-on training, and dissemination of a data management CD for the benefit of all of LBA.