Scale-Dependence in Understanding Deforestation in Amazonia
Moran, Indiana University, firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper comes from long-term field research in Amazonia, complemented with LBA-funded research over the past decade. The paper argues that researchers need to keep in mind that conclusions from studies are scale-dependent. Namely, that analyses at Brazilian Amazon scale provide one view of the dynamics of deforestation and its spatial and temporal trajectories—but that these spatial and temporal trajectories vary a great deal from sub-region to sub-region. These differences are derived from the different histories, initial conditions both cultural and biophysical, and the way that different sub-regions are treated by government policy—whether by receiving priority in road-building, credit policy, or other forms of infrastructure.
The paper examines Amazon-scale dynamics using PRODES data, and compares these results to targeted studies in the regions of Altamira, Santarem and Marajo, and with state-analyses.
A major insight from the paper is that sustainable solutions taking place in some regions are hidden from Basin-scaled studies, and thus that we need to ensure that in our rush to have regional relevant conclusions, we do not lose sight that it is local decision-makers through their management that come up with solutions to environmental challenges.
Science Theme: LC (Land Use and Land Cover Change)