Landscape Ecology

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 1061–1073 | Cite as

Thresholds in landscape structure for three common deforestation patterns in the Brazilian Amazon

  • Francisco José Barbosa Oliveira de Filho
  • Jean Paul Metzger
Research Article

Abstract

Although abrupt changes (i.e. thresholds) have been precisely defined in simulated landscapes, such changes in the structure of real landscapes are not well understood. We tested for threshold occurrence in three common deforestation patterns in the Brazilian Amazon: small properties regularly distributed along roads (fishbone), irregularly distributed small properties (independent settlements), and large properties. We analyzed differences between real deforestation patterns, and tested the capacity of simulated landscape with different aggregation degrees to predict threshold occurrence. Three 8×8 km sites (replicates) with more than 90% of forest in 1984 and less than 30% in 1998 were selected/simulated for each deforestation pattern. Thresholds were observed for fishbone and large property patterns, especially when considering the connectivity index, although threshold incidences were more frequently observed in simulated landscapes. The capacity of simulated landscapes to predict the exact threshold point in real landscapes was limited, even when considering highly aggregate simulations. However, the general trend in landscape structural changes was similar in real and simulated landscapes. Thresholds occurred at the beginning of the deforestation for mean patch size and at an intermediate stage, corresponding to the percolation threshold, for connectivity, isolation and fragmentation. Threshold behavior for connectivity index might suggest that the survival of strictly forest species will sharply decrease when the proportion of forest reach values <0.60, indicating that conservation efforts should be done to maintain forest cover above this limit. Significant differences observed among the real deforestation patterns, especially in patch isolation and number of fragments, can have significant consequences for conservation. The independent settlement pattern is, without a doubt, the least favorable of them, resulting in a higher level of fragmentation, whereas the large property and fishbone patterns may be less detrimental if connectivity among the remnant forest patches is preserved.

Keyword

Brazilian Amazon Connectivity Deforestation patterns Fragmentation Landscape dynamics Structural threshold Tropical forests 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alves, D.S. 2002Space-time dynamics of deforestation in Brazilian AmazoniaIntl J. Remote Sens.2329032908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrén, H. 1994Effect of habitat fragmentation on birds and mammals in landscapes with different proportions of suitable habitat: a reviewOikos71355366Google Scholar
  3. Andrén, H. 1996Population responses to habitat fragmentation: statistical power and the random sample hypothesisOikos76235242Google Scholar
  4. Bascompte, J., Solé, R.V. 1996Habitat fragmentation and extinction thresholds in spatially explicit modelsJ. Anim. Ecol.65465473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baskent, E.Z. 1999Controlling spatial structure of forested landscapes: a case study towards landscape managementLandscape Ecol.148397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Batistella, M., Robeson, S., Moran, E. 2003Settlement design, forest fragmentation, and landscape structure in RondôniaAmazôniaPhotogram. Eng. Remote Sens.69805812Google Scholar
  7. Boswell, G.P., Britton, N.F., Franks, N.R. 1998Habitat fragmentation, percolation theory and the conservation of a keystone speciesProc. Roy. Soc. Lon. Ser. B Biol. Sci.26519211925CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burkey, T.V. 1989Extinction in nature reserves: the effect of fragmentation and the importance of migration between reserve fragmentsOikos557581Google Scholar
  9. Collinge, S.K., Forman, R.T.T. 1998A conceptual model of land conversion processes: predictions and evidence from a microlandscape experiment with grassland insectsOikos826684Google Scholar
  10. Dale, V.H., O’Neill, R.V., Pedlowski, M., Southworth, F. 1993Causes and effects of land use change in Central RondôniaBrazilPhotogram. Eng. Remote Sens.599971005Google Scholar
  11. Fahrig, L. 1997Relative effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on species extinctionJ. Wildlife Manag.61603610Google Scholar
  12. Fahrig, L. 1998When does fragmentation of breeding habitat affect population survival?Ecol. Model.105273292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Flather, C.H., Bevers, M. 2002Patchy reaction-diffusion and population abundance: the relative importance of habitat amount and arrangementAmer. Nat.1594056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Franklin, J.F., Forman, R.T.T. 1987Creating landscape pattern by forest cutting: ecological consequences and principlesLandscape Ecol.1518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gardner, R.H. 1999

    RULE: A program for the generation of random maps and the analysis of spatial patterns

    Klopatek, JMGardner, RH eds. Landscape Ecological Analysis: Issues and ApplicationsSpringer-VerlagNew York280303
    Google Scholar
  16. Gardner, R.H., O’Neill, R.V. 1991

    Pattern, process, and predictability: the use of neutral models for landscape analysis

    Turner, MGGardner, RH eds. Landscape EcologySpringer-VerlagNew York289307
    Google Scholar
  17. Gardner, R.H., Milne, B.T., Turner, M.G., O’Neill, R.V. 1987Neutral models for the analysis of broad-scale landscape patternLandscape Ecol.11928CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gardner, R.H., Turner, M.G., O’Neill, R.V., Lavorel, S. 1991

    Simulation of the scale-dependent effects of landscape boundaries on species persistence and dispersal

    Holland, M.M.Risser, P.G.Naiman, R.J. eds. Ecotones: the Role of Landscape Boundaries in the Management and Restoration of Changing EnvironmentsChapman and HallNew York, USA7689
    Google Scholar
  19. Geist H.J. and Lambin E.F. 2001. What drives tropical deforestation? A meta-analysis of proximate and underlying causes of deforestation based on subnational case study evidence. LUCC Report Series No. 4, CIACO, Louvain-la-NeuveBelgium.Google Scholar
  20. Gustafson, E.J., Parker, G.R. 1992Relationship between landcover proportion and indices of landscape spatial patternLandscape Ecol.7101110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gustafson, E.J., Crow, T.R. 1994Forest management alternatives in the hoosier-national-forestJ. Forest.922829Google Scholar
  22. Hargis, C.D., Bissonette, J.A., David, J.L. 1998The behavior of landscape metrics commonly used in the study of habitat fragmentationLandscape Ecol.13167186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. INPE (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais)2004Levantamento das áreas desflorestadas na Amazônia Legal no período 2002–2003: ResultadosMinistério de Ciência e TecnologiaSão José dos Campos, SP, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  24. King, A.W., With, K.A. 2002Dispersal success on spatially structured landscapes: when do spatial pattern and dispersal behavior really matter?Ecol. Model.1472339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Laurance, W.F. 2000Mega-development trends in the Amazon: implications for global changeEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment61113122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Laurance, W.F., Laurance, S.G., Ferreira, L.V., Rankin-de-Merona, J.M., Gascon, C., Lovejoy, T.E. 1997Biomass collapse in Amazonian Forest FragmentsScience27811171118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Laurance, W.F., Cochrane, M.A., Bergen, S., Fearnside, P.M., Delamonica, P., Barber, C., D′Angelo, S., Fernandes, T. 2001Environment – The future of the Brazilian AmazonScience291438439PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Li, H., Franklin, J.F., Swanson, F.J., Spies, T.A. 1993Developing alternative forest cutting patterns: a simulation approachLandscape Ecol.86375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mahar, D. 1988Government Policies and Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon RegionWorld BankWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  30. McIntyre, N.E., Wiens, J.A. 1999Interactions between habitat abundance and configuration: experimental validation of some predictions from percolation theoryOikos 86129137Google Scholar
  31. Metzger, J.P. 2001Effects of deforestation pattern and private nature reserves on the forest conservation in settlement areas of the Brazilian AmazonBiota Neotrop.1114Google Scholar
  32. Metzger, J.P. 2002Landscape dynamics and equilibrium in areas of slash-and-burn agriculture with short and long fallow period (Bragantina region, NE Brazilian Amazon)Landscape Ecol.17419431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Metzger, J.P., Décamps, H. 1997The structural connectivity threshold: an hypothesis in conservation biology at the landscape scaleActa Ecol.18112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mykra, S., Kurki, S., Nikula, A. 2000The spacing of mature forest habitat in relation to species-specific scales in managed boreal forests in NE FinlandAnnales Zool. Fennici37 7991Google Scholar
  35. Naugle, D.E., Higgins, K.F., Nusser, S.M., Johnson, W.C. 1999Scale-dependent habitat use in three species of prairie wetland birdsLandscape Ecol.14267276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Neel, M.C., McGarigal, K., Cushman, S.A. 2004Behavior of class-level landscape metrics across gradients of class aggregation and areaLandscape Ecol.19435455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nepstad, D.C., Klink, C.A., Uhl, C., Vieira, I.C., Lefebvre, P., Pedlowski, M., Matricardi, E., Negreiros, G., Brown, I.F., Amaral, E., Homma, A., Walker, R. 1997Land-use in Amazonia and the Cerrado of BrazilCiência e Cultura497386Google Scholar
  38. O’Neill, R.V., Milne, B.T., Turner, M.G., Gardner, R.H. 1988Resource utilization scales and landscapes patternLandscape Ecol.26369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. RADAMBRASIL1983Folha SC.21 Juruena. Levantamento de Recursos Naturais, Vol. 20Ministério das Minas e EnergiaRio de JaneiroRJ, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  40. Ripple, W.J., Bradshaw, G.A., Spies, T.A. 1991Measuring forest landscape patterns in the cascade range of Oregon, USABiol. Conserv.577388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Romme, W.H. 1982Fire and landscape diversity in subalpine forests of Yellowstone National ParkEcol. Monogr.52199221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Serra, J. 1982Image Analysis and Mathematic MorphologyAcademic pressNew York, USAGoogle Scholar
  43. Skole, D.L., Tucker, C.J. 1993Tropical deforestation, fragmented habitatand adversely affected habitat in the Brazilian Amazon: 1978– 1988Science26019051910PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Skole, D.L., Chomentowski, W.H., Salas, W.A., Nobre, A.D. 1994Physical and human dimensions of deforestation in AmazoniaBioscience44314322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Soares-Filho, B.S., Pennachin, C., Cerqueira, G.C. 2002DINAMICA – a stochastic cellular automata model designed to simulate the landscape dynamics in an Amazonian colonization frontierEcol. Model.154217235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Soares-Filho, B.S., Alencar, A., Nepstad, D., Cerqueira, G.C., Vera Diaz, M., Rivero, S., Solórzano, L., Voll, E. 2004Simulating the response of land-cover changes to road paving and governance along a major Amazon highway: the Santarém-Cuiabá corridorGlobal Change Biol.10745764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stauffer, D. 1985Introduction to Percolation TheoryTaylor & FrancisLondon, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  48. Trani, M.K., Giles, R.H. 1999An analysis of deforestation: metrics used to describe pattern changeForest Ecol. Manag.114459470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Turner, G.M., Gardner, R.H., Dale, V.H., O’Neill, R.V. 1989Predicting the spread of disturbance across heterogeneous landscapesOikos55121129Google Scholar
  50. Walker, R.T., Homma, A.K.O., Scatena, F.N., Conto, A.J., Rodrigues-Pedrazza, C.D., Ferreira, C.A.P. 1997Land cover evolution of small properties: the Transamazon HighwayRevista de Economia e Sociologia Rural35115126Google Scholar
  51. With, K.A. 1997The application of neutral landscape models in conservation biologyConserv. Biol.1110691080CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. With, K.A., Crist, T.O. 1995Critical threshold in species responses to landscape structureEcology7624462459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. With, K.A., King, A.W. 1999aDispersal success on fractal landscapes: a consequence of lacunarity thresholdsLandscape Ecol.1473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. With, K.A., King, A.W. 1999bExtinction thresholds for species in fractal landscapesConserv. Biol.13314326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. With, K.A., Gardner, R.H., Turner, M.G. 1997Landscape connectivity and population distributions in heterogeneous environmentsOikos78151169Google Scholar
  56. With, K.A., Cadret, S.J., Davis, C. 1999Movement responses to patch structure in experimental fractal landscapesEcology8013401353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. With, K.A., Pavuk, D.M., Worchuck, J.L., Oates, R.K., Fisher, J.L. 2002Threshold effects of landscape structure on biological control in agroecosystemsEcol. Appl.125265Google Scholar
  58. Zar, J.H. 1996Biostatistical AnalysisPrentice-HallUpper Saddle RiverNJ, USAGoogle Scholar
  59. Zipperer, W.C. 1993Deforestation patterns and their effects on forest patchesLandscape Ecol.8177184CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco José Barbosa Oliveira de Filho
    • 1
  • Jean Paul Metzger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology – Bioscience InstituteUniversity of São PauloSao PauloBrazil

Personalised recommendations