Land Use, Land Cover and Land Use Change in the Brazilian Amazon (1960–2013)

  • Jean P. OmettoEmail author
  • Eráclito R. Sousa-Neto
  • Graciela Tejada
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 227)


Tropical forests play a critical role in the global carbon budget, and the Amazon region in South America has particular importance since it represents half the world’s rainforest area and is home to one-third of Earth’s species. In the recent past, parts of Brazilian Amazon faced high rates of deforestation, and this process has led to changes in the environment and society. Since the 1960s, strategies for the occupation of Brazilian Amazon have promoted land use and land cover change that led to deforesting of about 18 % of the original vegetation cover. The main drivers of changes in land use and land cover in the past 50 years have been infrastructure development, financial incentives to land occupation, agriculture and pasture. Deforestation has affected biodiversity, soil structure, hydrological regime and local climate, and, through a positive feedback, it is likely to be affecting regional climate beyond the Amazon basin. We provide an overview of the extent and dynamics of land use and land use change in Brazilian Amazon forest from 1960 to 2013 and discuss the environmental and social aspects related to the deforestation process.


Land use and land cover change Deforestation Environmental change Brazilian Amazon forest 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean P. Ometto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eráclito R. Sousa-Neto
    • 1
  • Graciela Tejada
    • 1
  1. 1.Earth System Science Centre (CCST)—National Institute for Space Research (INPE)São José dos CamposBrazil

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