The floodplains (várzeas) of large Amazon rivers are among the most complex, biodiverse and productive freshwater ecosystems on the planet. Historically, these environments are responsible for delivering a wide array of ecosystems goods and services to the local population. However, the várzea socio-ecological functions are highly sensitive to forest-cover changes, which result in habitats loss and fragmentation that alter its functionality and its ability to provide many services. The process of forest cover change is not continuous in space and time, as it is subject to the successive economic cycles and occupation history of each region. In this context, this project will analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of várzea forests in different regions along the main channel of the Solimões/Amazonas River, identify the main factors responsible for these patterns, and evaluate their impacts on the integrity of forest ecosystems and on the welfare of the riparian communities. To accomplish these results, time series of Landsat images will be integrated with field information, such as interviews and floristic data. Results will allow a better understanding of the relationships among forest cover dynamics, forest ecosystem integrity and vulnerability and the welfare of riparian communities in the Amazon floodplain.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: