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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Effects of roads, topography, and land use on forest cover dynamics in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

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Freitas, Simone R. [1, 2] ; Hawbaker, Todd J. [3] ; Metzger, Jean Paul [2]
Total Authors: 3
[1] Fed Univ ABC, Ctr Nat & Human Sci, BR-09210170 Santo Andre, SP - Brazil
[2] Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Biosci, Dept Ecol, BR-05508900 Sao Paulo - Brazil
[3] Univ Wisconsin, Dept Forest Ecol & Management, Madison, WI 53706 - USA
Total Affiliations: 3
Document type: Journal article
Source: FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT; v. 259, n. 3, p. 410-417, JAN 25 2010.
Web of Science Citations: 67

Roads and topography can determine patterns of land use and distribution of forest cover, particularly in tropical regions. We evaluated how road density, land use, and topography affected forest fragmentation, deforestation and forest regrowth in a Brazilian Atlantic Forest region near the city of Sao Paulo. We mapped roads and land use/land cover for three years (1962, 1981 and 2000) from historical aerial photographs, and summarized the distribution of roads, land use/land cover and topography within a grid of 94 non-overlapping 100 ha squares. We used generalized least squares regression models for data analysis. Our models showed that forest fragmentation and deforestation depended on topography, land use and road density, whereas forest regrowth depended primarily on land use. However, the relationships between these variables and forest dynamics changed in the two studied periods; land use and slope were the strongest predictors from 1962 to 1981, and past (1962) road density and land use were the strongest predictors for the following period (1981-2000). Roads had the strongest relationship with deforestation and forest fragmentation when the expansions of agriculture and buildings were limited to already deforested areas, and when there was a rapid expansion of development, under influence of Sao Paulo city. Furthermore, the past(1962)road network was more important than the recent road network (1981) when explaining forest dynamics between 1981 and 2000, suggesting a long-term effect of roads. Roads are permanent scars on the landscape and facilitate deforestation and forest fragmentation due to increased accessibility and land valorization, which control land-use and land-cover dynamics. Topography directly affected deforestation, agriculture and road expansion, mainly between 1962 and 1981. Forest are thus in peril where there are more roads, and long-term conservation strategies should consider ways to mitigate roads as permanent landscape features and drivers facilitators of deforestation and forest fragmentation. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 00/01587-5 - Relationships between the pattern of relief and the diversity of tree species in fragments of the Atlantic Rainforest in the region of Caucaia, São Paulo
Grantee:William Goulart da Silva
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master
FAPESP's process: 99/05123-4 - Biodiversity conservation in fragmented landscapes at the Atlantic Plateau of São Paulo (Brazil)
Grantee:Jean Paul Walter Metzger
Support type: BIOTA-FAPESP Program - Thematic Grants