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Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 574-585; doi:10.3390/su4040574

Remote Sensing Time Series to Evaluate Direct Land Use Change of Recent Expanded Sugarcane Crop in Brazil

Remote Sensing Division (DSR), National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Av. dos Astronautas 1758, São José dos Campos, São Paulo 12227-010, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 February 2012 / Revised: 23 March 2012 / Accepted: 26 March 2012 / Published: 2 April 2012
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The use of biofuels to mitigate global carbon emissions is highly dependent on direct and indirect land use changes (LUC). The direct LUC (dLUC) can be accurately evaluated using remote sensing images. In this work we evaluated the dLUC of about 4 million hectares of sugarcane expanded from 2005 to 2010 in the South-central region of Brazil. This region has a favorable climate for rain-fed sugarcane, a great potential for agriculture expansion without deforestation, and is currently responsible for almost 90% of Brazilian’s sugarcane production. An available thematic map of sugarcane along with MODIS and Landast images, acquired from 2000 to 2009, were used to evaluate the land use prior to the conversion to sugarcane. A systematic sampling procedure was adopted and the land use identification prior to sugarcane, for each sample, was performed using a web tool developed to visualize both the MODIS time series and the multitemporal Landsat images. Considering 2000 as reference year, it was observed that sugarcane expanded: 69.7% on pasture land; 25.0% on annual crops; 0.6% on forest; while 3.4% was sugarcane land under crop rotation. The results clearly show that the dLUC of recent sugarcane expansion has occurred on more than 99% of either pasture or agriculture land.
Keywords: LUC; biofuels; monitoring; MODIS LUC; biofuels; monitoring; MODIS

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Adami, M.; Rudorff, B.F.T.; Freitas, R.M.; Aguiar, D.A.; Sugawara, L.M.; Mello, M.P. Remote Sensing Time Series to Evaluate Direct Land Use Change of Recent Expanded Sugarcane Crop in Brazil. Sustainability 2012, 4, 574-585.

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