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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(11), 886; doi:10.3390/rs8110886

Forest Fragmentation in the Lower Amazon Floodplain: Implications for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Provision to Riverine Populations

1
Remote Sensing Division (DSR), Brazilian Institute for Space Research (INPE), Av. dos Astronautas 1758, São José dos Campos 12227-010, São Paulo, Brazil
2
Image Processing Division (DPI), Brazilian Institute for Space Research (INPE), Av. dos Astronautas 1758, São José dos Campos 12227-010, São Paulo, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Parth Sarathi Roy and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 1 July 2016 / Revised: 13 September 2016 / Accepted: 17 October 2016 / Published: 27 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring of Land Changes)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5154 KB, uploaded 27 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

This article analyzes the process of forest fragmentation of a floodplain landscape of the Lower Amazon over a 30-year period and its implications for the biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services to the riverine population. To this end, we created a multi-temporal forest cover map based on Landsat images, and then analyzed the fragmentation dynamics through landscape metrics. From the analyses of the landscape and bibliographic information, we made inferences regarding the potential impacts of fragmentation on the biodiversity of trees, birds, mammals and insects. Subsequently, we used data on the local populations’ environmental perception to assess whether the inferred impacts on biodiversity are perceived by these populations and whether the ecosystem services related to the biodiversity of the addressed groups are compromised. The results show a 70% reduction of the forest habitat as well as important changes in the landscape structure that constitute a high degree of forest fragmentation. The perceived landscape alterations indicate that there is great potential for compromise of the biodiversity of trees, birds, mammals and insects. The field interviews corroborate the inferred impacts on biodiversity and indicate that the ecosystem services of the local communities have been compromised. More than 95% of the communities report a decreased variety and/or abundance of animal and plant species, 46% report a decrease in agricultural productivity, and 19% confirm a higher incidence of pests during the last 30 years. The present study provides evidence of an accelerated process of degradation of the floodplain forests of the Lower Amazon and indicate substantial compromise of the ecosystem services provision to the riverine population in recent decades, including reductions of food resources (animals and plants), fire wood, raw material and medicine, as well as lower agricultural productivity due to probable lack of pollination, impoverishment of the soil and an increase of pests. View Full-Text
Keywords: Amazon floodplain; forest fragmentation; remote sensing; biodiversity; ecosystem services; riverine population Amazon floodplain; forest fragmentation; remote sensing; biodiversity; ecosystem services; riverine population
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Renó, V.; Novo, E.; Escada, M. Forest Fragmentation in the Lower Amazon Floodplain: Implications for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Provision to Riverine Populations. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 886.

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