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Regional trends of land use/land cover transformation in Brazil during 2001—2012 were analyzed in the following order: 1) identification of the types of transitions for different land use and land cover categories and aggregated groups of transformation processes based on the Global Land Cover Facility datasets, 2) analysis of national agricultural and forestry statistics to find out the principal socioeconomic drivers, 3)  land cover and land use data merging to elaborate comprehensive typology of land use/land cover changes on a regional level. The study evealed 96 types of transitions between land cover categories, aggregated into 10 groups corresponding to driving processes. It was found that the main processes of land cover transformations is related to both natural and anthropogenic origins. Cropping and deforestation are anthropogenic processes, flooding and draining are the principal natural ones. Transformation of cultivated lands and reforestation are combined natural and anthropogenic. The contribution of natural factors is higher in the states of the North (Amazonia) and the Northeast macroregions; in the Center-West and the South anthropogenic factors make larger contribution. We have also detected considerable land use/land cover changes caused by agricultural development in densely populated states of the Southeast and the South. In both macroregions planted area expands due to increase of soybeans and sugar cane production, while area of pastures is shrinking. The trends of transformations of agricultural land use revealed as a result of statistical data analysis, match with transitions of land cover categories belonging to the aggregated group of cropping processes. Transformations of land cover types with predominance of shrub vegetation were the most problematic to interpret because of lack of comparable statistical data on pastures.


About the Authors

O. Klimanova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
Associate Professor at the Department of World Physical Geography and Geoecology

A. Naumov
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
graduated from the Faculty of Geography of Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU), where in 1990 he also got his Ph.D degree. Dr. Naumov is Associate Professor and Head of Department of Social and Economic Geography of Foreign Countries at the Faculty of Geography of MSU, lecturer for courses “Geography of World Agriculture” and “Social and Economic Geography of Latin America”

Yu. Greenfieldt
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
Senior Scientist at the Department of World Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of Geography, Ph.D. in Geography

R. B. Prado
EMBRAPA National Soils Research center (Embrapa Solos), Rio de Janeiro
graduated in Biological Sciences from the Federal University of São Carlos, has master and doctor degree in Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of São Paulo, specializing in Planning and Water Management from the Federal University of the Amazon (Brazil)

D. Tretyachenko
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
graduated from the Faculty of Geography


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For citation:

Klimanova O., Naumov A., Greenfieldt Y., Prado R.B., Tretyachenko D. REGIONAL TRENDS OF LAND USE AND LAND COVER TRANSFORMATION IN BRAZIL IN 2001-2012. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2017;10(4):98-116.

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