What is it about?

Tropical forests are threatened by human activities, which result in deforestation and degradation. However, multiple land-use and land-cover transitions are occurring in tropical landscapes, and we do not know how these transitions differ in terms of their rates and impacts on the ecosystem. This study investigated the impacts of 18 land-use and land-cover transitions on >2000 species of seven biodiversity groups, four carbon pools and seven soil properties.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Our findings show that deforestation for pasture was the most prevalent and high-impact transition in the Brazilian Amazon, although other less prevalent transitions also caused a reduction in biodiversity and carbon stocks and altered soil properties. Of all the ecosystem properties we studied, biodiversity was the most affected by all land-use and land-cover transitions. We show the importance of considering the multiple transitions and ecosystem properties to understand the current state and future of tropical forest landscapes.


Our results have revealed a richer understanding of how people are affecting the Amazon and its ecosystem. However, we also highlighted the additional benefits of avoiding degradation and enhancing the permanence of secondary forests. Our analysis helps to define and prioritise the local and regional actions required to stimulate a better Amazonia.

Cássio Alencar Nunes
Universidade Federal de Lavras

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Linking land-use and land-cover transitions to their ecological impact in the Amazon, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2202310119.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page