Friday, May 26, 2017

Land Changes Fostering Atlantic Forest Transition in Brazil: Evidence from the Paraíba Valley.

In the wake of the modernization happening in Brazil a forest transition is happening in Paraiba Valley. In order to analyze this phenomenon the history of this land must be looked at. The forest cover over Paraiba Valley traditionally showed a period of afforestation followed by a period of deforestation. As the Brazil experienced industrialization the opening of plantations, specifically eucalyptus, was seen across the Paraiba Valley. In the wake of Brazil's globalization the eucalyptus plantations decreased in production and some even abandoned.

To analyze this forest transition a cross-temporal map was made of the Paraiba Valley over 1985 to 2011. Using data from Landsat-5 TM, Rapid Eye, and field data forest cover changes were able to be seen and analyzed. The article focus on the deforestation and the cumulative gross rate of forest gain; at fist glance it is seen that stable forests are declining while at the same time gross rate of forest gain is increasing greatly. However, upon further observations of the classes used, it is seen that degraded pasture or used land is the "forest" that is growing as a response to the eucalyptus plantations being abandoned.

In conclusion it was seen that this forest transition, from stable forest to degraded pasture land, can be attributed to the socioeconomic constraints experienced by Brazil. The industrialization led to the clearing of forests while years later, once abandoned, nature begins to grow back showing net forest gain despite obvious deforestation.

Bicudo da Silva, R. F., Batistella, M., Moran, E. F., & Lu, D. (2017). Land Changes Fostering Atlantic Forest Transition in Brazil: Evidence from the Paraíba Valley. Professional Geographer69(1), 80-93


  1. The argument was set up very logically and effectively. Good job.

  2. It's very interesting that areas with degraded pasture land also count as areas with forest gain, as I would have thought they were still too affected my human activities to truly count as forested. I wonder at what point during the reforestation process pasture land is considered to be forested again, and if this is truly an accurate measurement of how "reclaimed" or "wild" these areas are.

  3. Hopefully while nature is continuing to grow in the Paraiba Valley human activity will not come back to degrade it again. Your article shows how the earth heals itself through time and only done when it's being left alone from humans but when people arrive its efforts can be destroyed by them within a day.