International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Open Access)

On the extent of fire-induced forest degradation in Mato Grosso, Brazilian Amazon, in 2000, 2005 and 2010

Jukka Miettinen A C D , Yosio E. Shimabukuro A B , René Beuchle A , Rosana C. Grecchi A , Marcela Velasco Gomez A , Dario Simonetti A and Frédéric Achard A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES), Forest Resource and Climate Unit, 21027 Ispra, Italy.

B Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE), 12227 São José dos Campos, Brazìl.

C Present address: Centre for Remote Imaging, Sensing and Processing, National University of Singapore, 119076 Singapore, Singapore.

D Corresponding author. Email: jimietti@yahoo.com

International Journal of Wildland Fire 25(2) 129-136 https://doi.org/10.1071/WF15036
Submitted: 6 February 2015  Accepted: 20 October 2015   Published: 23 December 2015

Abstract

In this paper we analyse the extent of fire-induced forest degradation in Mato Grosso State, Brazil. We utilise a sample based approach used in a previous pan-tropical deforestation survey to derive information on land cover and burned areas in the two major biomes of Mato Grosso: Amazon and Cerrado. Land cover and burned area are mapped for three years (2000–2005–2010) over 77 sample sites (10 000 ha each) distributed systematically throughout the state which covers 90.337 Mha. Our results indicate continuing forest degradation by fires in the state and potentially increasing fire susceptibility of the Amazon forests, regardless of the decrease in deforestation. 2010 witnessed the most extensive fire-induced forest degradation (~300 000 ha) in the forests of the Amazon biome among the study years, regardless of the fact that the fire season was less severe than in 2005. Deforestation in the Amazon biome in Mato Grosso dropped from 590 000 ha year–1 in the 2000–2005 period to 190 000 ha year–1 in the second half of the decade. The findings of this study advocate the inclusion of forest fire effects into carbon accounting initiatives.

Additional keywords: forest fires, Landsat, sampling, tropical forest.


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