Open Journal of Forestry
2013. Vol.3, No.1, 49-56
Published Online January 2013 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 49
The Role of Physical and Political Factors on the Conservation of
Native Vegetation in the Brazilian Forest-Savanna Ecotone
Henrique O. Sawakuchi1, Maria Victoria R. Ballester1, Manuel Eduardo Ferreira2
1Center of Nuclear Energy in Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, Brazil
2Social-Environmental Studies Institute/LAPIG, Federal University of Goiás, Goiânia, Brazil
Received September 6th, 2012; revised October 18th, 2012; accepted October 29th, 2012
The Araguaia River Basin covers a considerable extent of Brazilian Savanna (locally called Cerrado) and
part of Amazon Tropical Rainforest, embracing high biodiversity and a vast flooding area. This region has
been converted to agricultural lands since 1970s, for the past four decades, leading to a fragmented land-
scape that holds one of the few large remaining blocks of Cerrado primary vegetation. Therefore, to as-
sess the degree of preservation of this area a 2007 primary vegetation map was derived through Boolean
operations using land use and land cover maps from 1975, 1985, 1996 and 2007, from digital classifica-
tion of Landsat MSS and TM images. To evaluate the role of driving factors on the presence of pristine
vegetation, a logistic regression analyses was performed. Tested factors were: distance from roads and
cities, terrain slope, land tenure, soil fertility and flooding. We found statistical significant values (p < .05)
showing that distance from roads and cities, the increase in slope, the presence of protected areas, indige-
nous lands, wetlands and areas with low fertility have positive influence on the presence and maintenance
of these pristine areas. The occurrence of original vegetation in many cases is associated with environ-
mental constraints that difficult or do not allow agricultural use. Analysis of physical and political factors,
which may have direct or indirect influence on the conservation and degradation of native vegetation are
very important for the comprehension of the dynamics of regional land use, and provide supporting in-
formation for a more efficient and sustainable regional landscape planning.
Keywords: Amazon-Cerrado Transition; Pristine Vegetation; Driving Factors; Deforestation; Araguaia
River Basin; Regional Planning
The expansion of agricultural frontier in the tropics has been
identified as one of the main drivers of deforestation (Alves et
al., 2009; Geist & Lambin, 2001). In Brazil, since 1980s, al-
though Savanna biome (locally known as Cerrado) has been
converted to agricultural lands at higher rates than those found
for the Amazon, most of the attention to the consequences of
land use and land cover change has been focused in Tropical
Rain Forest ecosystems (Alves et al., 1999; Batistella & Moran,
2005; Cardille & Foley, 2003; Fearnside, 2006; Laurance et al.,
2004; Mahar, 1989).
Spatially, forest clearance in Brazilian Amazon has been
mainly concentrated at the deforestation arc (Ferreira et al.,
2005), encompassing the south, east and west boundaries of the
Tropical Rain Forest and a transition zone between this biome
and the Cerrado. This transition zone includes about 600 hun-
dred km2 of savannas located in the drainage basins of To-
cantins and Araguaia Rivers. Since 1970s, intense farming ac-
tivities, agricultural expansion and inappropriate land manage-
ment have already resulted in active erosion at the head waters
of the Araguaia River Basin, causing indirect impacts at the
middle portion of the basin (Latrubesse & Stevaux, 2006; Coe
et al., 2011). Due to its high biodiversity and vast flooding area,
the alluvial zone of the Araguaia and the Bananal lowland re-
gions were identified by the Brazilian Ministry of Environment
as a priority area for conservation (MMA, 2010). Nevertheless,
only few studies about the degree of conservation of the natu-
ral vegetation have been carried out in this region.
Conservation of the Araguaia-Bananal area, as well as other
Cerrado large areas, is mainly related to regions where there is
at least one factor preventing agriculture expansion, such as
terrain slope, shallow soils and flooded areas (Machado et al.,
2004). As a complex phenomenon, the origin of deforestation
can be attributed to a series of factors (Alencar et al., 2004),
related to local, regional and global scale processes. In the
Amazon, many studies have shown that increasing in deforesta-
tion was related to tax incentives (Mahar, 1989; Nepstad et al.,
2001), national economy (Alencar et al., 2004), wood industry,
agriculture and cattle raising expansion (Alencar et al., 2004;
Asner et al., 2009; Margulis, 2004; Walker et al., 2009), roads
construction (Alves et al., 2009; Ballester et al., 2003), low
slope, soil properties, among others. In this scenario, an impor-
tant strategy to decrease deforestation is the public conserva-
tion policies aiming the creation of conservation units of inte-
gral preservation, sustainable use of natural resources and in-
digenous lands (Alencar et al., 2004).
Most studies about drive factors are focused on deforestation
processes and there is a lack of information concerning what
factors are responsible for preventing native vegetation losses.
Therefore, the main objectives of this study were: 1) identify
and quantify pristine vegetation in the middle Araguaia River
basin and 2) analyze the influence of roads, cities, slope, land
tenure, soil fertility, and flooding regime in the occurrence of
primary vegetation remnants.
Study Area
The Araguaia River is part of the Araguaia-Tocantins Basin,
draining areas of Tropical Rain Forest and Cerrado biomes, and
considered one the South America most important riverine and
wetland system (ANA, 2008). The study area covers 166,000
km2, located in the central portion of the Araguaia River Basin,
in central Brazil. This area encompasses part of the Tocantins,
Mato Grosso, Pará and Goiás States, in the transition zone be-
tween Tropical Rain Forest and Cerrado, covering three quar-
ters of the studied landscape (Figure 1). The natural heteroge-
neity of vegetation physiognomies, associated with increasing
human disturbances, generated a complex dynamic change in
native vegetation structure and configuration of the landscape.
The main Cerrado physiognomies found in the study area are:
Grasslands, Shrublands and Forestlands, whereas dominant
forest physiognomies are Open Rainforest (IBGE, 2004) and
Transitional Forest, which is the most threatened physiognomy
in Amazon. Its continuous loss has raised concerns, not only
because of its ecological value (still poorly known), but also
due to its open structure that makes it more susceptive to fires
(Alencar et al., 2004).
The Araguaia is one of the main river basin draining the
Cerrado biome, and includes the most important wetland of
Central Brazil (Latrubesse et al., 2009), a quaternary alluvial
lowland well developed and extending for more than 1100 km
from Registro do Araguaia to Conceição do Araguaia (Carvalho
et al., 2009; Latrubesse & Stevaux, 2006). In the northern part
of this sedimentary basin is located the Bananal island, the
largest fluvial island of the world. During the rainy season, a
vast area of the Bananal plain is flooded. The vegetation is do-
minated by Grasslands and Riparian Forest, and in higher zones
by Cerrado Woodland and Alluvial Forest (Diegues, 2002).
Livestock is the dominant economic activity in this region,
where productive areas can be planted or natural pastures. The
native grasslands in the flooded areas of the Bananal lowland
maintain a reasonable capacity for cattle rising during the dry
season (Diegues, 2002).
The climate of the study area is warm and seasonally humid,
Figure 1.
Localization of the study area in the middle Araguaia River basin and
the biomes that the area encompasses.
with an annual mean precipitation of 1755 mm and mean mon-
thly temperatures ranging from 25.1˚C in January to 26.4˚C in
September. The dry season is from May to September (mean
relative humidity of 40%), while the wet season is from Octo-
ber to April (mean relative humidity of 90%) (Borma et al.,
2009). Plinth and Concretionary soils are the dominant soil
types of the region, where can also be found Hydromorphic
soils, Ox soils and Quartz sands (SEPLAN, 2008). The first two
types present agricultural limitation due to low drainage and
presence of ferruginous concretion, respectively (Coutinho,
Primary Vegetation Mapping
A 2007 primary vegetation map was derived through Boo-
lean operations using land use and land cover maps from 1975,
1985, 1996 and 2007. These maps were obtained from Landsat
Multispectral Scanner (MSS) for 1975 and Thematic Mapper
(TM) for other years. Images were processed in ERDAS-IM-
AGE (version 9.2) using hybrid classification, composed by an
unsupervised followed by a supervised methodology (Yu & Ng,
2006). The accuracy assessment was performed for 2007 by
calculating overall accuracy and Kappa index using 287 ground
truth points. The classification was considered good, with an
overall accuracy of 85.02% and overall Kappa statistics of 0.75.
Native vegetation was separated in three different classes,
defined according to the vegetation structure: 1) Forest, com-
prehending Dry Forest, Wooded Cerrado and Riparian Forest; 2)
Cerrado Grassland, including all grassland dominated physiog-
nomies and 3) Cerrado Woodland for shrubs dominated areas.
To generate the final map, the three classes for each date were
reclassified into one, called native vegetation. Finally, a simple
Boolean operation was employed to select those areas of un-
changed cover until 2007, eliminating re-growth regions. The
2007 native vegetation map was used to mask the different
classes of native vegetation again, resulting in a map of pristine
Forest, Cerrado Grassland and Cerrado Woodland remnants in
Driving Facto r s for N a ti ve Veget atio n Conservation
The presence of native vegetation in Amazon is mainly mo-
tivated by isolation and existence of protected areas (Bruner et
al., 2001), while deforested regions are related to roads and
cities proximity (Alves et al., 1999; Ballester et al., 2003; Batis-
tella & Moran, 2005). Therefore, to identify drivers of pristine
vegetation remnants in our study area, we selected six factors: 1)
roads distances; 2) cities distances; 3) terrain slope; 4) land
tenure; 5) fertility; and 6) presence of flooding areas (Figure 2).
Due to Landsat-MSS cell resolution we standardized the spatial
resolution of all grid cell maps in 80 meters.
Roads, cities and fertility maps were obtained from a digital
library available at IBAMA Remote Sensing Center
( We used only state and
federal roads, totalizing 3350 km, of which 1884 km are paved.
Roads and cities distance maps were derived by calculating the
Euclidean distance perpendicular to them (Figures 2(a) and
(b)). Due to high distance values, their distribution were cor-
rected by applying a logarithmic transformation (Serneels &
Lambin, 2001).
The slope map, in percent, was derived from a Digital Eleva-
tion Model obtained by processing Shuttle Radar Topographic
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Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 51
Figure 2.
Analyzed factors maps that can influence the occurrence of primary native vegetation in the middle Araguaia River basin: (a) Distance to roads;
(b) Distance to cities; (c) Slope; (d) Land tenure; (e) Fertility; and (f) Presence of flooding areas.
Mission (SRTM) data from EMBRAPA satellite monitoring
unit ( As shown in Figure
2(c), there is an extensive flat area dominating the south and
central part of the landscape, and areas with high slope con-
centrated in northwest and northeast regions.
The flooded areas map was extracted from the South Ame-
rica Vegetation Map developed by Eva et al. (2002). These
areas are concentrated in the central portion of the study region,
encompassing over 17,480 km2 (Figure 2(f)). In this case non-
flooded area was used as reference for the calculation.
Land tenure map encompasses private lands, indigenous land,
state and federal conservation units—divided into integral pro-
tection (State and National Parks, and Wildlife Refuge) and
sustainable for use (Environmental Protection Areas). Data
were downloaded from a digital library available at the Bra-
zilian Ministry of Environment (
Statistical Analyzes
To determine the influence of each factor on the presence or
absence of primary vegetation, a binary logistic regression
analysis was performed using the maximum likelihood method
in Minitab software, with p-value coefficients lower than 0.05.
This analysis estimates the coefficient value, standard deviation
and p value for each variable, indicating the effect (positive or
negative) that each predictive variable has on a response va-
riable. Furthermore, for categorical data are possible to verify
the weight that each variable class has in relation to the pre-
sence of primary vegetation. As these analyses only test binary
variables, the native cover classes were grouped in one class
showing the presence or absence of native vegetation.
The majority of conservation units and indigenous lands of
the Araguaia basin are located in the study area and cover
around 30% of the area (Figure 2(d)). To calculate coefficients
of Land Tenure classes, private areas were used as reference.
Soil fertility data were obtained from the agricultural suit-
ability map of Brazil (IBAMA dataset,
br/sitecsr/). In general, soils in the study area are dominated by
low fertility classes. The dominant class was “Very low fer-
tility” to “Low fertility”, localized in the central zone from
south to north. The second dominant class was “Low fertility”,
concentrated along the main rivers and in the west side of the
study area (Figure 2(e)). The reference class used for soil fer-
tility coefficients calculations was “Low”, an intermediate class,
allowing the visualization of higher and lower classes.
Data sampling was carried on using 50,000 random points
distributed in the study area with a minimal distance of 100 m
from each other, avoiding sampling in the same pixel (Chomitz
& Gray, 1996; Mertens & Lambin, 2000; Serneels & Lambin,
2001; Ugon, 2004). These points were used to extract the in-
formation from all maps and build a matrix.
Pristine vegetation in 2007 comprised an area of 86,800 km2,
which is equivalent to 52.3% of the study area. This vegetation
was mainly concentrated at the central portion of the landscape,
where an extensive area of Cerrado Grassland was found. Cer-
rado Woodland areas occurred mainly along the edges of Cer-
rado Grassland, and were concentrated at the east and south-
west regions. Despite the fact that the original area of forest
extended from the north to the southwest border, larger rem-
nants patches were denser in the central part of the landscape
(Figure 3).
Forest was the dominant physiognomy, encompassing 25%
(41,430 km2) of the landscape, followed by Cerrado Grassland
and Cerrado Woodland, covering 16.6% (27,640 km2) and
10.7% (17,732 km2) of the study area, respectively (Figure 4).
Table 1 presents the results from the logistic regression
model applied to evaluate how some regional factors influence
Figure 3.
Primary vegetation map in the middle Araguaia River basin in
ForestCerrado GrasslandCerrado Woodland
Area (km²)
Figure 4.
Area covered for each physiognomy of native vegetation.
Table 1.
Coefficients values of the factors involved with presence and absence
of primary native vegetation and its effect in the maintenance of this
Predictor Co efficient p Effect
Distance from Roads 0.314 0.00 Positive
Distance from Cities 0.130 0.00 Positive
Slope 0.019 0.00 Positive
Land Tenure
Integral Protection 0.878 0.00 Positive
Indigenous Land 0.622 0.00 Positive
Sustainable Use 0.054 0.08 -
Low to Medium 0.478 0.00 Negative
Medium 0.638 0.00 Negative
Very Low 0.025 0.55 -
Very Low to Low 0.354 0.00 Positive
Flooded Area
Flooded 0.291 0.00 Positive
For categorical data as Land tenure, Fertility and Flooded area the calculation of
each class was done using private areas, Low fertility, and non-flooded areas, res-
pectively, as reference.
the maintenance the amount of primary vegetation still remain-
ing in the middle Araguaia River basin. Terrain physical char-
acteristics, evaluated as slope and soil fertility, have an opposite
effect on the presence of primary vegetation. A positive rela-
tionship was found between slope increase and presence of
forest. While flatter areas are preferred for implementation of
agricultural crops, remnants of forest tended to concentrate at
steeper areas (Coefficient 0.019) (Figure 5(a)). In contrast, soil
fertility had a negative impact on native vegetation cover. Areas
with more fertile soil are preferable for agricultural practices
and therefore, pristine vegetation remnants concentrate on very
low to low fertility soils (Coefficient 0.354). These soils were
cover by 22% of the remaining Forest, 25% of the Cerrado
Grassland and 13% of the Cerrado Woodland areas (Figure
Natural flooding events affected about 10% of the study area
and have a positive influence in the maintenance of pristine
areas (Coefficient 0.291). Of the extent of flooded systems
(17,400 km2) 71% were cover by natural vegetation, with For-
est encompassing 18% and Cerrado 53%. In private lands found
in these ecosystems, agriculture and pasture areas covered 31%,
since they are less suitable for agricultural practices (Figure
The evaluation of the role of land tenure showed that the
presence of conservation units of integral protection and in-
digenous lands had a positive influence on primary vegetation
and presented the higher coefficient values, 0.878 and 0.622,
respectively. Of the total remaining natural vegetation in 2007,
27% of Forest, 41% of Cerrado Grassland and 13% of Cerrado
Woodland were found in these areas (Figure 5(d)).
Distance from roads and cities showed an expected pattern of
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0-33-12 12-45>45
Slope (percent )
Area (percent)
Medium Low
to medium
Low Very low
to low
Very low
Soil fertility
Periodic Absent
Fooding regime
Area (percent)
Integra l
Land t e nu re
0-11-55-1010-20 >20
Road distance (km)
Area (percent)
0-11-55-1010-20 >20
City distance (km)
Tropical forest
Open cerrado
Cerrado stricto sensu
Agriculture and pasture
Figure 5.
Relative contribution of land cover and land use areas for each analyzed factor classes.
positive influence in the presence of primary vegetation. Larger
areas covered with native forest are found as the distance from
roads increases (Coefficient 0.314); of the total Forest remnants,
70% were at least at 10 km from a road, while for Cerrado
Grassland and Cerrado Woodland this value was 86% and 66%,
respectively. A similar pattern was found for distance from
cities, but the lower coefficient value (0.130) indicates a less
intense relationship (Figures 5(e) and (f)).
In Brazilian Amazon, deforestation is primarily related to
road development (Laurance et al., 2002) and governmental
colonization programs (Alves et al., 1999; Batistella & Moran,
2005; Ferreira et al., 2007). Moreover, infrastructure imple-
mentation and government policy are the primary drivers con-
trolling time and spatial scales of deforestation in most cases
(Ballester et al., 2003). In general, this process begins with
official or unofficial roads opening and paving in a preserved
region, which in turn allow access to illegal wood exploitation,
followed by conversion to pasture for cattle and crops (Ferreira
et al., 2005; Yoshikawa & Sanga-Ngoie, 2011). Previous stud-
ies in the Amazon region have shown that deforestation is more
intense and concentrated near roads, with up to 90% of forest
clearing occurring within a 20 km buffer from a road (Ballester
et al., 2003; Ferreira 2001; Gils & Ugon, 2006; Kirby et al.,
2006; Ludeke et al., 1990; Nepstad et al., 2001), suggesting
their influence in the increase of land cover conversion.
Road network construction and highway modernization are
the main threats to preservation of large areas of pristine vege-
tation, facilitating access to logging, migration and farming
(Primack, 2002). The simple announcement of roads opening or
improvements usually generates a speculative land rush that
consequently can lead to a significant deforestation increase
(Fearnside, 2006). Results from several modeling studies using
this scenario (Ferreira et al., 2005; Laurance et al., 2001; Soares
et al., 2004; Soares-Filho et al., 2005) have shown that public
policy to control deforestation and land use planning play a key
role in reducing the impact of roads construction and improve-
ment on native vegetation.
Despite the fact that urban center proximity has a negative
impact in forest preservation, its influence showed a different
spatial effect on primary vegetation remnants distribution.
While distance from roads presented a large effect in recent
deforestation, our statistical analysis shows that distance from
an urban center was more important at clearing initial stages,
when nearer areas were preferred due to their proximity
(Mertens & Lambin, 2000). This pattern emerges in areas lo-
cated at cities closer surroundings. When these surroundings
are occupied for agriculture and livestock activities, it is neces-
sary to go increasingly far through roads, which in turn in-
creases their influence in deforestation. In general, distance
from roads and cities tend to have high correlation with defor-
estation and the presence of primary vegetation remnants, since
the increase of migration, emergence and growth of urban areas
are dependent on existing roads linking cities and facilitating
agricultural production flow to other consumers markets.
The positive influence of slope can be associated with the
major economic activity of the region, cattle rising, which do-
minates in planted and native pastures in low slope regions of
the landscape. Nevertheless, during field surveys we were able
to determinate that native pastures grow in moderate slope ar-
eas, as well as in flat flooded regions, resulting in the low ob-
served coefficient value. Moreover, even in some cases in
which land cover of these portions of the landscape has not
changed, they have been impacted by human use and manage-
ment practices of native pastures. A significant relationship
between forest conversion in flat and not flooded areas was
found for tropical forest conversion in Bolivia (Ugon, 2004).
However, topography was irrelevant in forest conversion pre-
diction models because road influence is stronger than the bar-
rier effect of high slope (Gils & Ugon, 2006), reinforcing the
weight that new roads have on deforestation.
Integral protection areas were the most effective for conser-
vation. Similar pattern was observed for Peruvian Amazon
(Oliveira et al., 2007). The low coefficient value of the “sust-
ainable use” class was related to the agricultural and pasture use
allowed in these conservation units. For the study area, the sus-
tainable use class is equivalent to what is classified in Brazil as
Environmental Protection Areas, which enables human occupa-
tion and is one of the less restrictive types of conservation unit
in the National System of Conservation Units (Brasil, 2002).
However, a high p-value (0.08) does not enable any considera-
tion about the coefficient value of this class. The proportion of
deforested areas within protected areas, such as conservation
units of integral protection, sustainable use and indigenous land,
was lower than outside them, indicating their importance as
mechanisms to hold or slow down deforestation processes. The
same pattern was found in other tropical areas. For instance, in
Belize low rates of deforestation were found within the limits of
national parks (Chomitz & Gray, 1996), while in Bolivia was
verified that land with owners tend to be less invaded by set-
tlers, preventing illegal occupation and consequently deforesta-
tion (Gils & Ugon, 2006).
As expected, logistic regression values showed a pattern in
which the best fertility classes of the region have a negative
influence in the presence of primary vegetation, while lower
fertility classes have a positive influence in their maintenance.
Although such pattern was expected, with the advance of agri-
cultural techniques, large areas previously inappropriate for
agriculture have now become available (Gils & Ugon, 2006).
The class “Very low” was not considered due to its high p-va-
lue (0.55), which can be attributed to various mixtures of land
cover classes in areas within this fertility class.
The Araguaia sedimentary plain is considered the most pro-
mising area for expansion of rice cropping in Brazil (EM-
BRAPA, 2008). The surroundings of Bananal Island, called
Javaés Valley, were regarded as particularly suitable for this
culture (Collicchio, 2008), and already have irrigation projects
to produce different agricultural crops (Collicchio, 2006). Al-
though all these projects have resulted in the conversion of
large areas of native vegetation, which are adapted to the flood-
ing regime, the occurrence of flooding have a positive influence
in the maintenance of pristine vegetation. Nevertheless, this
result can be related to land tenure, which could have a strong
effect over this variable due to the overlap of indigenous land
and integral protection conservation units with flooded areas,
preventing the implantation of agricultural projects.
The effectiveness to preserve native vegetation within con-
servation units is not always easily achieved because deforesta-
tion will be greater if parks are closer to the capital cities, in
sites closer to federal roads and on lower slopes (Pfaff et al.,
2009). In some cases, the presence of pristine areas can be as-
sociated not only with conservation units but also with the local
characteristics where they were created. Areas naturally pro-
tected from human exploration, such as remote places, steep
areas, poor soils, flooded wetlands and any other factor that
makes agriculture more difficult can be more important factors
than the delimitation of conservation units. In these cases, it is
not trivial to evaluate the real importance of the delimited pro-
tected areas (Joppa et al., 2008). In our particular case of study,
the landscape was predominantly flat, with a large road network,
and several protected areas, which are located mainly in wet-
lands and also on low fertility soils. The overlap of all these
factors makes difficult to isolate the role of each factor, and
hence its effectiveness in native vegetation conservation.
Other studies have shown a high and statistically significant
influence of land tenure and distance from roads on the predic-
tion of forest conversion. Distances from villages and topogra-
phy have a smaller contribution while no significant predictive
value was found for soil types (Gils & Ugon, 2006). Our results
show that the presence of primary vegetation is linked in some
extent to all tested drivers. Environmental constraints, inherent
to the area, may be the factor responsible for making more de-
manding or precluding the conversion of primary vegetation
into agricultural areas. Hilly slopes or wetlands areas can act as
factors that hinder or even make impossible the transport of
products for consumer markets due to high transportation costs
(Chomitz & Gray, 1996). These local characteristics are also a
limiting factor for mechanized agriculture, which has a prefer-
ence for flat areas, where machinery access is facilitated. This
feature is more important than soil quality, which can be im-
proved with fertilizers (Serneels & Lambin, 2001).
Our analysis of all these variables showed that the presence
of primary vegetation can be associated with different envi-
ronmental constraints, making more demanding or preventing
land conversion. The main factors responsible for the mainte-
nance of pristine vegetation are the presence of protected areas
and environmental constraints. Moreover, understanding the
role of physical and political factors, which may have (direct
and indirect) influence on the deforestation or maintenance of
native vegetation are key elements to better accesses land use
dynamic and provide supporting information for a more effi-
cient and sustainable regional planning.
Funding and scholarship for this study were provided by
FAPESP and Milenio/CNPq (proc. 2003/13172-2, 2007/01686-
2 and 420199/2005-5, respectively). The third author received
support from United States National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA)—Land-Cover and Land-Use Change
Program (LCLUC) (NNX11AE56G).
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