Modelling land cover change in tropical rainforests

Organização: Centro de Estudos Florestais e Centro de Ecologia Aplicada Prof. Baeta Neves
Data: 12 de fevereiro de 2014 :: 12h30 - 13h30
Local: Sala PF 1.6 (Antigo Auditório de Florestal)

Orador: Isabel Rosa, Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, Reino Unido

Resumo da apresentação:

Environmental changes such as global land cover change (LCC), caused by rapid human population growth and increasing demand for agricultural and forest products, are impacting the balance of the Earth system. LCC is now one of the major causes of biodiversity loss, the second largest source of carbon emissions to the atmosphere, and has a major impact on the water cycle. The importance of tropical forests as an ecosystem has long been recognised; however the fast rate of destruction that these forests have been facing over the last decades resulted in a significant reduction of their area, and places them in the danger of reducing their extent even more significantly in the overcoming decades. Knowing where and at what rate tropical deforestation will continue in the future would allow us to anticipate its impacts and develop preventive and/or adaptive measures. The main goals of this talk are: (1) to analyse the dynamics of tropical deforestation, with particular focus on the Brazilian Amazon, by investigation how deforestation patch sizes varied in recent years; (2) to discuss the different approaches to LCC modelling, which are highly variable and often poorly validated. Results from a quantitative review of LCC models applied in the tropics will be presented to highlight existing shortfalls in the discipline and uncover three key points that need addressing to improve the transparency, reliability and utility of these models. Then, (3) StocModLCC will be presented – a dynamic and spatially-explicit model that predicts the potential magnitude and spatial pattern of different types of land cover transitions. In particular how it was used to predict two scenarios of future LCC in the Brazilian Amazon up until 2050. Afterwards, (4) the fluctuations in the drivers of LCC among transition types and time as well as the impact of a widespread reliance on single calibration time period will be discussed. Finally, (5) the consequences of ‘modern’ tropical deforestation worldwide will be analysed, with particular focus on carbon released and remaining to decay.