Fragmentation-driven divergent trends in burned area in Amazonia and Cerrado

Rosan, Thais M.; Sitch, Stephen; Mercado, Lina M. ORCID:; Heinrich, Viola; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Aragão, Luiz E.O.C.. 2022 Fragmentation-driven divergent trends in burned area in Amazonia and Cerrado. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 5, 801408. 10, pp.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
N532359JA.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (2MB) | Preview


The two major Brazilian biomes, the Amazonia and the Cerrado (savanna), are increasingly exposed to fires. The Amazonian Forest is a fire sensitive ecosystem where fires are a typically rare disturbance while the Cerrado is naturally fire-dependent. Human activities, such as landscape fragmentation and land-use management, have modified the fire regime of the Cerrado and introduced fire into the Amazonian Forest. There is limited understanding of the role of landscape fragmentation on fire occurrence in the Amazonia and Cerrado biomes. Due to differences in vegetation structure, composition, and land use characteristics in each biome, we hypothesize that the emerging burned area (BA) patterns will result from biome-specific fire responses to fragmentation. The aim of this study was to test the general relationship between BA, landscape fragmentation, and agricultural land in the Amazonia and the Cerrado biomes. To estimate the trends and status of landscape fragmentation a Forest Area Density (FAD) index was calculated based on the MapBiomas land cover dataset for both biomes between 2002 and 2018. BA fraction was analyzed within native vegetation against the FAD and agricultural land fraction. Our results showed an increase in landscape fragmentation across 16% of Amazonia and 15% of Cerrado. We identified an opposite relationship between BA fraction, and landscape fragmentation and agricultural fraction contrasting the two biomes. For Amazonia, both landscape fragmentation and agricultural fraction increased BA fraction due to an increase of human ignition activities. For the Cerrado, on the other hand, an increase in landscape fragmentation and agricultural fraction caused a decrease in BA fraction within the native vegetation. For both biomes, we found that during drought years BA increases whilst the divergent trends driven by fragmentation in the two contrasting global biomes is maintained. This understanding will be critical to informing the representation of fire dynamics in fire-enable Dynamic Global Vegetation Models and Earth System Models for climate projection and future ecosystem service provision.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hydro-climate Risks (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2624-893X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: Amazonia, Cerrado, landscape fragmentation, fire, land use management, burned area fraction
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 29 Mar 2022 16:30 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...