Increasing fragmentation of forest cover in Brazil's Legal Amazon from 2001 to 2017

Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 2;10(1):5803. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-62591-x.


Persistent forest loss in the Brazilian Legal Amazon (BLA) is responsible for carbon emission, reduction of ecosystem services, and loss of biodiversity. Combining spatial data analysis with high spatial resolution data for forest cover and forest loss, we quantified the spatial and temporal patterns of forest dynamics in the BLA. We identified an alarming trend of increasing deforestation, with especially high rates in 2016 and 2017. Moreover, the creation of forest cover fragments is faster than ever due to decreasing size and dispersion of forest loss patches. From 2001 to 2017, the number of large forest loss patches decreased significantly, accompanied by a reduction in the size of these patches. Enforcement of field inspections and of initiatives to promote forest conservation will be required to stop this trend.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't