Application of remote sensing to analyze the loss of natural vegetation in the Jalapão Mosaic (Brazil) before and after the creation of protected area (1970-2018)

Environ Monit Assess. 2022 Feb 19;194(3):201. doi: 10.1007/s10661-021-09651-5.


This study aims to map the changes in land use and land cover between 1970 and 2018, analyzing the influence of the protected area s (PAs) in the Cerrado biome, specifically in the area of the Jalapão Mosaic. Images from the Landsat 1-MSS, 5-TM, and 8-OLI satellites were used and processed in SPRING and ArcGIS software. The analyses were based on three approaches: (1) the boundary of the Jalapão Mosaic, (2) the PAs, and (3) a comparison between the PAs and their surroundings. The Jalapão Mosaic results demonstrated that 26% (≅ 8410 km2) of the area was burned, and 15.5% (4971 km2) was anthropized in at least one of the analyzed periods. Among the PAs, the Serra Geral do Tocantins Ecological Station (Integral Protection) presented the largest burned area (43.7% ≅ 3095 km2); however, there was no significant increase in the anthropized areas due to fire. Meanwhile, the anthropized areas in the Rio Preto and Serra da Tabatinga Environmental Protection Areas (Sustainable Use) increased by 27.5% and by 75%, respectively, due to agricultural expansion. By analyzing the two groups of PAs and their surroundings, it was observed that the loss of natural vegetation was restrained and fires were less intense in the Integral Protection Units; in the Sustainable Use Units, there was a significant increase in the anthropized areas. Furthermore, over 70% of the anthropized areas occurred in the surrounding areas, thus showing the importance of creating PAs.

Keywords: Cerrado biome; Deforestation; Land cover change; Linear spectral mixing model (LSMM); Protected area.

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Remote Sensing Technology*
  • Software