Forest regeneration on abandoned clearances in central Amazonia
A time-series of Landsat and SPOT sensor data was used to approximate the age of tropical forests regenerating on abandoned agricultural land north of Manaus, Brazil, and to estimate the period of active land use prior to abandonment. Based on field data, two distinct regeneration pathways, dominated by the pioneer genera Cecropia and Vismia, respectively, were described, with the former regenerating on the least intensively used sites. Forests of mixed species composition and lacking numerical dominance by pioneer species were also observed. Transformed Divergence Analysis of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) radiance data revealed that forests of varying age and following different regeneration pathways were best discriminated using mid infrared (1.55-1.74m) wavelengths. As rates of carbon sequestration by forests vary with age and regeneration pathway, the potential exists for refining spatial estimates of the carbon balance of tropical forests regenerating on abandoned agricultural lands.
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