The Fragmentation of Space in the Amazon Basin: Emergent Road Networks

In this paper, the authors simulate forest fragmentation patterns by reference to the actual decisionmaking of the agents engaged in the fragmentation process itself. They take as their empirical case fragmentation in the Brazilian Amazon basin associated with road-building by loggers. Roads built by the private sector, particularly loggers, play a decisive role in the dynamics of frontier expansion in the Amazon. Their aim is to explain the manner in which logging roads manifest spatially, thereby creating fragmented landscapes in a small portion of the so-called “Terra do Meio,” a region of 300,000 km2 in the heart of the Amazon basin. They combine geostatistical methods with GIS to replicate a common fragmentation pattern found in tropical forests known as dendritic. Such fragmentation has been identified as one of the 3 most common types observed in the Amazon basin. The model replicates the general dendritic pattern and many branching points of the network, although segments do not overlay precisely. The paper concludes with a discussion of steps necessary to develop a model that is fully effective in describing the spatial decisionmaking of loggers.

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  • Authors:
    • Arima, Eugenio Y
    • Walker, Robert T
    • Sales, Marcio
    • Souza Jr, Carlos
    • Perz, Stephen G
  • Publication Date: 2008-6


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: pp 699-709
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01103636
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 26 2008 5:04PM