Tropical Deforestation and Habitat Fragmentation in the Amazon: Satellite Data from 1978 to 1988

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Science  25 Jun 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5116, pp. 1905-1910
DOI: 10.1126/science.260.5116.1905

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Landsat satellite imagery covering the entire forested portion of the Brazilian Amazon Basin was used to measure, for 1978 and 1988, deforestation, fragmented forest, defined as areas less than 100 square kilometers surrounded by deforestation, and edge effects of 1 kilometer into forest from adjacent areas of deforestation. Tropical deforestation increased from 78,000 square kilometers in 1978 to 230,000 square kilometers in 1988 while tropical forest habitat, severely affected with respect to biological diversity, increased from 208,000 to 588,000 square kilometers. Although this rate of deforestation is lower than previous estimates, the effect on biological diversity is greater.

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