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Exploring the Role of Deforestation and Cropland Expansion in Driving a Fire-Transition in the Brazilian Amazon

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Article number2274
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/12/2022
Issue number12
Number of pages19
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Brazilian Amazonian Forest is undergoing significant changes in land use and land cover in the last few decades. This land-use transition, besides climate change, may be responsible for the fire regime transition in this territory. Therefore, we aimed at investigating how the fire-transition occurs over time in the Brazilian Amazonia Forest and identifying the key parameters that can help to predict this change. For this, we collected yearly data on fire occurrence, forest cover, deforestation rates, and cropland areas. We used a 0.45° spatial surface grid, and with these annual values, we produced: (i) generalised linear mixed models of fire occurrence against forest cover, using years and grids as random factors; (ii) annual linear models of fire occurrence against forest cover; (iii) linear models of the apex values against the years; and (iv) generalised linear models of these apex values against deforestation and cropland areas. We found that there is a fire-transition process in the Brazilian Amazon Forest since a quadratic model better predicted the fire occurrence behaviour. Moreover, the fire occurrence apex is transitioning to more forested landscapes, from 50.7% in 2003 to 55% in 2019 (R² = 0.3). The deforestation rates and the cropland expansion had important relationships with the fire-transition, the first is related to the fire occurrence in the landscape (R² = 0.62), while the second better predicts the transition to more forested areas (R² = 0.38). Thus, we found that the fire-transition in the Brazilian Amazon Forest is strongly related to the land-use transition stages in this region.