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Science. 2010 Jun 4;328(5983):1275-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1186925.

The incidence of fire in Amazonian forests with implications for REDD.

Author information

1
Landscape and Ecosystems Dynamics Group, School of Geography, University of Exeter, Amory Building, Rennes Drive, Exeter, Devon, EX4 4RJ, UK. l.aragao@exeter.ac.uk

Abstract

Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) may curb carbon emissions, but the consequences for fire hazard are poorly understood. By analyzing satellite-derived deforestation and fire data from the Brazilian Amazon, we show that fire occurrence has increased in 59% of the area that has experienced reduced deforestation rates. Differences in fire frequencies across two land-use gradients reveal that fire-free land-management can substantially reduce fire incidence by as much as 69%. If sustainable fire-free land-management of deforested areas is not adopted in the REDD mechanism, then the carbon savings achieved by avoiding deforestation may be partially negated by increased emissions from fires.

PMID:
20522775
DOI:
10.1126/science.1186925
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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