Navigation Links
Study of Brazilian Amazon shows 50,000 km of road was built in just 3 years

Nearly 17,000 kilometres of road were built in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest every year between 2004 and 2007.

Although road-building is a major contributor to deforestation and habitat loss, the way in which road networks develop is still poorly understood.

A new study is among the first to measure the number of roads built in a rainforest ecosystem over an extended period of time. It was published this month in the journal Regional Environmental Change by researchers including two Life Scientists from Imperial College London.

They say studies like this will help combat future deforestation by allowing for more accurate predictions of where it might occur.

Even though roads often occupy less than 2 per cent of a country's land surface, they may have an ecological impact on an area up to ten times as large. These indirect effects can include changes in air and soil temperature and moisture, as well as restrictions on the movement of animals.

Research co-author Dr Rob Ewers, of Imperial's Department of Life Sciences, said: "Knowing where the roads are and the speed at which they are built is key to predicting deforestation.

"A number of models currently exist which rely on this knowledge, but there are no good studies of how quickly roads get built and where they go when they are built.

"An understanding of road networks is the big missing gap in our ability to predict the future of this region."

Members of the research team used pre-existing road maps and satellite imagery to track the evolution of the Brazilian Amazon road network over a period of three years, in collaboration with IMAZON, the Amazon Institute of People and the Environment.

They found that road networks spread most quickly in regions with high economic growth, as well as in areas where new settlements were being built. Once a region had an extensive network of roads in place, however, the rate of building slowed down.

The researchers hope that these findings will improve our understanding of how land use is changing around the world, and help predict deforestation more accurately.

Dr Ewers is currently working on the SAFE (Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems) project, one of the world's largest ecological experiments underway in Borneo.

He and his team will observe the planned logging of a tropical forest under controlled, experimental conditions. Careful observation of how the ecosystem becomes disrupted and breaks down when it is damaged will yield information crucial to future conservation efforts.


Contact: Simon Levey
Imperial College London

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. Law that regulates shark fishery is too liberal: UBC study
3. New study will help protect vulnerable birds from impacts of climate change
4. Study jointly led by UCSB researcher supports theory of extraterrestrial impact
5. BYU study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesnt make you safer
6. 15-year study: When it comes to creating wetlands, Mother Nature is in charge
7. Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve menopause symptoms in new study
8. Crystal structure of archael chromatin clarified in new study
9. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
10. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
11. Study demonstrates cells can acquire new functions through transcriptional regulatory network
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Study of Brazilian Amazon shows 50,000 km of road was built in just 3 years
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015  The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) ... Synthesis and Biosecurity: Lessons Learned and Options for the ... and Human Services guidance for synthetic biology providers has ... --> --> Synthetic biology ... potential to pose unique biosecurity threats. It now is ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... OXFORD, Connecticut , October 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on the ... Wocket® smart wallet announces that StackCommerce, a leading ... will be featuring the Wocket® smart wallet on ... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ... that Google has adopted the Synaptics ® ClearPad ... to power its newest flagship smartphones, the Nexus 5X ... --> --> Synaptics ... provide strategic collaboration in the joint development of next ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel , Nov. 30, ... BCLI ), a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies ... Cell Therapeutics Ltd., has been awarded an additional grant of ... the Chief Scientist (OCS). This grant, the second this year, ... activities to approximately $1.8 million (approximately NIS7 million).  ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... Technical Program that includes over 2,000 technical presentations offered in symposia, oral ... chemistry and applied spectroscopy, covers a wide range of applications such as, but ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 --> ... specializing in imaging technologies, announced today that it has received ... of the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework Programme for Research ... clinical trial in breast cancer. , --> ... --> --> The study aims ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2 nouvelles études permettent d , ... les souches bactériennes retrouvées dans la plaque dentaire ... . Ces recherches  ouvrent une nouvelle voie ... de l,un des problèmes de santé les plus ... --> 2 nouvelles études permettent d , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: