Amazon Forest Inventory Network

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Brazil: Mato Grosso

  • November - November 2010
Brazil: Mato Grosso

In November 2009, two permanent plots, of one hectare each, were tagged and measured in the Amazon rainforest, in the research area of the Fazenda Tanguro, northeast of the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. The team was composed of the following Professors from UNEMAT, Nova Xavantina, Beatriz Schwantes Marimon, Ben Hur Marimon Junior and Eddie Lenza and Master's students in ecology and conservation at UNEMAT, Edmar Almeida de Oliveira, Claudinei dos Santos, Leandro Maracahipes and Paulo Morandi. These forests are located in the transition zone between the ‘cerrado’ (Brazilian savannah) and Amazon forests, on acid soils which are poor in nutrients. In November 2010, the same team established and measured another one acre plot in Ribeirão Castanheira, also in the northeast of Mato Grosso. The Amazonia-Cerrado transition zone coincides with the boundary between high Amazon rainfall (> 2000 mm per year) and average rainfall levels of the ‘cerrado’ biome (<1700 mm per year). This type of forest is marked by the probable natural expansion of the forest into the ‘cerrado’, and characterized by its high dynamic-forests, high biodiversity and high risk of deforestation. Like the Brazilian savannah, these transitional tropical forests face prolonged annual dry seasons between April and September. During this period leaf litter fall increases markedly, forming a thick layer of litter on the forest floor, which is absorbed by a dense network of shallow roots which prevents the nutrients to escape from the forest. The Tanguro Fazenda and Ribeirão Cascalheira are located in the "arc of deforestation" or the "Brazilian agricultural frontier", an area of billionaire agribusinesses, with highly mechanized agriculture, where some of the largest soybean producers in the world reach high productivity due to the favourable climate. Mato Grosso is the largest producer of soybeans, cotton and beef in Brazil.