Effects of Land Use/Land Cover Change on Carbon Sequestration in Amazonia

EPA Grant Number: U915332
Title: Effects of Land Use/Land Cover Change on Carbon Sequestration in Amazonia
Investigators: Cardille, Jeffrey A.
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Madison
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: September 1, 1998 through January 1, 2001
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1998) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Environmental Monitoring , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Academic Fellowships


The objective of this research project is to investigate the possible effects of land use and land cover change, climate variability, and increasing CO2 concentration on the carbon storage potential of the Amazon Basin.


I will use the historical land-use database IBIS, a model developed at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, in the Climate, People, and Environment Program (CPEP) to answer these and other questions about the impacts of human land use on the carbon budget of the Amazon Basin. IBIS, a dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM), simulates terrestrial vegetation, soil, and atmosphere processes using detailed information about land surface physics, canopy gas exchange, plant phenology and physiology, and vegetation dynamics. This application of IBIS to the Amazon Basin will occur as part of the new Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA), a field and modeling collaboration between American and Brazilian scientists. First, I will assemble a basin-wide historical land use database, using a combination of remote-sensing products (i.e., Landsat and AVHRR data), national inventory data, and other ancillary data. Using these data, I will construct an empirically based model of land use activity and land cover conversion in Amazonia for the last several decades. As part of CPEP's development of a region-specific version of IBIS for the Amazon Basin, I will investigate and model the conversion processes in which farmers and ranchers create and maintain cultivated fields and pastures in the basin. In conjunction with work to specify plant types necessary to model the ecology of the basin, I will employ land use scenarios as a basis to investigate the dynamic processes occurring within terrestrial ecosystems that give rise to carbon sources and sinks. Finally, I will use IBIS and scenarios of future land use to evaluate the response of net carbon exchange to changes within the basin. In particular, I will examine the influences of land use, climate variability, and increasing CO2 concentration on an extensive suite of IBIS outputs.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, Amazon Basin, Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia, LBA, rain forest, land use, land cover, carbon sequestration., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Geography, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Monitoring/Modeling, Civil Engineering, Ecological Effects - Human Health, Regional/Scaling, Ecology and Ecosystems, Ecological Indicators, global scale, human impacts, wildlife, grasslands, modeling, ecosystem health, ecosystem, forests, fire regimes in forests and grasslands, human modifications

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1999
  • 2000
  • Final