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As an earth system scientist, I work to provide a clearer understanding of how nearly 50 years of deforestation in South American rainforest and savanna biomes alter climate and affect the environment. Through effective team leadership, international collaborations, and diverse research approaches--including field campaigns, remotely sensed data, and numerical modeling--I seek to understand these changes and then identify and work to implement mitigation and avoidance options.
This is a Special Issue for the journal Water, please visit the following link to submit your paper: http://www.mdpi.com/journal/water/special_issues/tropical_agricultural Description: In recent decades, agricultural frontiers have expanded rapidly in the tropics, where the large pool of available arable land has allowed for the rapid growth of internationally traded commodities to meet increasing global food demands. This rapid deforestation and agricultural expansion has had significant impacts on the hydrologic cycle and associated eco-hydrological systems. Understanding of the scope of these changes requires interdisciplinary analysis from both biophysical and economic perspectives. For example, river discharge could increase as a fraction of precipitation at local scales, but decrease if diminished water vapor transfers to the atmosphere affect regional rainfall regimes. These effects can be viewed from the perspective of water users (e.g., up- and downstream), as well as local producers or distant consumers of agricultural exports. This Special Issue focuses on changes in the hydrological cycle due to land cover and land use change for tropical agriculture, as observed across multiple scales—whether from farm to river basin, or from production to consumption centers across international boundaries. We welcome submissions that explore both biophysical changes to the water cycle described through field measurements or hydrologic modeling, but also invite research focused on impact assessment of water use for products through production system modeling. Topics include (but are not limited to): -Empirical studies (e.g., paired catchments); -River basin, biome or continental scale hydrologic modeling; -Implications for water availability across scales (e.g., up- or downstream, inside or outside of the basin or biome); -Production and consumption center effects on hydrology through (e.g., life cycle assessments, water footprint, water productivity). Dr. Michael T. Coe Dr. Marcia N. Macedo Dr. Michael Lathuillière Guest Editors
Land-use changes have altered the dynamics, structure and functioning of semideciduous seasonal forests in the Amazonian agricultural frontier. Such changes impact local and regional climate through disruptions of hydrological, carbon and energy cycles, with cascading effects that threaten regional biodiversity and the health of streams. Although these effects persist for decades, and interact with global climate changes, the possible trajectories of forests and aquatic environments remain poorly understood in the Amazon agricultural frontier, as well as its impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services and functions it performs. This is largely due to the lack of studies capable of assessing the extent to which terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are changed within fragmented landscapes and under high pressure of large-scale agricultural in the long-term. With this long-term ecological project (LTER / PELD), we aim to answer the following questions: (1) What are the long-term impacts of the interaction among forest fragmentation, climatic extremes and fire disturbances in the structure, diversity and functioning of Amazon-Cerrado transitional forests? (2) To what extent are the forests located on the agricultural frontier resilient to multiple disturbances, and what are the consequences for ecosystem processes and for local and regional biodiversity? (3) Are deforestation and degradation of tropical forests already changing the balance of water and energy much faster than expected, due to increased greenhouse gas emissions? Such changes would be higher during a dry season and years of severe drought? Are deforestation and land-use change modifying the hydrological regime in the basin scale? How these changes affect ecosystem processes of terra-firme forests, and how they would affect riparian forests? (4) What are the roles of riparian forests in maintaining the integrity of ecosystems in agricultural landscapes?