4,220 research outputs found

    Future of oil and gas development in the western Amazon

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    The western Amazon is one of the world's last high-biodiversity wilderness areas, characterized by extraordinary species richness and large tracts of roadless humid tropical forest. It is also home to an active hydrocarbon (oil and gas) sector, characterized by operations in extremely remote areas that require new access routes. Here, we present the first integrated analysis of the hydrocarbon sector and its associated road-building in the western Amazon. Specifically, we document the (a) current panorama, including location and development status of all oil and gas discoveries, of the sector, and (b) current and future scenario of access (i.e. access road versus roadless access) to discoveries. We present an updated 2014 western Amazon hydrocarbon map illustrating that oil and gas blocks now cover 733 414 km(2), an area much larger than the US state of Texas, and have been expanding since the last assessment in 2008. In terms of access, we documented 11 examples of the access road model and six examples of roadless access across the region. Finally, we documented 35 confirmed and/or suspected untapped hydrocarbon discoveries across the western Amazon. In the Discussion, we argue that if these reserves must be developed, use of the offshore inland model-a method that strategically avoids the construction of access roads-is crucial to minimizing ecological impacts in one of the most globally important conservation regions

    Available phosphorus and potassium status of soils of Amazonas State.

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    With the objective of presenting more substantial data, results from 3,340 soil samples collected during the past 30 years were compiled by the Laboratory of Soil Fertility of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Enterprise (Embrapa Western Amazon (Manaus)

    Increasing biomass in Amazonian forest plots

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    A previous study by Phillips et al. of changes in the biomass of permanent sample plots in Amazonian forests was used to infer the presence of a regional carbon sink. However, these results generated a vigorous debate about sampling and methodological issues. Therefore we present a new analysis of biomass change in old-growth Amazonian forest plots using updated inventory data. We find that across 59 sites, the above-ground dry biomass in trees that are more than 10 cm in diameter (AGB) has increased since plot establishment by 1.22 ± 0.43 Mg per hectare per year (ha-1 yr-1), where 1 ha = 104 m2), or 0.98 ± 0.38 Mg ha-1 yr-1 if individual plot values are weighted by the number of hectare years of monitoring. This significant increase is neither confounded by spatial or temporal variation in wood specific gravity, nor dependent on the allometric equation used to estimate AGB. The conclusion is also robust to uncertainty about diameter measurements for problematic trees: for 34 plots in western Amazon forests a significant increase in AGB is found even with a conservative assumption of zero growth for all trees where diameter measurements were made using optical methods and/or growth rates needed to be estimated following fieldwork. Overall, our results suggest a slightly greater rate of net stand-level change than was reported by Phillips et al. Considering the spatial and temporal scale of sampling and associated studies showing increases in forest growth and stem turnover, the results presented here suggest that the total biomass of these plots has on average increased and that there has been a regional-scale carbon sink in old-growth Amazonian forests during the previous two decades

    Participatory GIS in Mapping Ecosystem Services: Two Case Studies from High-Biodiversity Regions in Italy and Peru

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    Assessing ecosystem services (ES) and mapping their values are of paramount importance. Here we present two case studies where the participatory mapping of social values of landscape ecosystem services is used in territories with high levels of cultural and biological diversity (Adamello Brenta Natural Park in Italy and the Alto Mayo basin in the Western Amazon, Peru). A mixed-method approach combining social geography fieldwork (participatory mapping) and desk work (GIS analyses) is adopted to improve ES mapping by including multiple actors and to increase awareness. Mapping ecosystem services is not just a technical task; it also highlights social implications of the cartographic process, a key issue in human geography. By taking into account the controversial and multiple roles of maps, and by involving actors in attributing values and mapping their spatial relations to landscape and ES, it is possible to enrich technical knowledge with local knowledge

    Social Innovation by Tourism Strategy in the Western Amazon

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    This work concerns the strategies of social innovation focused on the concept of inbound tourism and hospitality in Rondônia State, Brazil. The general objective is to study the main strategies for qualifying as a tourist attraction. The specific objectives are to: point out the strategic elements to (1) qualify the facilities for inbound tourism and hospitality in the scenario;(2)examine the perspective on the implementation of the strategic elements in practice; and (3)indicate the elements of social innovation in support of the strategy of qualification to the concepts of inbound tourism and hospitality. This study is supported by the Theory of Planned Behaviour and concepts of inbound tourism, hospitality, creativity and innovation. It adopts the method of a case study which is both qualitative and quantitative in nature. As part of the methodological procedure, workshops were held for 28 stakeholders in Rondônia’s tourism, during which questionnaire data were collected from answers using the Likert Scale, participant observation was conducted and documents were analysed to enable the causal relationship to be critically assessed. A SWOT matrix was imposed upon the survey report. The tourist potential in the scenario has consequently been acknowledged, together with a need for the strategic planning of its attributes; valid elements for social innovation which use qualifying strategies for inbound tourism and hospitality are indicated; Possible public-private partnerships with the third sector and society could together create an ideal form of intervention. This study is of interest to both the public and the private sector, to academia and the community. It can contribute suggestions for the planning and management required for tourism to develop as well as outline strategies for social innovation

    Amazonian Quichua in the Western Amazon Regional Interaction Sphere

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    Decadal covariability of Atlantic SSTs and western Amazon dry-season hydroclimate in observations and CMIP5 simulations

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    The unusual severity and return time of the 2005 and 2010 dry-season droughts in western Amazon is attributed partly to decadal climate fluctuations and a modest drying trend. Decadal variability of western Amazon hydroclimate is highly correlated to the Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) north-south gradient (NSG). Shifts of dry and wet events frequencies are also related to the NSG phase, with a 66% chance of 3+ years of dry events per decade when NSG > 0 and 19% when NSG < 0. The western Amazon and NSG decadal covariability is well reproduced in general circulation models (GCMs) historical (HIST) and preindustrial control (PIC) experiments of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). The HIST and PIC also reproduce the shifts in dry and wet events probabilities, indicating potential for decadal predictability based on GCMs. Persistence of the current NSG positive phase favors above normal frequency of western Amazon dry events in coming decades

    Tertiary Climate Change and the Diversification of the Amazonian Gecko Genus Gonatodes (Sphaerodactylidae, Squamata)

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    The genus Gonatodes is a monophyletic group of small-bodied, diurnal geckos distributed across northern South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. We used fragments of three nuclear genes (RAG2, ACM4, and c-mos) and one mitochondrial gene (16S) to estimate phylogenetic relationships among Amazonian species of Gonatodes. We used Penalized Likelihood to estimate timing of diversification in the genus. Most cladogenesis occurred in the Oligocene and early Miocene and coincided with a burst of diversification in other South American animal groups including mollusks, birds, and mammals. The Oligocene and early Miocene were periods dominated by dramatic climate change and Andean orogeny and we suggest that these factors drove the burst of cladogenesis in Gonatodes geckos as well as other taxa. A common pattern in Amazonian taxa is a biogeographic split between the eastern and western Amazon basin. We observed two clades with this spatial distribution, although large differences in timing of divergence between the east–west taxon pairs indicate that these divergences were not the result of a common vicariant event
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