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Protecting and Urban Forest Reserve in the Amazon: A Multi-scale Analysis of Edge Effects, Population Pressure and Institutions

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Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Author: Silva-Forsberg, Maria Clara
Date: 1999
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/7922
Sector: Forestry
Region: South America
Subject(s): Amazon River region
forest management
urban affairs
Abstract: "This dissertation addresses human and environmental problems that arise in restricted-use forest reserves. It aims to explain degradation and restoration in these forest reserves, and examines the role of edge effects, population pressure and institutions in an urban forest reserve in Manaus, state of Amazonas, Brazil. Given the multi-level complexity of problems associated with conserving forest reserves, a multi-scale analysis was undertaken. This study employed an interdisciplinary approach to examine the preservation of the Campus Forest over a 30 year period. This research integrates social, biophysical and institutional data to examine the causes of forest structural changes. The data collected includes: a) forest mensuration data, b) remotely sensed land cover data, c) household surveys, and d) in-depth qualitative interviews concerning institutional variables. Using the framework employed in this dissertation, I examine the direct and indirect causes of degradation in the Camput Forest reserve. THis study shows that the current ecological characteristics of the Campus Forest are shaped by both local and regional level processes. Biophysical and institutional edge effects may affect the conservation performance of a forest reserve, but these factors do not explain ecological decline by themselves. Other key variables such as history of land use inside and outside of the reserve, government incentives motivating migration, conflicts between squatters and reserve managers, and the creation and evolution of the reserve's institutional arrangements are also needed to explain the Campus Forest's degree of preservation."

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