SimAmazonia1,2 is a unique model system in the sense that it develops spatially-explicit projections of deforestation under scenarios of infrastructure investments (particularly transportation), conservation policies―e.g. protected areas―, and land management, such as level of compliance to Brazil’s forest code. The simulated patterns of deforestation can be employed a as planning tool point out the level of deforestation pressure and to assess future environmental impacts, such as habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss, and hydrological cycle alteration. We do not recommend the use land-change models to establish forward-looking baselines, such as the ones used in REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) projects.
Soares-Filho BS, Nepstad D, Curran L, Voll E, Cerqueira G, Garcia RA, Ramos CA, Mcdonald A, Lefebvre P, Schlesdinger P (2006) Modeling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature 440:520-523.
Soares-Filho BS, Moutinho P, Nepstad D, Anderson A, Rodrigues H, Garcia R, Dietschi L, Merry F, Bowman M, Hissa L, Silvestrini R, Maretti C (2010) Role of Brazilian Amazon protected areas in climate change mitigation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107: 10821–10826.