Chuyuan Wang* - Kansas State University
Marcellus M. Caldas - Kansas State University
Democratization of Brazil in 1985 brought impetus and restored interest in land reform movement. Many social movement organizations (SMOs) which were established and working illegally gradually emerged and started to fight for land reform and build settlements. This research compares fragment patterns of deforestation in two different types of land reform settlements using satellite imagery from 1986 to 2010 and landscape metrics in order to understand land cover and land use change in those settlements in the past three decades. Results show that SMO-led land reform settlements in Southern Pará region, Brazil have greater percentage of deforestation area but smaller density of deforestation patches than spontaneous land reform settlements in the Uruará region along the Transamazon Highway. Besides, deforestation fragments in SMO-led settlements are more irregular, more aggregated, and more physically connected than spontaneous settlements. This research also studied the causations of distinguishing deforestation fragment patterns in two different types of settlements, which can be a consequence of: 1) SMO-led settlements are much closer to the urban areas; 2) Households in SMO-led settlements have fewer children but more adults; 3) Fewer households in SMO-led settlements have certified land documents; 4) People in SMO-led settlements plant more pastures and perennial crops while spontaneous settlements have more annual crops; and 5) SMO-led settlements have received more financial and technical support from local government organizations.