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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Land use change and carbon ecosystem services: modeling carbon losses and sequestration in Mato Grosso and Pará, Brazil

Letícia Hissa is a doctoral student at the Departments of Geography at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Her main research interests are carbon flux dynamics related to land processes, low-carbon sustainable pathways and economic costs related to environmental strategies.

Photo: Deforested tropical landsacape, Pará, Brazil by Rafael Camargo

Photo: Rafael Camargo

The Brazilian Amazon comprises a vast area of remaining tropical forests holding valuable natural resources, with great social and economic potential. Its environmental and ecosystem resources provide a wide range of services that are beneficial to human welfare, such as carbon storage, nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration. Recent studies have been dedicated to the comprehension of the Amazon forest's  role on the carbon cycle, mainly on a biome scale. In this research we will focus on understanding carbon flux dynamics as a function of land use, land use change and management practices, along the influence area of a major road that stretches across the eastern Brazilian Amazon, the BR-163, covering the states of Mato Grosso and Pará. To assess the general goal, the project aims to answer three main research questions: 

  1. What is the amount of carbon stored in landscapes across the study area? What was the amount of carbon released and sequestrated from land use and land use change in the recent past?  
  2. What are the regions’ trends in terms of emissions and carbon uptake, considering land use dynamics under different land use and land use change scenarios?
  3. What are the economic opportunity costs of conserving such carbon stocks?

Main research approaches are spatial modeling and analysis, based on the use of remote sensing products and empirical knowledge, obtained from conducting interviews and questionnaires in field work campaigns. This doctoral thesis is a part of the Carbiocial Project (Carbon sequestration, biodiversity and social structures in Southern Amazonia: models and implementation of carbon-optimized land management strategies) an initiative funded by the BMBF.

Letícia Hissa holds a Bachelor Degree in Geography and a Masters Degree in Environmental Analysis and Modeling, both obtained from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil. For four years she has worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Remote Sensing of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, when she gained experience in the topics REDD, low Carbon land strategies, land use and cover change in tropical areas and environmental conservation strategies, by participating in various projects. She is a part of the CarBioCial projetct (www.carbiocial.de) and holds a Scholarship granted by the Science Without Borders Program, from the CAPES foundation (www.cienciasemfronteiras.gov.br/).



Letícia Hissa, Doctoral Researcher
THESys Graduate Program
Phone: +49 (0)30 2093-6893
E-mail: leticia.hissa@geo.hu-berlin.de