The Atlantic Rainforest has been intensely devastated since the beginning of the colonization of Brazil, mainly due to wood extraction and urban and rural settlement. Although the Atlantic Rainforest has been reduced and fragmented, its remnants are important sources of heat and water vapor to the atmosphere. The present study aimed to characterize and to analyze the temporal dynamics of precipitation and evapotranspiration in the Atlantic Rainforest remnants in São Paulo state, southeastern Brazil, for the period from January 2000 to December 2010. To achieve this, global precipitation and evapotranspiration data from TRMM satellite and MOD16 algorithm as well as forest remnant maps produced by SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation and Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) were used. Results found in this study demonstrated that the use of remote sensing was an important tool for analyzing hydrological variables in Atlantic Rainforest remnants, which can contribute to better understand the interaction between tropical forests and the atmosphere, and for generating input data necessary for surface models coupled to atmospheric general circulation models.
Part of the book: Tropical Forests