Brazilian Savannas and Semi-arid woodlands biomes exhibit high levels of aboveground biomass (AGB) associated with high rates of deforestation. The state of Minas Gerais (MG), southeast of Brazil, encompasses landscape variations ranging from Savanna and Atlantic Forest to Semiarid woodlands. The understanding of land-cover changes in these biomes is limited due to the fact that most of the efforts for estimating forest cover changes has been focused on the tropical rain forests. Hence, the question is: What is the total amount of AGB loss across Savanna and Semi-arid woodland biomes in MG state, during the period 2007–2017? We first used a total of 1914 field plots from a forest inventory to model the AGB using a combination of remote sensing and spatio-environmental predictor variables to produce a spatial-explicit AGB map. Second, from a global map of forest cover change (GFC), we obtained deforestation patches. As a result, from 2007 to 2017, the Savanna and the Semiarid woodland biomes lost together 508,042 ha of native vegetation in MG state, leading to 21,182,150 Mg of AGB loss (4.65% of total AGB). In Savannas and Semi-arid woodland biomes in MG state, conservation initiatives must be implemented to increase the forests protection and expand AGB.
Part of the book: Forest Degradation Around the World