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Land use choices in the tropical forest frontier: the potential role of malaria

Marcia C. Castro, University of South Carolina
Burton Singer, Princeton University

This paper addresses the potential impacts of malaria on patterns of land use in the Brazilian Amazon. We use data from the Machadinho settlement project (Rondônia), opened for settlement late 1984. Multiple field surveys were conducted in the area gathering data on a multitude of variables, such as demography, economics, ecology, agriculture, and health. Landsat images are also used, facilitating the evaluation of land use patterns/changes over time. We start with a similar approach that most research on land use has taken, but with focus on incorporating variables that account for malaria transmission. First, we assess if malaria has an immediate impact on land use, evaluating the patterns in individual years. Second, we appraise the potential impact in land use changes over the short and long run. Finally, given the strong spatial correlation of malaria, we take space into account, evaluating differentiated effects of malaria on land use practices.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Poster Session 5