Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The highly threatened and little known Amazonian savannahs

The biodiversity of the Amazonian savannahs may be lost before it is known, unless scientists, conservationists and policymakers come together quickly to protect it.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The distribution of Amazonian savannahs and the three types of protected area throughout the Amazon biome.
Figure 2


  1. Strassburg, B. B. N. et al. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 1, 0099 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Silva, J. M. C. & Bates, J. M. BioScience 52, 225–234 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Barbosa, R. I., Campos, C., Pinto, F. & Fearnside, P. M. Funct. Ecosyst. Communities 1, 29–41 (2007).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Plotkin, R. L. & Riding, S. Geogr. Helv. 3, 183–192 (2011).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Sanderson, E. W. et al. Conserv. Biol. 16, 58–72 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Ministério do Meio Ambiente Portaria 126, de 27 de Maio de 2004 (2004);

  7. Nepstad, D. et al. Conserv. Biol. 20, 65–73 (2006).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Fearnside, P. M. Science 353, 746–748 (2016).

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Diniz, A. M. A. & Santos, R. Cad Geografia 15, 23–44 (2005).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia Área plantada, área colhida, quantidade produzida, rendimento médio e valor da produção das lavouras temporárias (2016);

  11. Vera-Diaz, M. C., Kaufmann, R. K. & Nepstad, D. C. The Environmental Impacts of Soybean Expansion and Infrastructure Development in Brazil's Amazon Basin (Global Development and Environment Institute, 2009).

    Google Scholar 

  12. Silva, E. Revista Globo Rural 371, 28–33 (2016).

    Google Scholar 

  13. Mayle, F. E., Langstroth, R. P., Fisher, R. A. & Meir, P. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 362, 291–307 (2007).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Fernandes, G. W. et al. Nat. Conservação 14, 146–151 (2016).

  15. Ministros assinam contrato que estuda ligação de RR ao Pará pela BR-210. GLOBO G1 (27 June 2016);

  16. Mittermeier, J. C., Zyskowski, K., Stowe, E. S. & Lai, J. E. Bull. Peabody Mus. Nat. Hist. 51, 97–122 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Barni, P. E., Fearnside, P. M. & Graça, P. M. L. A. Env. Manage. 55, 259–278 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Turcios, M. M., Jaramillo, M. M. A., do Vale J. F. Jr, Fearnside, P. M. & Barbosa, R. I. Glob. Change Biol. 22, 190–197 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Barbosa, R. I. & Fearnside, P. M. Forest Ecol. Manage. 204, 371–384 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank H. R. da Silva for comments on this manuscript. W.D.C. was supported by a post-doctoral scholarship (Programa Nacional de Pós Doutorado, PNPD) from the Coordenação de Aperfeiçomento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



W.D.C. conducted the literature search to quantify the number of studies carried out in the Amazonian savannahs. K.M. conducted the GIS analyses to calculate total areas, and areas protected. Both authors contributed equally to the ideas and writing of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to William Douglas de Carvalho.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Methods; Supplementary Table 1; Supplementary References (PDF 271 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

de Carvalho, W., Mustin, K. The highly threatened and little known Amazonian savannahs. Nat Ecol Evol 1, 0100 (2017).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing