Vegetation changes as ecological indicator of the effects of climate change in the Pantanal, Brazil

Santos Silva, Lannara Natyelle
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One of the most extensive and continuous inland wetlands in the world is the Pantanal, which is part of the world’s most extensive wetland system, the Paraguay-Paraná Wetland System, which covers 400,000km² of the central valley of South America and its territories. According to a recent study published, the ecosystem is "critically threatened" by climate change, which harms biodiversity and reduces the ecosystem's capacity to help control water for the continent and carbon for the entire planet. The main goals were, by using remote sensing, to identify the conservation units, to assess environmental factors and potential human effects near the Pantanal wetland vegetation area, and to provide advice for future wetland research that will provide insights and support the development of an early warning system for decision-making. Hydrological, deforestation, and conservation unit data was acquired from TerraBrasilis, a web portal platform developed by INPE. The SRTM data, which is generated from NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography, was downloaded using the USGS Earth Explorer. Hydrology analysis was performed with the ArcGIS Pro version 3.0 software. Buffer zones were created around the study area to better understand the dynamics of anthropogenic impacts. In addition, Sentinel-2 data was used to analyze land cover and land use changes in 2018, 2020, and 2022. The findings indicate that deforestation will soon reach the Pantanal's interior entailing more immediate investments in the environmental management of protected areas. It also corroborated with studies showing that the northern Pantanal may become a savanna or perhaps a dry region in less than 20 years.
wetland, climate change, remote sensing, biodiversity, sustainability