Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The Amazon Basin in transition


Eric A. Davidson
Alessandro C. de Araujo
Paulo Artaxo
Jennifer K. Balch
I. Foster Brown
Mercedes M.C. Bustamente
Michael T. Coe
Ruth S. DeFriess
Marcos Longo
J. William Munger
Wilfrid Schroeder
Britaldo Soares-Filho
Carlos M. Souza, Jr.
Steven C. Wofsy



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

International Institute of Tropical Forestry


Nature. 481: 321-328


Agricultural expansion and climate variability have become important agents of disturbance in the Amazon basin. Recent studies have demonstrated considerable resilience of Amazonian forests to moderate annual drought, but they also show that interactions between deforestation, fire and drought potentially lead to losses of carbon storage and changes in regional precipitation patterns and river discharge. Although the basin-wide impacts of land use and drought may not yet surpass the magnitude of natural variability of hydrologic and biogeochemical cycles, there are some signs of a transition to a disturbance-dominated regime. These signs include changing energy and water cycles in the southern and eastern portions of the Amazon basin.


Davidson, Eric A.; de Araujo, Alessandro C.; Artaxo, Paulo; Balch, Jennifer K.; Brown, I. Foster; Bustamente, Mercedes M.C.; Coe, Michael T.; DeFriess, Ruth S.; Keller, Michael; Longo, Marcos; Munger, J. William; Schroeder, Wilfrid; Soares-Filho, Britaldo S.; Souza, Jr., Carlos M.; Wofsy, Steven C. 2012. The Amazon Basin in transition. Nature. 481: 321-328.


Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.