Global demand for steel drives extensive land-use change in Brazil's Iron Quadrangle

Sonter, Laura J., Barrett, Damian J., Soares-Filho, Britaldo S. and Moran, Chris J. (2014) Global demand for steel drives extensive land-use change in Brazil's Iron Quadrangle. Global Environmental Change, 26 1: 63-72. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.03.014

Author Sonter, Laura J.
Barrett, Damian J.
Soares-Filho, Britaldo S.
Moran, Chris J.
Title Global demand for steel drives extensive land-use change in Brazil's Iron Quadrangle
Journal name Global Environmental Change   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0959-3780
Publication date 2014-05-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.03.014
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 26
Issue 1
Start page 63
End page 72
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 2303 Ecology
2308 Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
3305 Geography, Planning and Development
2306 Global and Planetary Change
Abstract Global demand for minerals is often considered an insignificant driver of land-use change because mines are small. We (1) investigated evidence supporting a link between global demand for steel and land-use change in Brazil's Iron Quadrangle, and (2) quantified the extent of land-use change and associated impacts on native vegetation. Historic land-use change was quantified using Landsat TM, relationships between demand for steel and land-use change were investigated using a simple linear model, and future scenarios were simulated using a calibrated land-use change model. Results support our hypothesis that global demand for steel drives extensive land-use change in the Iron Quadrangle, where increased steel production was correlated with increased iron ore production and mine expansion, and with increased charcoal production and plantation expansion. The direct impacts of mining on native vegetation were disproportionate to their relatively small spatial extent, while direct impacts of plantations were spatially extensive, as were their impacts on surrounding native vegetation. Additionally, evidence of two indirect impacts emerged during 1990–2010. Plantation expansion decreased native forest regrowth, while competition for land between mining companies and urban developers increased deforestation pressures. In combination, global demand for steel affected the majority of land in the Iron Quadrangle; however, many impacts were poorly captured by current land management approaches. Similar processes may operate in other mining regions, where global demand for minerals drives production of multiple resources (non-renewable and renewable) and thus extensive land-use change.
Keyword Atlantic Forest
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry
Official 2015 Collection
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 14 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 20 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 15 May 2014, 21:25:47 EST by Ms Laura Sonter on behalf of Sustainable Minerals Institute