Seasonally flooded by nutrient rich waters, floodplain of “whitewater” rivers, support extremely high biodiversity and have long been centers of human settlement. Over the past several decades, unprecedented demographic and economic growths have influenced resource use and challenged capacity to sustain both humans and biodiversity on the floodplain and bordering upland. Threats to the integrity of Amazon floodplain habitats from dams, river navigation networks, extension of the agricultural frontier, and climate change are increasingly severe.
However, to date, biodiversity scenarios for the Amazon wetlands have not considered all these critical drivers.
Our Study Region encompasses the floodplains of the mainstem Amazon river (Brazil and Colombia) and the Juruá river (Brazil), as well as adjacent uplands.
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Our research framework includes four Focal Sites on the lower Amazon (Curuai and Janauacá lakes), the upper Amazon (Leticia), and the Juruá river (Médio Juruá), where consortium members have collected data for several decades on water quality, phytoplankton, forests, fish, and mammals, and have longstanding relationships with community leaders, farmers’ unions and fishing cooperatives. In addition to Focal Sites, we have identified several Auxiliary Sites along the mainstem and Juruá where habitats have previously been mapped by team members and for which more limited field data sets are available