Soil Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning


Global Litter Invertebrate Decomposition Experiment

Manaus, Brazil

Site Manager

Dr. Heraldo Vasconcelos
Instituto de Biologia
Universidade Federal de Uberlandia
Campus Umuarama
CP 593
38400-902 Uberlandia, MG
Telephone: (+092) 034 3 218 2243
Fax: (+092) 034 3 218 2243 ext. 35

Site Description

The Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project (BDFFP) is a collaborative, bi-national project between the Smithsonian Institution and the Brazilian Institute for Research in the Amazon (INPA). Initiated in 1979, the research station has conducted one of the only long-term projects to evaluate the impacts of human activities in the Amazon. The Project also promotes studies on basic tropical ecology and areas related to forest regeneration, and has invested heavily in training students and technicians from Brazil and other Latin American countries. The BDFFP mission is to determine the ecological consequence of habitat destruction and fragmentation in the Amazon, and to disseminate this information widely in such a way as to foster conservation and ration use of forest resources.

Site Location

The BDFFP study area is located ca. 80 km north of Manaus, Brazil (2°25'S, 60° W) within the Distrito Agropecuário.

Site Area

The Distrito Agropecuário is an area of approximately 500,000 ha of relatively undisturbed forest that is being developed by the Manaus Trade-Free Zone (Suframa). Included in the BDFFP are over 3,500 ha of forest reserves, ranging in size from 1 to 1000 ha, and spread over a 60 km wide area.

Site Elevation

Site elevation is 80 -120 m.

Annual Rainfall

Precipitation averages around 2600 mm annually and varies seasonally with a rainy season between November and May, and a dry season from June and October.

Annual Temperature

Mean annual temperature is 27.6°C.


Soils are relatively nutrient-poor, sandy or yellow latosols (xanthic ferralsols).

Native Forest/Vegetation Types

The forest in the area is typical terra firme forest (not subject to periodic flooding) with a canopy height of 30-37 m. Species richness of trees is high, averaging about 280 species per hectare. The understory is relatively open and dominated by palms. The site is located on pleistocenic terraces of interglacial origin and the topography is ondulated with mean altitudinal differences between plateaus and stream valleys of 40-50 m.

Principal Biome/Ecoregion

Ecoregion is tropical moist forest.

Photo Gallery

Photos courtesy of Heraldo Vasconcelos



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This webpage is funded by the Soil Science Society of America.

Please contact the GLIDE headquarters (email: if you have any comments or questions.

GLIDE was a project of the International Biodiversity Observation Year 2001-2002

This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 98 06437 Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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This page was last updated on February 1, 2005

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