DYNAMICS OF AGRICULTURAL EXPANSION IN AREAS OF THE BRAZILIAN SAVANNA BETWEEN 2000 AND 2019
The information survey and the land use and land cover (LULC) change monitoring are essential to understand the changes in the landscape and their impacts on the environment. The Brazilian savanna (Cerrado) constitutes the second largest biome in Brazil and is highly relevant because of its rich biodiversity. The Cerrado in the Maranhão State is facing a high conversion rate of its natural vegetation into agricultural systems because of the agricultural development policies. This article aims to analyze and quantify the LULCC in the Chapadinha microregion, Maranhão State, Brazil, by comparing Landsat satellite images from 2000, 2009, and 2019. The Chapadinha microregion covers an area of more than 14,000 km 2 and, since 2000, presents significant spatial transformations related to agricultural expansion. The goal of this expansion is the economic development based on agricultural commodities (mainly soybean monoculture) for exportation. The study area is the third microregion in terms of agricultural production in Maranhão. The satellite image interpretation showed a reduction of more than 800 km 2 of natural vegetation.