PASTURE LAND COVER CHANGE IN SÃO PAULO STATE, BRAZIL
Pastures are complex land covers with a variety of land use systems. This land cover occupies large areas in the globe and is mainly used for livestock production. Brazil is one of the largest livestock producers and has extensive pasture areas. We analyzed the pasture land cover change of the São Paulo State between the years 2000 to 2015. São Paulo was chosen as study case due to its large industrial and agricultural importance and its expressive land cover changes over past decades. It was analyzed land covers databases generated by the Brazilian Annual Land Use and Land Cover Mapping Project (MapBiomas Project) – Collection 4. Transition matrix was generated to analyze the land cover change during the period. Gain, loss, total change, net change and swap were calculated in terms of area. Total pasture area decreased but continues the largest land cover of the São Paulo State; with 79.5% of persistence in the area. Main changes were from losses of pastures and gains in agriculture. Most of the changes to pasture came from other non vegetated areas and grassland categories. These results demonstrated the relevance of pastures areas in land cover change dynamics to address land use policy and plan future land use scenarios.