Fire has become an increasingly important disturbance event in south-western Amazonia. We conducted the first assessment of the ecological impacts of these wildfires in 2008, sampling forest structure and biodiversity along twelve 500 m transects in the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve, Acre, Brazil. Six transects were placed in unburned forests and six were in forests that burned during a series of forest fires that occurred from August to October 2005. Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) calculations, based on Landsat reflectance data, indicate that all transects were similar prior to the fires.

The only fully coupled land

Joseph Wright and Helene Muller-Landau suggest that regeneration of tropical forests might lead to far less species loss than is feared by most tropical biologists (12 May, p 42). There is currently very little reason to think so.