Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Mapping research on hydropower and sustainability in the Brazilian Amazon: Advances, gaps in knowledge and future directions

August 1, 2019

In the last twenty years, multiple large and small hydroelectric dams have begun to transform the Amazonian region, spawning a growing volume of academic research across diverse disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields. In this article, we offer a critical review of recent research related to hydropower and sustainability with a focus on the Brazilian Amazon. We revisit the
sustainability concept to include the contribution of various knowledge fields and perspectives for understanding, managing and making decisions about social-ecological systems
transformed by dams. We conducted a literature review in Web of Science of academic publications centered in the past 5 years (2014–2019), on diverse aspects of hydropower planning, construction, operation and monitoring in the Brazilian Amazon. We present results of a co-occurrence network analysis of publications, highlighting bridging fields, network
disconnections, and opportunities for interdisciplinary research. Finally, we report recent advances in the understanding and management of social-ecological systems in Amazonian
watersheds, including biophysical, socio-economic, governance and development processes linked to hydropower planning and implementation. This review identifies knowledge gaps and
future research directions, highlighting opportunities for improved communication among scientists, practitioners, decision-makers, indigenous peoples and local communities.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Mapping research on hydropower and sustainability in the Brazilian Amazon: Advances, gaps in knowledge and future directions
DOI 10.1016/j.cosust.2019.06.004
Authors Simone Athayde, Mason Matthews, Stephanie Bohlman, Walterlina Brasil, Carolina RC Doria, Jynessa Dutka-Gianelli, Philip M. Fearnside, Bette Loiselle, Elineide E Marques, Theodore Melis, Brent Millikan, Evandro M. Moretto, Anthony Oliver-Smith, Amintas Rossete, Raffaele Vacca, David Kaplan
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Series Number
Index ID 70205003
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Southwest Biological Science Center