Agricultural abandonment in the north eastern Iberian Peninsula: The use of basic landscape metrics to support planning

Isabel Bielsa, Xavier Pons, Bob Bunce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Land abandonment is an important cause of changes in landscape patterns in the Mediterranean area. There is a need to monitor land use and land cover changes in order to provide quantitative evidence of the relationship between land abandonment and the formation of new landscape patterns. Appropriate management policies to encourage sustainable development can then be developed. This paper describes how to monitor landscape dynamics using different temporal land use and land cover data generated from field survey and airborne information. The results showed that the abandonment of agricultural land generally results in an increase of vegetation biomass. This process leads to homogenization of the landscape. In addition, abandonment promotes fragmentation of agricultural land. Based on these results, the paper discusses the implications for rural management policies concerning the abandonment of agricultural land and suggests recommendations for the development of such policies. © 2005 University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-102
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Volume48
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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