Changes in forest area and fragmentation in the Vallès lowlands between the years 1993 and 2000

Joan Pino, Ferran Rodà, Corina Basnou, Maria Guirado

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Abstract

Changes in forest area, forest fragmentation, the land cover classes of origin of the gained forest and of destiny of the lost forest, and size and form of the gained and lost forest patches were evaluated in the Vallès lowlands (Barcelona Metropolitan Area) between 1993 and 2000, by combining the two editions of the land cover map of Catalonia (MCSC) using the MiraMon SIG. The area occupied by dense, non-riparian forest decreased by 3% in the studied period. The lost forest has been substituted by shrublands-grasslands, urban land, and croplands. There has been a small recovery of forest as well, mainly from shrublands-grasslands and croplands, which does not compensate the forest loss. An increase of forest fragmentation has also been observed, affecting more than 10% of the surface of the large forest areas. The validity of the methodology and the ecological implications of these results for conservation are finally addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-77
JournalDocuments d' Analisi Geografica
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

Keywords

  • Barcelona Metropolitan Area
  • Fragmentation
  • Land cover map of Catalonia
  • Land use and cover change
  • Landscape ecology
  • Vallès

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