A set of landscape metrics is used to study the long-term environmental transformation of a typical coastal Mediterranean area from 1850 to 2005. Our figures show a dramatic environmental deterioration between 1950 and 2005. The main proximate drivers of this landscape degradation are the effects of urban sprawl on former agricultural areas located in the coastal plains, together with the abandonment and reforestation of hilly slopes intercepted by low-density residential areas, highways, and other linear infrastructures. Then, a statistical redundancy analysis (RDA) is carried out to identify certain ultimate socioeconomic and political drivers of these environmental impacts. The results confirm, from a quantitative perspective, our main hypothesis that some ultimate geographical endowments and socioeconomic or political drivers have determined land cover changes which, in turn, have altered both structural and functional landscape properties. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
- Ecological connectivity
- Land-use change
- Mediterranean landscapes
- Socioeconomic drivers
- Statistical redundancy analysis (RDA)