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Quantitative changes of forest landscapes over the last century across Italy

Camarretta, N, Puletti, N, Chiavetta, U and Corona, P 2017 , 'Quantitative changes of forest landscapes over the last century across Italy' , Plant Biosystems, vol. 152, no. 5 , pp. 1011-1019 , doi: 10.1080/11263504.2017.1407374.

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Abstract

A key topic in landscape ecology and vegetation science is the quantitative analysis of changes in forest cover over time, through the use of geomatics monitoring tools. Ecologists and landscape researchers are pointing out that a full understanding of ecosystems and landscapes should be based on the analysis of their functioning over long time series. Under this perspective, a long-term historical reconstruction of forest cover is essential. This study has aimed at examining the long-term dynamics of forest landscapes in Italy, over the last century, using recent remote-sensing based map (2012) and an accurate historical map (1936). A forest-non forest approach has been followed by the computation of a variety of landscape metrics using two analysis tools, with the final objective of quantifying changes in forest cover patterns and in the composition of specific landscape elements. Results show that forest landscape structure has significantly changed across Italy, resulting in a general trend of decreasing fragmentation and patchiness, mainly through enlargement of existing forest patches, which have also assumed a more geometrically regular shape. In relative terms, the greatest expansion of forest areas has occurred mainly in lowland districts characterised by the highest level of human pressure in the country

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Camarretta, N and Puletti, N and Chiavetta, U and Corona, P
Keywords: forest fragmentation, forest patchiness, land cover change, landscape metrics, spatial pattern analysis
Journal or Publication Title: Plant Biosystems
Publisher: Editrice Compositori Bologna
ISSN: 1126-3504
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/11263504.2017.1407374
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Societa Botanica Italiana

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