Sixty years of land-use and land-cover change dynamics in a global biodiversity hotspot under threat from global change

Katherine Hermosilla-Palma*, Patricio Pliscoff, Mauricio Folchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Constitución County in Chile shows one of the highest landscape transformations in the world due to the expansion of forest plantations. This work describes the land use/cover dynamics over a long period extending over 60 years in Constitución County. The results showed that 60% of the county extent was covered by natural vegetationt in 1955. However, forest plantation increased to 36% by 1975 and reached 72% by 2014. This expansion was mainly achieved by replacing native vegetation revealing evidence of the impact of forest plantations on native vegetation even before decree-law 701 (1974). Forest plantation expansion produced fragmentation and loss of natural habitat, and 50% of the remaining habitats showed low habitat quality by 2014. Finally, in 2017 a wildfire burned 77% and 42% of the remaining native forest and shrubland. These results showed the long-lasting impact of forest plantations, underpinning the need to move towards a new sustainable forest model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-478
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Land Use Science
Volume16
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Central Chile
  • forestry plantations
  • habitat quality
  • Land-use and land-cover dynamics

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