The current degradation of the Mediterranean coastal landscape highlights the necessity of, performing long term multitemporal analysis to guide land managers seeking to improve coastal, conservation, planning and management. This work sets out to quantify landscape changes for the last, 50 years in one sector of the Italian coast, with emphasis on natural dune cover types, and to analyze, their spatial configuration in relation to the anthropogenic cover types to investigate the processes, underlying these changes. On the basis of detailed land-cover maps (dated 1954, 1986 and 2006), we, assessed landscape changes by transition matrices. The spatial pattern of natural dune cover types, (Beaches with Pioneer annual Vegetation, Herbaceous Dune Vegetation and Woody Dune Vegetation), for the three dates was described by patch-based (Patch Size and Shape Index) and edge-based metrics, (patch shared boundaries with manmade cover types) and compared using the non-parametric, Kruskal-Wallis median test. Multitemporal analyses provided a description of the coastal changes, occurred in the last half century. Particularly notable are consistent intensification of agricultural and, afforestation activities in the inner sectors of the dunes and a widespread urbanization. The natural, dune cover types, originally distributed in few large and elongated patches, have undergone a, substantial reduction of extent and an alteration in their spatial pattern, being now reduced to many, small and regular patches. A significant rise of contacts between natural dune cover types and, urbanized areas and infrastructures was observed. Such landscape analysis could be useful to develop, management strategies for coastal dune areas.
CARRANZA, Maria Laura
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