In the past two decades, as the influence of global change became more prominent, ecological research has been conducted at increasingly larger spatial scales. It is generally agreed that the actual land use pattern of a region has a strong influence on a variety of ecological phenomena. Nevertheless, the actual status of a landscape is the result of a land use evolution, and the historic development of a region is often one of the most decisive factors governing species distribution of plants and animals. Thus, describing changes in the proportions of land cover types through time may be crucial for preserving biological diversity and developing paradigms of sustainable ecosystem management at the landscape level. Numerous studies in landscape ecology has been concentrated in quantify various aspects of landscape change. However, a shortcoming of most of this work is that landscape change depends non-linearly on the extent of the area analyzed. Therefore, a landscape classification scheme that provides ecologically meaningful frame for quantifying different aspects of landscape mosaics could be useful. The aim of this work is to analyze and describe landscape change of the SW sector of the Lepini Range (Central Italy) and its relationship with different environmental factors. The Lepini Mountains are located in central Italy and the analyzed sector has an extension of 418 Km2. It is characterized by some heterogeneity in geological and morphological features since elevation ranges from 20 m a.s.l. to 1536 m a.s.l. Two Land cover vegetation maps (1954 and 1992) at 1:50000 of the study area were produced through aerial photographs interpretation following CORINE Land Cover protocol. The land cover legend has been adapted incorporating information (i.e. vegetation types) in a new level of detail. 23 land cover types were identified. Landscape change has been evaluated trough transition matrix analysis for the landscape extent and for each land unit present inside the study area. Results show two opposite trends inside the Lepini Range, on one hand, an intensification of man activities and natural regrowth of spontaneous woodlands on the other. Although refinements are needed to create a uniform language for describing and mapping ecosystem distribution, the use of landscape classification as a baseline for a quantitative landscape change analysis seems very effective.
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-25844516998|
|Titolo:||Multitemporal landscape analysis and hierarchic ecosystem classification. The case of the Lepini Mountains (Central Italy)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|