Woody colonization of road embankments: A large spatial scale survey in central Spain

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Environmental planning must determine management practices for a given territory based on the landscape processes that have occurred over time and their consequences.Therefore, environmental planning decisions must be based on strong empirical evidence that can be easily understood by all involved parties. Several studies have highlighted the methodological deficiencies that occur when obtaining and interpreting such issues, particularly in heterogeneous landscapes with complex interactions. In this paper, we evaluated two. methodological approaches that are used in management planning, land use/cover change(LUCC) and mosaic change (MC) to compare their effectiveness and suitability for supporting decision making. We applied these methods to the coastal landscape of São Sebastião Island, Brazil, which has undergone many changes in the last 50 years. For two years, land use/cover maps were produced using GIS and assessed according to changes in landscape elements (LUCC) and boundaries (MC). Overall, the LUCC failed to identify sets with similar structural heterogeneities in the landscape. However, the LUCC is easier for stakeholders to understand and apply than the MC. The MC method better presented the evolution of the relationship between the landscape elements and heterogeneity.