Pine plantations and five decades of land use change in central Chile
The expansion of forest plantations is cause for concern because of their environmental effects, and the loss of native forests and agricultural land. Our goal was to quantify the increase in pine plantation, and concomitant loss of native forests, in central Chile since ca. 1960, and to identify in which settings native forests were lost most rapidly. We analyzed aerial photographs from 1955 and 1961, Landsat images from 1975 and 1998, and Google Earth high-resolution satellite images from 2014. To ensure high classification accuracy, we visually interpreted images for a systematic 3-km grid and assigned each point as either 'pine plantation', 'native forest', 'agricultural-livestock lands', or 'other'. We also calculated latitude, longitude, slope, Euclidean distance to the nearest road and to the nearest pulp mill, and the frequency of land use surrounding each point as potential variables to explain observed land use changes. Pine plantations expansion started even before 1960, when 12% of all points were already pine plantations, was particularly rapid from 1975 (18% of sample points) to 1998 (38%), and stabilized thereafter (37% by 2014). From 1975 to 1998 alone, 40% of native forests were replaced by pine plantations, and agricultural-livestock lands declined by 0.7%, 0.9%, 1% per year before 1975, from 1975 to 1998, and after 1998 respectively. Native forests that were surrounded by pine plantations, were most likely to be converted to plantations, and from 1960 to 1975, also native forests near pulp mills. The probability of change from agricultural-livestock lands to pine plantations was mainly influenced by slope, with most agricultural-livestock lands remaining in areas with low slopes.
Artículo de publicación ISI
Quote ItemPLoS ONE 15(2020): e0230193
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