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Title: An evaluation of changes in a mountainous rural landscape of Northeast Portugal using remotely sensed data
Author: Pôças, Isabel
Cunha, Mário
Marçal, André R.S.
Pereira, Luís Santos
Keywords: landscape dynamics
semi-natural mountain meadows
supervised classification
agroenvironmental policies
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: "Landscape and Urban Planning". ISSN 0169-2046. 101 (2011) 253-261
Abstract: Image data from Earth Observation Satellites (EOS) were used to analyse mountain landscape changes in Northeast Portugal. Three Landsat images, from April 30th 1979, March 14th 1989 and May 29th 2002 were used. A supervised classification was performed for each image based on the radiometric information and the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Eleven classes were selected considering the main land cover types in the region. The classification results showed high overall accuracy (above 92.5%) and kappa coefficient (above 0.91). Broadly, the range of dates of the Landsat images used allowed for the differentiation between classes. Nevertheless, some problems occurred in differentiating between classes of forest and shrub vegetation due to similar characteristics and vegetation conditions in some periods of the year, and also due to the effects of topographic shadows associated to mountain areas. Meadows and annual crops were the classes having greater changes from 1979 to 2002: meadows area increased 60% while annual crops decreased 43.5%. The increase in meadows area was likely due to policies supporting agroenvironmental conservation and autochthon bovine livestock production. Differently, the decrease in annual crops was likely due to the loss of economical competitiveness of main annual crops and to the rural population decrease and ageing, which favoured the replacement of arable lands by permanent meadows. These results may help developing policies and measures for sustainable management of traditional mountain rural landscapes
Description: Available at ScienceDirect
Peer review: yes
ISSN: 0169-2046
Publisher Version:
Appears in Collections:DCEB - Artigos de Revistas

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