The present study assesses the spatial distribution of selected land cover classes at two years (1975 and 2000) in a Mediterranean urban area (Athens, Greece) to test the hypothesis that land cover changes determine an increase in the sensitivity of landscape to forest fires on a regional scale. While urban and agricultural areas increased, although with different rates of growth, forests and semi-natural areas decreased in the study area. These changes are reflected in a significant increase of vegetation sensitivity to forest fires measured by the forest fire risk (FR) index developed in the framework of MEDALUS project. The cover classes which contributed the most to the increase of the FR index were crop mosaic, mixed agricultural-natural areas and discontinuous, low-density settlements. Results of the present study indicate that the transformation of the fringe landscape towards low-quality agricultural and pasture areas and fragmented forest patches is potentially detrimental for environmental quality and the ecological fragility of land.
|Autori:||Salvati, L.;Ferrara, A.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Titolo:||Do land cover changes shape sensitivity to forest fires in peri-urban areas?|
|Rivista:||URBAN FORESTRY & URBAN GREENING|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|