The present study investigates the transformations in the agro-forest landscape of Attica (Greece) along an urban-to-rural gradient over 20 years using landscape metrics and land-use indicators. This region experienced increasing human pressure reflected in the dispersed urban expansion stimulated by the 2004 Olympic Games. Based on the spatial distribution of nine land-use classes in 1987 and 2007 derived from comparable digital maps, a multi-temporal analysis was developed to assess ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ variables characterizing landscape changes in the area. Urban areas, bare land, and burnt areas expanded rapidly, fragmenting the agro-forest landscape. A principal components analysis carried out on selected landscape metrics in both 1987 and 2007 indicated that forests and cropland are moving toward patchiness and a higher fractal configuration. The multivariate approach applied to landscape metrics revealed how land fragmentation was dependent on both urban expansion and processes typically observed in rural areas, such as crop intensification, forest fires and clear-cutting, land abandonment, and shrubland expansion. These findings were confirmed by a local-level analysis of land-use changes (1945–2007) carried out on the fringe of Athens. By linking structural and compositional features of landscape, the approach developed in this study may inform policies promoting sustainable urban forms and protecting high-quality, relict agro-forest landscapes in peri-urban areas.
|Autori:||Salvati, L.;Ranalli, F.;Gitas, I.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Titolo:||Landscape fragmentation and the agro-forest ecosystem along a rural-to-urban gradient: an exploratory study|
|Rivista:||THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND WORLD ECOLOGY|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|