Land use change in the geosystem coastal basin of the Boroa river (Chile) between 1994 and 2004

We analyzed the major changes in land use in the landscape units (geosystems) of Boroa river basin between 1994 and 2004. To do this, we hypothesized that changes in landscape structure have been driven primarily by human action, generating significant changes in the ecological landscape. Categorical maps of use/land cover made from aerial photographs, cartographic material and its subsequent correction in the field were used. This information was complemented by an analysis of the geomorphology and environmental units of the basin. Significant variation was found in the area of forest plantations (mainly Eucalyptus spp.) which varied between 3.2 and 28%, associated principally with the conversion of the use and occupation of metamorphic mountain chains. At the same time, the expansion in wetlands areas on waterlogged soils was found, all of which have reduced the total agricultural area in 61%, transforming the landscape into a period of only ten years. These changes are discussed on the basis of a combination of economic, legal and environmental, concluding that the human factor has been primarily responsible for driving changes in land use in the Boroa river basin.

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