Assessment of wetland visual landscape in the Cruces River, Ramsar site of Chile

Munoz Pedreros, Andres
Moncada Herrera, Juan
Gomez Cea, Laura
Datos de publicación:
Landscape is an environmental heritage, which includes cultural and natural values, a resource that represents the appearance of an area and reflects its nature and history. Thus, this heritage resource should be assessed and managed rationally, especially since there is an increasing demand for areas of high landscape value for ecotourism activities. Regarding the study of visual landscape, it was not considered as a measurable element until the mid-twentieth century and considerable progress has been made in assessing the quality, the fragility and capacity for use as a direct assessment of the landscape. Still pending is the indirect analysis which includes its basic visual features such as line, color, texture, spatial configuration and relief, and their components, both primary and secondary. Therefore, the objective of this study is to evaluate the visual landscape (direct analysis) of the Cruces River and surrounding area, its fragility and capacity for use, analyzing the relationship between the value of these landscapes with their visual characteristics and primary components (indirect analysis). The visual landscape quality was assessed using a mixed method with direct assessment: of representative subjectivity and subsequent indirect analysis of its components, using a standardized panel of assessors. We also determined the fragility of the landscape, which was integrated with the visual quality and spatialized in a GIS. Thus categories of landscape use in the study area were created. The landscape quality average value (+/- SD) was VP = 16.86 +/- 1.99. Recommended uses are in category 3 (high landscape quality and low fragility) that is tourism and recreation in 86.1 % of the study area. For indirect analysis, in each landscape, the basic visual features (line, color and texture) and its primary components were identified, analyzing their relationship with the visual quality. The landscape value is relate more strongly with the characteristics of line and texture such as grain and density and their assessment is dependent on its primary component. Landscapes with high VP relate to dense Salix and swamp vegetation and landscapes with forest vegetation.