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Land 2016, 5(1), 3; doi:10.3390/land5010003

Anthropogenic Influences in Land Use/Land Cover Changes in Mediterranean Forest Landscapes in Sicily

Università Degli Studi di Palermo, Dipartimento Scienze Agrarie e Forestali, Viale delle Scienze, Edificio 4, Ingresso H, 90128 Palermo, Italy
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Academic Editors: Eduardo S. Brondizio, Jane Southworth and Andrew Millington
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 15 December 2015 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 26 January 2016
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Abstract

This paper analyzes and quantifies the land use/land cover changes of the main forest and semi-natural landscape types in Sicily between 1955 and 2012. We analyzed seven representative forest and shrubland landscapes in Sicily. These study areas were chosen for their importance in the Sicilian forest panorama. We carried out a diachronic survey on historical and current aerial photos; all the aerial images used to survey the land use/land cover changes were digitalized and georeferenced in the UTM WGS84 system. In order to classify land use, the Regional Forest Inventory 2010 legend was adopted for the more recent images, and the CORINE Land Cover III level used for the older, lower resolution images. This study quantifies forest landscape dynamics; our results show for almost all study areas an increase of forest cover and expansion, whereas a regressive dynamic is found in rural areas due to intensive agricultural and pasturage uses. Understanding the dynamics of forest landscapes could enhance the role of forestry policy as a tool for landscape management and regional planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: land use/land cover changes; landscape dynamics; climate changes; human-dominated landscape; socioeconomic factors; forest management models land use/land cover changes; landscape dynamics; climate changes; human-dominated landscape; socioeconomic factors; forest management models
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

La Mela Veca, D.S.; Cullotta, S.; Sferlazza, S.; Maetzke, F.G. Anthropogenic Influences in Land Use/Land Cover Changes in Mediterranean Forest Landscapes in Sicily. Land 2016, 5, 3.

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