The present study assesses the spatial distribution of selected land cover classes at two years (1975 and2000) in a Mediterranean urban area (Athens, Greece) to test the hypothesis that land cover changesdetermine an increase in the sensitivity of landscape to forest fires on a regional scale. While urbanand agricultural areas increased, although with different rates of growth, forests and semi-natural areasdecreased in the study area. These changes are reflected in a significant increase of vegetation sensitivityto 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, mixedagricultural-natural areas and discontinuous, low-density settlements. Results of the present study indi-cate that the transformation of the fringe landscape towards low-quality agricultural and pasture areasand fragmented forest patches is potentially detrimental for environmental quality and the ecologicalfragility of land.

Do land cover changes shape sensitivity to forest fires in peri-urban areas?

SALVATI, LUCA;FERRARA, Agostino Maria Silvio
2014

Abstract

The present study assesses the spatial distribution of selected land cover classes at two years (1975 and2000) in a Mediterranean urban area (Athens, Greece) to test the hypothesis that land cover changesdetermine an increase in the sensitivity of landscape to forest fires on a regional scale. While urbanand agricultural areas increased, although with different rates of growth, forests and semi-natural areasdecreased in the study area. These changes are reflected in a significant increase of vegetation sensitivityto 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, mixedagricultural-natural areas and discontinuous, low-density settlements. Results of the present study indi-cate that the transformation of the fringe landscape towards low-quality agricultural and pasture areasand fragmented forest patches is potentially detrimental for environmental quality and the ecologicalfragility of land.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/81298
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