Changes on landscape heterogeneity and spatial patterning of native forests in Patagonia, Argentina

F. Carabelli, R. Scoz, H. Claverie, M. Jaramillo, M. Gómez


Native forests in Patagonia have been influenced by human activities since the beginning of the past century. Nevertheless, the availability of aerial photographs to conduct analysis of changes at a landscape level due to anthropic factors is generally restricted to the last decades. Therefore this study was aimed to detect changes of the forest landscape heterogeneity during the last thirty years in the northwest region of Chubut, the middle-located Patagonian province, and to study spatial patterning of forest landscapes. For the first goal, we focused on a 2,000 ha landscape unit with prevailing Austrocedrus chilensis forests. In 466 ha covered by these forests, 41% of this area was negatively affected by forest fires, timber logging followed by livestock grazing and substitution with pine plantations. In contrast, growth of young Austrocedrus forests was verified in 9% of the forest area. Spatial patterns were studied on an area of 10,000 ha showing a high heterogeneity of the distinctive landscape configurations.


Austrocedrus chilensis; fragmentation; landscape patterning

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DOI: 10.5424/srf/2006152-00961