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Bosque (Valdivia)

On-line version ISSN 0717-9200


ALTAMIRANO, Adison  and  LARA, Antonio. Deforestation in temperate ecosystems of pre-Andean range of south-central Chile. Bosque (Valdivia) [online]. 2010, vol.31, n.1, pp.53-64. ISSN 0717-9200.

A multitemporal analysis to determine the land cover change was conduced in the pre-Andean range of Maule region of Chile. We used satellite imagery from the year 1989 and 2003 to analyze the likely causes of native forest change. In this period, there was a reduction in native forest area of 44% in the study area, which is equivalent to an annual forest loss rate of 4.1%. The native forest area is replaced by shrublands (29%) and exotic forest plantations (27%). A great proportion of current exotic forest plantations are established on lands that were native forest in 1989 (63%). Most forest loss was associated with intermediate elevation and less distance to road network, where native forest area dominated. Native forest replacing by shrublands was associated to selective forest logging and firewood, which leads to degradation of these forests. Native forest replacing by exotic forest plantations was the result of the forestation incentive and an increase in the demand for forest products such as wood and pulp. Because of multiple impacts of the forest loss, we propose to focus the government incentives. Priority areas for incentives must be characterized by high forest loss rate and poverty, presence of threatened species and low availability of water from catchments. Moreover, we propose to prioritize the connectivity of the current network protected areas and to develop an effective forest management monitoring system using advanced technologies.

Keywords : Maule region; native forest; multitemporal analysis; remote sensing; land cover.

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