70 Years of Land Use/Land Cover Changes in the Apennines (Italy): A Meta-Analysis

Francesco Malandra, Alessandro Vitali, Carlo Urbinati, Matteo Garbarino
2018 Forests  
Land use science usually adopts a case study approach to investigate landscape change processes, so we considered a meta-analysis an appropriate tool for summarizing general patterns and heterogeneous findings across multiple case studies over a large geographic area. Mountain landscapes in the Apennines (Italy) have undergone significant variations in the last century due to regional and national socio-economic changes. In this work, we reviewed 51 manuscripts from different databases and
more » ... ned 57 case studies. We explored heterogeneous data sets, adopting a stepwise approach to select the case studies: Step 1, a general overview of the main studies; Step 2, an analysis of the features of the study sites and of land-use/cover transitions; Step 3, a landscape pattern analysis. We standardized the processing methods to obtain a new set of homogeneous data suitable for comparative analysis. After some pre-processing of the selected paper due to the broad heterogeneity of the data, we calculated common landscape metrics ex novo. We obtained digital images used to perform automatic segmentation with eCognition Developer 64 software. Our review indicated that most case studies were in Central and Southern Italy, 83% were examined at local scale, 77% carried out change detection, but only 38% included both change detection and landscape spatial pattern analysis. The results revealed a clear trend of forest expansion (+78%) and the reduction of croplands (−49%) and grasslands (−19%). We did not find significant changes in the landscape spatial patterns.
doi:10.3390/f9090551 fatcat:z5pokhdjfjbwjpnnrvmmr6jini