Systematic transitions in land use and land cover in a pre-Andean subwatershed with high human intervention in the Araucania Region, Chile
P. Saavedra Briones, and A. Sepúlveda-Varas. 2016. Systematic transitions in land use and land cover in a pre-Andean subwatershed with high human intervention in the Araucania Region, Chile. Cien. Inv. Agr. 43(3):396-407. Historical studies of land use changes help us to understand the current configuration of the landscape and identify the environmental and social impacts that are associated with these transformations. Several authors describe the transitions as a process of change that transforms the landscape system; for systematic transitions, these transitions are driven by stable and gradual processes. The objective of this study is to determine the trajectory and magnitude of land use and land cover (LULC) change for the 1994-2007 period in a pre-Andean sub-watershed with intensive human use in the central-southern zone of Chile and to analyze the most significant systematic transitions between land cover types. The results confirmed the reduction in the areas of agriculture and livestock and the increase of exotic plantations use on surfaces intended for agricultural use. The significant transitions were the conversion at a rate gain of 384 ha/year of "Farmlands" to "Exotic plantations", the abandonment at a loss rate of 119 ha/year of "Perennial grasslands" to "Native vegetation", the degradation at a loss rate of 93 ha/year of "Native vegetation" to "Perennial grassland", and the revegetation at a rate gain of 60 ha/year of "Exotic plantations" to "Native vegetation". The new patterns and trends in the use and intensity of land use reaffirmed the need for studies on the updated status of natural resources, particularly soil resources. This work, we believe, is a technical tool to support the sustainable management of a territory and the decision-making processes on land use.