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Impact of land-use change on biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Chilean temperate forests

Abstract

Context

Land-use change impacts biodiversity and ecosystem services, which are intrinsically related. There is a serious lack of knowledge concerning on how land-use change affects this relationship at landscape level, where the greatest impacts have been reported. A proper knowledge of that relationship would provide crucial information for planning conservation strategies. The forest landscape of southern Chile, which includes Valdivian Temperate Forest, has been designated as a hotspot for biodiversity conservation. However, this landscape has been transformed by land-use change.

Objective

We evaluated the impact of land-use change on the spatial patterns of the diversity of native forest habitat and the influence of these impacts on the provision of the ecosystem services water supply, erosion control, and organic matter accumulation from 1986 to 2011.

Methods

The evaluation, at the landscape level, was carried out using satellite images, landscape metrics, spatially explicit models and generalized linear models. Results: We found that the area loss of native forest habitat was 12%, the number patches of native forest habitat increased more than 150% and the Shannon diversity index decreased by 0.20. The largest decrease in the provision of services was recorded for erosion control (346%), and the smallest for water supply (11%).

Conclusions

The loss of provision of the ecosystem services can be explained by the interaction between the area loss, increase in the number patches and diversity loss. We recommend that the conservation planning strategies should consider the current landscape configuration, complemented with land-use planning.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. Jean Paul Metzger, Dr. Marco Nuti, Dr. Alberto Hernández, Laboratorio de Ecología de Paisaje de la Universidad de Concepción, Laboratorio de Ecología de Paisaje y Conservación de la Universidad de Sao Paulo, Brasil and FONDECYT Project 1,140,531. We also thank the Ministry of Education of Chile for a MECESUP scholarship.

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Correspondence to James Rodríguez-Echeverry.

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Rodríguez-Echeverry, J., Echeverría, C., Oyarzún, C. et al. Impact of land-use change on biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Chilean temperate forests. Landscape Ecol 33, 439–453 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-018-0612-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-018-0612-5

Keywords

  • Anthropogenic processes
  • Changing landscape
  • Habitat diversity
  • Natural capital
  • Spatially explicit models