Bosque (Valdivia)  vol.38 no.1; Abstract: S0717-92002017000100020
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Bosque (Valdivia)
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Abstract

LEON-MUNOZ, Jorge, ECHEVERRIA, Cristian, FUENTES, Rodrigo et al. How is the land use-cover changing in drinking water catchments in the coastal range of south-central Chile (35° - 38.5° S)?. Bosque (Valdivia), 2017, vol.38, no.1, p.203-209. ISSN 0717-9200.

Different studies on land use-cover change (LUCC) have revealed substantial loss of native forests in south-central Chile in the last decades. However, little information exists about LUCC in drinking water catchments (DWC) affected by water scarcity. We analyzed the LUCC in 25 catchments that supply water to urban and rural communities in the coastal range of south-central Chile, between 1986 and 2011. Results showed that 21 DWC exhibited an increase in intensity of land uses, from native forest and shrublands to forest plantations of exotic species. A higher rate of deforestation was observed in unprotected catchments (2.7 % ± 1.5 year-1) than in catchments protected by the State (0.5 % ± 0.4 year-1). Our spatio-temporal assessment of LUCC at the catchment scale reveals the high degree of pressure in land condition in critical DWC. It is urgent to develop a landscape planning strategy to conserve drinking water source areas in changing landscapes.

Keywords: water supply; land use-cover; native forest; forest plantations.

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