Applying Ecological Landscape Concepts and Metrics in Urban Landscape Management

Proceedings of the International Conference on Changing Cities II: Spatial, Design, Landscape & Socio-economic Dimensions – Ano 2015

Autores desta publicação

  • FONSECA, Bráulio M. – Prof. Bráulio Magalhães Fonseca - Professor e Pesquisador Geodesign
  • RIBAS, Rodrigo P. – Prof. Rodrigo Pinheiro Ribas - Professor, Pesquisador colaborador
  • MOURA, Ana Clara M. – Prof. Ana Clara Mourão Moura - COORDENADORA
  • Palavras-chave: Landscape Ecology, Landscape Metrics, Spatial Analysis

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Resumo da publicação

Recent studies in landscape ecology, related to metrics of shapes in vegetation patches, have become very useful for identifying areas with preservation potential as well as for characterizing the quality of vegetation fragments. However, this analysis logic is rarely used in urban landscape management. Landscape Ecology aims at analyzing vegetation fragments' structure, changes and functions that characterize the studied environment. To perform these analyzes land cover is spatially decoded as matrix (which prevails in the landscape), patches (fragments dispersed in the matrix, the smaller, individual elements observable in the landscape) and corridors (axes that promote the flow of species and, consequently, biodiversity maintenance). The use of this logic in urban planning allows vegetation fragments' hierarchical classification in order to identify the most important in the promotion of urban ecological corridors. This ranking is the basis for zoning definition in master plans, establishing occupation and protection levels in city zones. To prove the potential of this approach in landscape metrics, the city of São Gonçalo do Rio Abaixo was chosen as a case study because it is undergoing profound transformations stimulated by the development of iron mining exploration in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero (QF) Region (Iron Quadrangle) in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The methodological process employed was divided into three stages: 1 - satellite image classification (RapidEye, year 2013) for land use and land cover mapping; 2 - application of landscape metrics in land cover mapping in vector format (area, perimeter, distance to nearest neighbor, core area and e shape index); 3 - integration of metrics using multicriteria analysis (MCA) in order to classify vegetation fragments by their level of environmental importance. The classification of each fragment is presented as the results, indicating those that must be defined as full-preservation, those that must be considered for sustainable use, and fragments that should be the target of restoration strategies such as plant recovery since they have a strategic role and position in the system. Fragments with a larger core area, with rounded morphology, and near to other fragments so as to form an interconnected network were selected as the most important in the system, but others were identified as important components in the system. Fragment characterization and ranking allowed identification of their vocations in relation to their use: urban activities (parks and recreation); landscape protection (bio-climatic quality and scenic beauty); and environmental protection, because of biodiversity maintenance interests. Selected areas can compromise public and urban regulatory policy proposals that promote vegetation cover maintenance and connection, considering not only those officially sanctioned areas of vegetation cover (parks, protected areas and conservation units), but also propose special rules and policies to include private properties in the studies, in order to stimulate the protection of backyards with forest fragments, because vegetation cover must be understood as a systemic network.

Abstract (english text)

Recent studies in landscape ecology, related to metrics of shapes in vegetation patches, have become very useful for identifying areas with preservation potential as well as for characterizing the quality of vegetation fragments. However, this analysis logic is rarely used in urban landscape management. Landscape Ecology aims at analyzing vegetation fragments' structure, changes and functions that characterize the studied environment. To perform these analyzes land cover is spatially decoded as matrix (which prevails in the landscape), patches (fragments dispersed in the matrix, the smaller, individual elements observable in the landscape) and corridors (axes that promote the flow of species and, consequently, biodiversity maintenance). The use of this logic in urban planning allows vegetation fragments' hierarchical classification in order to identify the most important in the promotion of urban ecological corridors. This ranking is the basis for zoning definition in master plans, establishing occupation and protection levels in city zones. To prove the potential of this approach in landscape metrics, the city of São Gonçalo do Rio Abaixo was chosen as a case study because it is undergoing profound transformations stimulated by the development of iron mining exploration in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero (QF) Region (Iron Quadrangle) in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The methodological process employed was divided into three stages: 1 - satellite image classification (RapidEye, year 2013) for land use and land cover mapping; 2 - application of landscape metrics in land cover mapping in vector format (area, perimeter, distance to nearest neighbor, core area and e shape index); 3 - integration of metrics using multicriteria analysis (MCA) in order to classify vegetation fragments by their level of environmental importance. The classification of each fragment is presented as the results, indicating those that must be defined as full-preservation, those that must be considered for sustainable use, and fragments that should be the target of restoration strategies such as plant recovery since they have a strategic role and position in the system. Fragments with a larger core area, with rounded morphology, and near to other fragments so as to form an interconnected network were selected as the most important in the system, but others were identified as important components in the system. Fragment characterization and ranking allowed identification of their vocations in relation to their use: urban activities (parks and recreation); landscape protection (bio-climatic quality and scenic beauty); and environmental protection, because of biodiversity maintenance interests. Selected areas can compromise public and urban regulatory policy proposals that promote vegetation cover maintenance and connection, considering not only those officially sanctioned areas of vegetation cover (parks, protected areas and conservation units), but also propose special rules and policies to include private properties in the studies, in order to stimulate the protection of backyards with forest fragments, because vegetation cover must be understood as a systemic network.

Autores do laboratório

  • Prof. Ana Clara Mourão Moura
    Prof. Ana Clara Mourão Moura
    COORDENADORA
  • Prof. Bráulio Magalhães Fonseca
    Prof. Bráulio Magalhães Fonseca
    Professor e Pesquisador Geodesign
  • Prof. Rodrigo Pinheiro Ribas
    Prof. Rodrigo Pinheiro Ribas
    Professor, Pesquisador colaborador