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Revista mexicana de biodiversidad

On-line version ISSN 2007-8706Print version ISSN 1870-3453


OTAVO, Samuel  and  ECHEVERRIA, Cristian. Progressive fragmentation and loss of natural forests habitat in one of the global biodiversity hotspot. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. [online]. 2017, vol.88, n.4, pp.924-935. ISSN 2007-8706.

The understanding of the degree of forest fragmentation and landscape transformation is crucial for landscape sustainability and biodiversity conservation. Within the Chilean hotspot the Nahuelbuta Mountain can be found, which is considered as a high biodiversity value area under an intense human pressure. However, there is no information on the degree of transformation of the landscape and the conservation status of its natural forest ecosystems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the state of the landscape and the spatiotemporal changes in native forests in Nahuelbuta. Through the use of Landsat imagery acquired for 1986 and 2011, land-cover and use maps were generated. Results revealed a loss of 33% of native forest in 25 years, mainly associated with the conversion to forest plantations. Changes in spatial patterns of land-cover and uses revealed a profound transformation of the study landscape and an advanced fragmentation of native forests. We discuss how these changes threaten the persistence of different endemic species at high risk of extinction. If the current trend of spatial pattern changes continues, it is probable that these species might face an increase in their extinction risk.

Keywords : Deforestation; Nahuelbuta Mountain; Diversity; Endemism; Landscape-scale conservation; Effect of exotic plantations.

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