Is aridity restricting deforestation and land uses in the South American Dry Chaco?
HOUSPANOSSIAN JAVIER; GIMÉNEZ, RAUL; BALDI, GERMÁN; NOSETTO, MARCELO
Journal of Land Use Science
Taylor & Francis
In this paper we explored how aridity influences the regional deforestation and land-use patterns (i.e., crops/pastures) in South-American Dry Chaco. To do this, we contrasted land-use during last decade (2001-2012) with a spatially explicit Aridity index, which we complemented with a crop water balance model. Land-use classifications were performed by considering the temporal variability of NDVI from MODIS satellites, showing that 40 and 60% of deforested land was assigned to crops and pastures, respectively. Results indicate that although the regional deforestation pattern was not associated with the aridity gradient, with drier areas similarly deforested than wetter ones, contrasting differences were observed in the use of this land, with crops mostly located (90%) in wetter areas and pastures evenly distributed across the whole aridity gradient. This research highlighted the strong effect of water limitations on the land-use option after deforestation and may help to set the basis for future land-use planning policies.