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Scenarios and Modeling of Land Use and Cover Changes in Portugal from 1980 to 2040

Sara Santos, Pedro Cabral and Alexander Zamyatin
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Sara Santos: NOVA Information Management School, Lisbon, Portugal
Pedro Cabral: NOVA Information Management School, Lisbon, Portugal
Alexander Zamyatin: Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia

International Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Information Systems (IJAEIS), 2015, vol. 6, issue 4, 1-15

Abstract: In this study, land use and cover changes in continental Portugal are analyzed for years 1980, 1995 and 2010 using samples of the Landyn research project. The modeling approach includes testing the hypothesis that land cover changes are generated by a first-order Markov process. Results show that the changes in land use and cover are dependent of the previous moment in time, i.e., they follow a Markov process. Accordingly, multi-decadal land cover projections of Landyn simplified land cover classes are legitimately presented and analyzed for continental Portugal and its regions for years 2020, 2030 and 2040. To make these results spatially explicit, a modelling approach which combines Markov chains with cellular automata is carried out using hypothetical scenarios. The quantitative and spatially explicit information provided by this study enables a better understanding of tendencies in land cover change and may be useful for territorial planning and management.

Date: 2015
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