Title: Estimating the Ecological Status and Change of Riparian Zones in Andalusia Assessed by Multi-Temporal AVHRR Datasets
Citation: ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS vol. 9 no. 3 p. 422-431
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC42142
ISSN: 1470-160X
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6W87-4T2RYWP-1&_user=4900406&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000036252&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=4900406&md5=e1d612c66659c70bede28f8c43c05fe6
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2008.05.013
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The present study focuses on the development of a classification tool for riparian-use zones and the effect of Agri-Environmental measures on these areas in Andalusia, Spain. According to the Water Framework Directive by 2015 all surface waters in the EU must reach a good status, part of which is defined as ecological status. Ecological status is reflected by several criteria, among others by hydromorphological quality elements like the structure and condition of the riparian zone. Riparian zones with totally or nearly totally undisturbed structures are given high ecological status. Agri-environmental measures (AEMs) within the Rural Development Programs of the EU aim to reduce impacts on the environment from agricultural activities. Recent studies in Andalusia and elsewhere suggest that extensive land use of surrounding landscapes correspond to better status of the riparian zone. Thus AEMs promoting extensification are expected to have a positive effect on the status of the riparian zone. This status can be approximated by the amount of vegetation permanently present. Healthy riparian vegetation (trees, bushes, hedges) but also undercover left on adjacent fields where extensive agricultural practices are used will contribute to this. The permanent vegetation fraction was calculated from time series of remotely sensed images and was used (1) to classify the riparian zone in Andalusia into favourable and unfavourable status using ground observations and (2) to assess the effect of AEMs on the riparian zone. The effect of AEMs in the classified riparian zone was assessed in olive land cover classes because erosion control in olive cultivation is the most widely implemented measure in Andalusia. Results suggest that the remotely sensed permanent vegetation fraction is a good approximation of the favourable and unfavourable riparian status. Furthermore, extensification of agricultural practices in olive cultivations expressed in terms of increasing permanent vegetation cover was shown to have positive effect on the riparian zone.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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