Linking deforestation patterns to soil types: A multifractal approach

Urgilez Clavijo, Andrea, Riva Fernández, Juan de la, Rivas Tabares, David Andrés ORCID: and Tarquis Alfonso, Ana Maria ORCID: (2021). Linking deforestation patterns to soil types: A multifractal approach. "European Journal of Soil Science", v. 72 (n. 2); pp. 635-655. ISSN 1351-0754.


Title: Linking deforestation patterns to soil types: A multifractal approach
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: European Journal of Soil Science
Date: March 2021
ISSN: 1351-0754
Volume: 72
Freetext Keywords: biosphere reserves; deforestation patterns; Ecuador; lacunarity analysis; land-cover change; multifractal scaling; soil types
Faculty: Centro de Estudios e Investigación para la Gestión de Riesgos Agrarios y Medioambientales (CEIGRAM) (UPM)
Department: Otro
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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In the three last decades, continental Ecuador biosphere reserves (CEBRs) have undergone important land cover transformations because of human‐managed systems such as agriculture, livestock, forestry, and urbanization. Thus, the native landscape structure has been altered, exhibiting a mosaic of patches with varying sizes and shapes. The resulting landscape could shape some patterns over time, reflecting the complex interactions between human activities and biotic‐abiotic factors, such as soil, climate, and water availability. Quantifying the landscape patterns and their dynamics is essential for the monitoring and assessment of the ecological consequences of land‐cover change in time. Based on the soil maps and raster land‐cover maps from 1990 to 2016 of two CEBRs, the spatial deforestation patterns were quantified through lacunarity and multifractal analysis. To conduct these analyses, the deforested areas were identified and overlapped to predominant soil types. The results showed that the deforestation process pattern and soil types interact through complex relations due to specific site characteristics. Thereby, both soil and land cover interacted in fractal structures. The patch area distribution of deforestation patterns linked to soil types reveals a power‐law relationship in which, as the area of the deforested patches increased, their frequency decreased. Also, this relation presents self‐similarity and multifractal behaviour over a wide range of scales from 46–2,674 pixels, with a pixel size of 30 m × 30 m. However, each CEBR showed varying degrees of heterogeneity and complexity, which were reflected through lacunarity and multifractal parameters. The dynamics of deforestation patterns linked to soil types can be spatially dependent on the initial patchiness state, the distance to the adjacent patches, and the suitability of the soil for agrarian activities. Altogether, these were the spatial underlying factors of the deforestation evolution in the two CEBRs.

Funding Projects

Government of Spain
Caos hamiltoniano y complejidad en sistemas dinámicos
Madrid Regional Government

More information

Item ID: 64187
DC Identifier:
OAI Identifier:
DOI: 10.1111/ejss.13032
Official URL:
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 12 May 2021 07:48
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 09:00
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