Faculty Publications

Title

Quantifying spatiotemporal dynamics of agricultural landscapes using remotely sensed data and landscape metrics

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Farmland loss, Fragmentation, Land use/land cover change, Remote sensing, USA

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Geocarto International

Volume

24

Issue

3

First Page

223

Last Page

240

Abstract

This study focuses on the spatiotemporal dynamics of agricultural lands and differences in rapidly developing urban and declining rural counties in Iowa, USA between 1984 and 2000. The study presents an analysis of land-cover maps derived from Landsat TM and ETM+ satellite imagery and different landscape metrics using FRAGSTATS and IDRISI software. The study provides evidence of both loss of croplands and change in fragmentation between 1984 and 2000. Fragmentation in agriculture-dominated areas increased with the development of urban centres and diversification of land uses. Fragmentation of landscapes, including agricultural land, was found to be higher in the urbanized counties, but was stable or even declined over time in these counties. In contrast, in the context of remote rural areas, agricultural landscapes experienced rapid increase in fragmentation and farmland loss. The urban-rural gradient analysis used in this study showed that the highest fragmentation occurred on the city edges. These findings suggest that farmland fragmentation is a complex process associated with socio-economic trends at regional and local scales. In addition, socio-economic determinants of landscape fragmentation differ between areas with diverging development trajectories. Intensive cropland fragmentation in remote agricultural regions, detected by this research, should be further studied and its possible effects on both agricultural productivity and biodiversity should be carefully considered.

Original Publication Date

7-17-2009

DOI of published version

10.1080/10106040802547784

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