Part of the book: Remote Sensing
The study employs a Fourier transform analysis approach to assess the land-cover changes in a mountainous Mediterranean protected area using multi-temporal satellite images. Harmonic analysis was applied to a time series of Landsat satellite images acquired from 1984 to 2008 to extract information about land cover status with a vegetation spectral index, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Ancillary cartographic information depicting land cover classes and the enlargement of the protected area over time (i.e., maps showing the original delineation in 1995 and subsequent enlargement in 2007) were employed as additional factors to understand vegetation-cover changes. Significant differences in the NDVI and harmonic components values were observed with respect to both factors. The application of the Fourier transform was particularly successful to extract subtle information. The harmonic analysis of the NDVI time series revealed valuable information about the evolution of the landscape. The initially protected area (northern sector) seems more affected by human activities than the southern sector (enlarged area in 2007) as revealed by the analysis of the first harmonic component that was closely related with vegetation coverage. Rural abandonment is a major driver of land-cover changes in the study area.
Part of the book: Landscape Ecology
Soil vulnerability is the capacity of one or more of the ecological functions of the soil system to be harmed. It is a complex concept which requires the identification of multiple environmental factors and land management at different temporal and space scales. The employment of geospatial information with good update capabilities could be a satisfactory tool to assess potential soil vulnerability changes in large areas. This chapter presents the application of two land degradation case studies which is simple, synoptic, and suitable for continuous monitoring model based on the fuzzy logic. The model combines topography and vegetation status information to assess soil vulnerability to land degradation. Topographic parameters were obtained from digital elevation models (DEM), and vegetation status information was derived from the computation of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) satellite images. This spectral index provides relevance and is updated for each scene, evidences about the biomass and soil productivity, and vegetation density cover or vegetation stress (e.g., forest fires, droughts). Modeled output maps are suitable for temporal change analysis, which allows the identification of the effect of land management practices, soil and vegetation regeneration, or climate effects.
Part of the book: Modern Fuzzy Control Systems and Its Applications
Changes in agriculture are associated to the availability of resources and the economic and social demands. One of the more important transformations is to change rainfed into irrigated crops to increase the yield. In most of the cases, water resource and irrigation reservoirs are needed to maintain the yield. However, evaporation from ponds can be an important economic loss and an unsustainable strategy for water management, especially in arid and semiarid regions. Efficient methods for water storage should be established. In this study, a selected area located close to the city of Cartagena (Murcia) and the south of Alicante (Spain) has been studied, where there was an important transformation from rainfed to irrigated crops. Because of the high temperatures and insolation, the increment of the number of reservoirs detected by using remote sensing data and GIS tools may be inefficient for water management. The characterization of these reservoirs, to quantify the potential loss of water due to evaporation, has been done. The use of these tools for analysis could be interesting to find more efficient storage solutions (i.e., better spatial distribution of reservoirs, an increment of depth, and reduction of surface exposure) for improving the water storage and management.
Part of the book: Satellite Information Classification and Interpretation