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Modeling wetland change in Spain’s Tierra de Campos district

Sánchez-González, S. M., Martínez-Alegría, R., Taboada, J.
Wetlands ecology and management 2016 v.24 no.4 pp. 399-410
ecosystems, habitats, issues and policy, land management, landscapes, meteorological data, models, planning, probability, regression analysis, soil, thematic maps, wetlands, Spain
The various land management and planning policies that have been developed for the Tierra de Campos district of northwestern Spain over the past century have had major effects on wetland ecosystems of this area. To assist conservation planners in the future management of these habitats, this study outlines the changes that have occurred in these environments using data for the years 1900, 1956, 1984 and 2007. Multiple logistic regression models allowed the accurate projection of locations of wetlands that need to be restored or regenerated. These models were developed using a combination of 19 explanatory variables including: data related to historic lakelets, variations in the surfaces of wetlands, soil physicochemical and weather data, and socioeconomic and spatial planning data, as depicted by thematic mapping. The landscape used for projecting the wetlands in the study area was classified into five categories based on the probability of the presence of lakelets: very low, low, medium, high and very high. These generated maps show that the spatial extent of the wetlands of the Tierra de Campos district was 2.78 % in 1900–1933 and decreased to 0.65 % in 2007–2008. Accordingly, a dramatic decrease in the spatial extent covered by these ecosystems is observed over the twentieth century according to these maps; consequently these results highlight the effects of positive (protective) or negative (desiccative) policies implemented in the area.