Revista de Biología Tropical
Print version ISSN 0034-7744
SOTO-GALERA, Ernesto; PIERA, Jaume and LOPEZ, Pilar. Spatial and temporal land cover changes in Terminos Lagoon Reserve, Mexico. Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2010, vol.58, n.2, pp. 565-575. ISSN 0034-7744.
Terminos Lagoon ecosystem is the largest fluvial-lagoon estuarine system in the country and one of the most important reserves of coastal flora and fauna in Mexico. Since the seventies, part of the main infrastructure for country’s oil extraction is located in this area. Its high biodiversity has motivated different type of studies including deforestation processes and land use planning. In this work we used satellite image analysis to determine land cover changes in the area from 1974 to 2001. Our results indicate that tropical forest and mangroves presented the most extensive losses in its coverage. In contrast, urban areas and induced grassland increased considerably. In 2001 more than half of the ecosystem area showed changes from its original land cover, and a third part of it was deteriorated. The main causes of deforestation were both the increase in grassland and the growth of urban areas. However, deforestation was attenuated by natural reforestation and plant canopy recovery. We conclude that the introduction of cattle and urban development were the main causes for the land cover changes; however, the oil industry activity located in the ecosystem, has promoted indirectly to urban growth and rancher boom. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (2): 565-575. Epub 2010 June 02.
Keywords : land cover; coastal ecosystems; deforestation; remote sensing; oil industry.