Household and community effects on land use/land cover dynamics in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Erlien, Christine M.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Geography
  • This research integrates social survey data, a remote sensing image time-series, ecological pattern metrics, and information describing local resource endowments, geographic accessibility, and the location and characteristics of communities through the use of geospatial data and a suite of spatial digital technologies. The goal is to address a set of research questions framed within the context of land use/land cover (LULC) change in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon (NEA). This study examines LULC change processes from the perspectives of the community and the farm (or finca) to develop a deeper understanding of how community characteristics, linkages among communities, and feedbacks between communities and households affect changes in forest, agriculture, and urban LULC in the NEA. This research examines three central issues. First, the research examines the spatial distribution, characteristics, and connectedness of communities in the NEA, as well as linkages among communities and between communities and households. The temporal and spatial distribution of communities illustrates the expansion of population into and throughout the region. Hierarchical cluster analysis results place communities in the NEA along a "development continuum." Analysis of functional relationships among NEA communities show that they operate in a manner expected by central place theory. Second, the research characterizes landscape composition and dynamics of LULC change at the community level using remote sensing, spatial analysis, and statistical methods. Results show that distance is an important predictor of land cover. In addition, this research highlights that, despite the differences in proportion of various cover types in the areas surrounding different types of communities, each of the community types displays a similar relationship with the forest, agriculture, and pasture land cover classes with distance from community. Third, this research models the influence of finca-level and community-level variables on LULC change at the finca-level. Demographic, socioeconomic, biophysical, and geographic variables (including new ways of measuring geographic access such as existence of transportation and distance to sawmill or crop/animal market) play statistically significant roles in shaping the composition and configuration of LULC on finca in the NEA.
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  • In Copyright
  • Walsh, Stephen J.
  • Open access

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