Variation in vulnerability to land degradation through fuzzy logic: a 15-year time-series analysis in the Maya Biosphere Reserve

Authors: Yunuen Reygadas Langarica*, Texas State University - San Marcos
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Land Use, Latin America
Keywords: vulnerability, land degradation, fuzzy logic, Maya Biosphere Reserve
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR), as many other forested areas in tropical countries, is exposed to high rates of deforestation, intensive cattle ranching activities, forest fires, and hurricanes that, altogether, lead to land degradation processes. Vegetation indexes, topography variables, and other key parameters in land surface processes, such as surface temperature, have proven to be good indicators of land degradation. Therefore, the objective of this research is to evaluate the variation in vulnerability to land degradation in the MBR in the last 15 years through a fuzzy logic model that combines Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), Land Surface Temperature (LST), slope, and aspect. The results indicate that there has been a general slightly increasing trend in high vulnerability levels. In particular, the Core Protected Zone is the most prone to land degradation, in contrast with the Multi-Use Zone where lower levels of vulnerability were detected. The similarity of the results with previous researches and the ability of the model to detect the effects Hurricane Stan in 2005 are good indicators of the model performance. However, the lack of validation is the most important limitation of this work, therefore, a future validation using finer spatial resolution imagery is proposed.

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