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EU-funded LIFE projects influence in land use/land cover changes in insular ecosystems: the case-study of São Miguel island (Azores)

Encontro Scientia with Rafaela Tiengo (Island Environmental Risks & Society)
28 March 2024 . 12h00 (Lisbon time) . Exclusively online
Online access • LINK 
Password • scientia

 

Small oceanic islands, such as São Miguel Island in the Azores, face significant threats from climate change, biological invasions, and land-use changes, jeopardizing biodiversity and ecosystem functions. The EU LIFE Programme has played a crucial role in mitigating biodiversity loss on the eastern part of São Miguel Island since 2003 through organized, long-term conservation projects. Utilizing remote sensing-based methods proves cost-effective in managing these projects, with a focus on detecting land-use/land-cover changes in the intervention areas from 2003 to 2022. The RAO’s Q diversity index is employed to monitor invasive plant species and alterations in land use patterns. Employing ASTER, Landsat 8, and Sentinel-2 images on Google Earth Engine, Python, and Google Colab, the study analyzes the distribution of RAO’s Q diversity index values in intervention areas. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index is calculated over different years, and Classic Rao is used to identify diversity changes, enabling the evaluation of conservation effectiveness. Assessing the impact of conservation initiatives on small oceanic islands provides insights into ecological responses and long-term sustainability, informing future strategies and contributing to island conservation as a whole. This knowledge enhances the understanding of unique dynamics and challenges in preserving biodiversity in insular environments.


Tags: IERS Azores o Miguel LIFE programme biodiversity remote sensing

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