SPATIOTEMPORAL DYNAMICS OF FOREST PLANTATION CLEARCUTTING AT LANDSCAPE LEVEL
This study is about clearcutting sizes, their spatial distribution, and how this affects the structure of the whole landscape when they are assessed over time. We introduced the concept of "extended clearcutting patches" (ECPs), which are formed aggregating adjacent patches harvested in consecutive years. The main purpose of the study was to evaluate the spatiotemporal pattern of clearcutting and ECPs at landscape level. The chosen landscape was the coastal commune of Constitución, Maule Region, in Chile, dominated by Pinus radiata D. Don plantations with a high land cover dynamic due harvesting activities. We used Landsat 5, 7 and 8 images (Surface Reflectance Tier 1) to produce yearly land cover maps from 1999 to 2016 and the approach proposed by Zhao et al. (2016) to classify them. We used 32,516 control points in the classification step obtaining a mean global accuracy of 0.94. The spatial distribution of the harvested patches is aggregated in single o accumulate years showing the long-term spatiotemporal pattern if this forestry practice. In average, ECPs have double the size than yearly harvested parches but they can be much bigger in same cases. This intensive forestry practices creates some spatiotemporal harvested complex, or extended clearcutting patches, that can have a bigger impact in functional aspects of the landscape and the wildlife present in this type of landscapes.