Recent changes in the landscape structure of Batuco Wetland, Central Chile


  • marco antonio Peña Departamento de Geografía, Universidad Alberto Hurtado
  • Francisca Velásquez Departamento de Geografía, Universidad Alberto Hurtado



wetland, landscape ecology, landscape metrics, temporal change, remote sensing


In spite of the copious regulations created in the last years to protect the Batuco wetland, located in Lampa county; at the northeast of the Metropolitan Region, Chile, this ecosystem has not stopped suffering a significant degradation, expressed by the modification of its landscape. In this study we evaluated the temporal change experienced in the last decades by the landscape structure of that wetland as a result of such degradation. To do this, we calculated a set of landscape metrics over their main land use/land covers; interpreted and mapped from an aerial photograph acquired in 2005 and a satellite image acquired in 2021, in order to allow us to measure the magnitude of its temporary variations. The doubling of the urban area within the period of interest was manifested by their continuous and regular sprawl over mainly two natural vegetation land covers of the wetland: wet brackish meadows and open thorn scrublands. Both have great ecological significance for the ecosystem under consideration, being reduced to patches with smaller core area; clear evidence of a fragmentation process confirming the degradation propitiated by the recent anthropic occupation of the wetland’s soils. Through this research it is expect to provide to the scientific community and the competent government agencies, quantitative data contributing to diagnose the degradation of the wetland in question, so that they can more efficiently guide monitoring and management actions for their conservation and restoration.


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How to Cite

Peña, M. A., & Velásquez, F. (2022). Recent changes in the landscape structure of Batuco Wetland, Central Chile. Revista Geográfica De Chile Terra Australis, 58.