PRIORITY AREAS FOR FOREST CONSERVATION, AIMING AT THE MAINTENANCE OF WATER RESOURCES, THROUGH THE MULTICRITERIA EVALUATION

Victor A M Silva, Kaline De Mello, Carlos Alberto Vettorazzi, Danilo Ribeiro da Costa, Roberta Averna Valente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Abstract Replacing the original land cover by other land uses, especially when it is associated with inadequate management practices, can cause changes in runoff and rainwater infiltration. This can result in above normal levels of soil erosion and sediment-carrying to the rivers and streams. The original land cover conservation in the watersheds is, therefore, essential for the maintenance of its water resources. In this context, the main objective of this study was to prioritize areas for forest conservation in two watersheds, aiming at maintaining the water availability, in terms of quantity and quality, for the public supply. The watersheds were selected considering their regional importance and because they are similar in terms of land use / land cover. The study was developed in the Multicriteria Evaluation (MCE) context, which permits the integration of different landscape characteristics (i.e. factors), in order to obtain a solution for the decision-making process. The following criteria were selected by considering the expert's opinions: slope, flow accumulation, aspect, and land use / land cover. Their relative importance (i.e. factor weight) was defined through the Pairwise Comparison Method. The criteria maps units were normalized by a common scale and then aggregated through an MCE method named Weighted Linear Combination (WLC). Pearson correlation was used to evaluate the criteria contribution on the final map. The watershed 1 was classified in approximately 14% of its area as very high priority; 27% as high; 19% as medium; 21% as low; and 18% as very low. The watershed 2 obtained, respectively, 17%; 29%; 17%; 21%; e 17%. We conclude that the WLC method supports the definition of priority areas for forest conservation in the watersheds, in order to have an appropriate design of actions for forest conservation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRevista Arvore: Brazilian Journal of Forest Science
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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