Chile is a country that depends on the extraction and export of its natural resources. This phenomenon has exacerbated different processes of transformation and disturbance of natural and human ecosystems. Land use change has become a key factor for the transformation of ecosystems, causing consequences for biodiversity conservation. In this study, current and future (2030, 2050 and 2080) land use categories were evaluated. Land use projections were analysed together with models of ecosystem distribution in Chile under different climate scenarios, to finally analyse different dynamics of land use change within the protected areas system. In all the scenarios evaluated, land use projections showed an increase in the areas of industrial forest plantations and urban areas and a decrease in natural and agricultural areas could be expected. In relation to ecosystem modeling, vegetational formations located in the center and south of the country could be expected to decrease, while vegetational formations in the north and center of the country could extend their surface area. Inside Chile’s protected area network, anthropic disturbances are currently undergoing expansion, which could have consequences for ecosystems and protected areas located in the central and central–south zones of Chile.


  • IntroductionHumans have satisfied the need to obtain resources for their survival, such as water, wood, food, and fibre, by transforming natural ecosystems [1,2]

  • This study aims to describe the current state of Land use and land cover (LULC) in Chile, to project the future dynamics of change at a high spatial resolution (1 km) in different time steps (2030, 2050, and 2080) under four IPCC AR5 scenarios (RCP 2.6, 4.5, 6.0, and 8.5), and to relate these dynamics to the distribution of ecosystems on a national scale, characterising trajectories of future changes in both natural and anthropogenic LULC at the national scale

  • Our model shows trajectories related to a decrease in agricultural LULC areas in the study area, which contrasts with the analysed LUH2 categories, which show an increase in the area of agricultural LULC; this difference could be explained by the inclusion of different variables in each of the global scenarios of the LUH2 model

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Humans have satisfied the need to obtain resources for their survival, such as water, wood, food, and fibre, by transforming natural ecosystems [1,2]. On a global scale, between 1700 and 1992, 1621 million hectares were used for agriculture, of which 885 million were native forests and 565 million ha were savanna/grassland/steppe, causing agriculture to be the most extensive land use type on the planet [1,3]. Occupied agriculture areas, and the remaining 36% as a function of areas related to natural forests, scrublands, grasslands, and bare soil. This caused the formation of new crop areas from the conversion of natural forests (56%) and scrublands (30%), while the remaining


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