Landscape diversity has declined in Europe during the recent (that is, post 1950) period of agricultural intensification with a tendency for the most progressive farmers to create the simplest landscapes. The object of this paper is to analyse the landscape of the Presidential estate of Castelporziano, a protected area located near Rome. In this territory, there are two SCI (Site of Community Importance) and several environments of naturalistic value, making Castelporziano one of the protected areas with the highest biodiversity in Italy. Photo-interpretation of aerial photographs taken in 1930 and 2010 was carried out to perform a land cover (LC) and change detection (CD) analysis. We used Patch Analyst 3.1 software to calculate landscape indices, in order to characterize the landscape structure. The latter is of particular interest, considering that the environments in this territory are found in the proximity of two urban centres, Rome and Ostia, and have therefore been subjected to high anthropic pressure in recent decades. This study shows a slight fragmentation of all the land-cover classes. Although the present situation does not call for any particular concern, constant monitoring to prevent any further landscape fragmentation is required.
Key words: Land-cover change, aerial photographs, nature reserve, landscape pattern metrics.
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