Land use change model in Carmen-Pajonal-Machona lagoon system, Mexico
Change in land use is a dominant process with negative effects on the structure and functioning of ecosystems. The coastal area of Tabasco is very important for economic development because of the large coastal wetland areas that flow into the Gulf of Mexico. However, coastal wetlands are strongly altered by the change in land use due to their proximity to urban areas, oil extraction and agricultural activities. They are also severely threatened by climate change and sea level rise. This study analyzed the change in land use in Carmen-Pajonal-Machona lagoon system on Tabasco coast through Land Change Modeler during 2000-2015. A probabilistic-spatial scenario was generated in 2030 through Markov Chains and Cellular Automata, detecting that secondary vegetation, wetlands, and acahuales altogether decreased 14 238 hectares from 2000-2015. These changes have affected the reduction of coastal habitats and lead to high flood risks for the population in this area. Additionally the 2030 projection shows alarming values because the ecosystems reflect a loss of 8090 hectares if no change in favor is performed in the paradigm of coastal soil management. Therefore, future trends in land use change on the coast of Tabasco can be mitigated through the implementation of sustainable development policies that involve short- and medium-term planning of the establishment of Territorial Planning programs and the creation of Protected Natural Areas.