|Published in||Revista de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, v. 41(2)|
Volante, J.N., Mosciaro, M.J., Morales-Poclava, M., Vale, L.M., Castillo, S., Sawchik, J., Tiscornia, G., Fuente, M., Maldonado, I., Vega, A., Trujillo, R., Cortéz, L. and Paruelo, J.M.
In South America major landscape transformations occurred in the last decades as a consequence of technological improvements and new international market and prices conditions. Grasslands, shrublands and forests were cleared mainly for soybean production for export. Based on remote sensing and GIS techniques, we analyzed MODIS products time series, to detect the major cropping systems in 5 countries of South America. We mapped annual crop areas for the 2000/01 and 2010/11 growing seasons, we evaluated in a spatially explicit way the changes between these periods, and we developed hypotheses in order to understand the changes. There was a 43% increase in the cropped area between growing seasons, with a heterogeneous spatial distribution. The most notable changes at the regional level were a 66% decreased in the area cover by winter crops as unique practice, and increases of 62% for summer crops and 52% in the double cropped area. The methodology used was adequate to carry out analyses that combine a large expanse of territory and time.