Environmental fragility and vegetation cover dynamics in the Lapa Grande State Park, MG, Brazil

Abstract: The environmental fragility analysis evaluates the susceptibility of an environment to degradation. Thus, the goals of this work are to analyze and map the environmental fragility of the Lapa Grande State Park (PELG), Brazil, and its buffer zone (ZA) and also quantify the changes in the vegetation cover before and after the implementation of the PELG. The environmental fragility was evaluated through multicriteria analysis using the factors: slope, geology, pedology and land use and land cover. The changes in the high vigor vegetation cover were determined from the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for 1996, 2006 and 2016. It was verified that the central-east and northeast regions of the PELG presented the greatest environmental fragilities in 1996, and significant reductions in the areas with high and very high fragility were observed in 2006 and 2016 due to the increase in the vegetation cover after the implementation of the PELG, which was more expressive in the park area than in the ZA. The increase of 20.7% of 2006 to 2016 in the vegetation with greater vigor, proved the importance of the creation of a conservation unit.