Influence of Urbanization on the Dynamics of the Urban Vegetation Coverage Index (VCI) in Erechim (RS)

ABSTRACT Vegetation fragments located in urban perimeters provide better environmental conditions for biological diversity and human well-being. The aim of this study was to evaluate the Vegetation Coverage Index (VCI) of the urban perimeter of Erechim, RS, between years 2010 and 2015. Mapping was carried out using World View 2 and Pleiades satellites images with spatial resolution of 0.5 m. Significant difference was found between VCI values of 2010 and 2015, as well as a decrease in the recommended rate in the range of 30% per neighborhood. Due to the influence of increased urbanization, there was reduction of 229.98 hectares in the vegetation coverage area of the urban perimeter during the study period. The expansion of urban areas reduced vegetation fragments and has contributed in an effective manner to the disordered occupation of the city, generating negative impacts to the environment and to the quality of life of the local population.