Land Use and Land Cover Changes in the Sergipe Semiarid Region

This study performed a temporal analysis of the land use and coverage in the semiarid region of Sergipe. We used Landsat-5 TM and Landsat-8 OLI satellite images acquired in 1992, 2003 and 2013. The maximum likelihood algorithm was used to detect six classes of land use and land coverage. We used a high spatial resolution Spot-5 scene as reference data to validate the assigned land use and coverage classification. Our results indicate that deforestation of native vegetation increased approximately 26% in the study area. The Caatinga vegetation was the most impacted, mostly converted to pastureland. In addition, it was observed that the deforestation increase in the study area negatively affected the preserved Caatinga secondary regrowth.