EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Spatial indicators of multifunctional margins in the Andean peri-urban landscape. A case study of Tarqui basin

Emanuel Martínez-Urgilés1, Andrea Urgilez-Clavijo2,3,4, and David Rivas-Tabares3,6
Emanuel Martínez-Urgilés et al.
  • 1Departamento de Posgrados, Universidad del Azuay, Cuenca, Ecuador (
  • 2Instituto de Estudios de Régimen Seccional del Ecuador – IERSE, Universidad del Azuay, Cuenca, Ecuador (
  • 3Research Centre for the Management of Agricultural and Environmental Risk – CEIGRAM, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain (
  • 4Departamento de Geografía y Ordenación del Territorio, GEOFOREST IUCA, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
  • 6Departamento de Recursos Hídricos y Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad de Cuenca, Cuenca, Ecuador (

Multifunctional margins are strips of land naturally growed or planted vegetation, usually found on the margins of agricultural or natural plots such as the banks of rivers and streams. The study of priority areas where this agro-environmental practice can improve agricultural processes and biological connectivity. In the Andean region, constant urban expansion is affecting the peri-urban landscape, causing its fragmentation and degradation. Andean peri-urban expansion areas face frequent dilemmas between territorial management of urban land use and environmental measures for landscape conservation. Current measures should motivate the updating of existing legislation to include biophysical aspects of interaction at the landscape scale. However, this remains a pending task for local authorities to avoid landscape degradation and its functionality with various environmental factors (i.e. hydrology, soils, climate, etc.). This study aims to develop a methodological framework to assess the multifunctionality of the margins in a peri-urban Andean watershed, its connectivity and priority areas to guide the implementation of sustainable agro-environmental measures. The study site is the sub-basin of the Tarqui River, which is located southwest of the city of Cuenca, Ecuador in South America is of great strategic importance for the environmental services it provides, especially in the provision and regulation of water for the city. As a result, the theoretical framework for the indexed cartographic products was developed for the establishment of conservation programs of three agri-environmental measures, i) forest islands, ii) riparian corridors and iii) living fences. This includes a biotic study of vegetation, its functionality and fauna relationships. Besides, the suitability and success in the midterm for their maintenance are because of the soil properties and water availability. These were considered to support the decision to prioritise linear elements programmes.


The authors acknowledge the support of Master in Climate Change, Agriculture and Sustainable Rural Development (MACCARD), co-funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union.


  • Urgilez-Clavijo, A., Rivas-Tabares, D. A., Martín-Sotoca, J. J., & Tarquis Alfonso, A. M. (2021). Local Fractal Connections to Characterize the Spatial Processes of Deforestation in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Entropy, 23(6), 748.
  • Rivas-Tabares, D. A., Saa-Requejo, A., Martín-Sotoca, J. J., & Tarquis, A. M. (2021). Multiscaling NDVI Series Analysis of Rainfed Cereal in Central Spain. Remote Sensing, 13(4), 568.

How to cite: Martínez-Urgilés, E., Urgilez-Clavijo, A., and Rivas-Tabares, D.: Spatial indicators of multifunctional margins in the Andean peri-urban landscape. A case study of Tarqui basin, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-9885,, 2023.