||People in the region surrounding El Yunque National Forest (El Yunque) in Puerto Rico depend on and benefit from a variety of ecosystem goods and services provided by the forest, such as clean air, water,
biodiversity, and recreation. The availability of these ecosystem services is influenced by the type of land cover surrounding El Yunque. For example, surrounding forests protect watersheds from soil erosion, serve as filters to produce clean water for multiple uses to people in the region, and provide habitat and food for El Yunque’s fauna. Conversely, urban and built-up areas can lead to landscape fragmentation or removal of forested lands, which in turn affect ecosystem structure and function and the services provided by forests
within and around El Yunque.
This information summarizes land-cover data at three geographic scales in which land-use planning and decision making take place around El Yunque: municipal (county), regional, and proclamation area. Land-cover data were created from the digitalization of aerial photographs taken in 2010. Eight land-cover categories were used for the classification of the aerial photographs. These aerial photographs are the most current digital photographs available, thus providing the most up-to-date land-cover information for informed land-use planning and decision making at all three levels.