Land conversion in sub-Saharan Africa has profound biophysical, ecological, political and social consequences for human well-being and ecosystem services. Understanding the process of land cover changes and transitions is essential for good ecosystem management policy that would lead to improved agricultural production, human well-being and ecosystems health.
This study aimed to assess land cover transitions in a typical semi-arid degraded agro-ecosystems environment within the Pangani river basin in northern Tanzania. Three Landsat images spanning over 30 years were used to detect random and systematic patterns of land cover transition in a landscape dominated by crop and livestock farming.
Results revealed that current land cover transition is driven by a systematic process of change dominated by the following: (i) transition from degraded land to sparse bushland (10·8%); (ii) conversion from sparse bushland to dense bushland in lowland areas (6·0%); (iii) conversion from bushland to forest (4·8%); and (iv) conversion from dense bushland to cropland in the highlands (4·5%). Agricultural lands under water harvesting technology adoption show a high degree of persistence (60–80%) between time slices. This suggests that there is a trend in land-use change towards vegetation improvement in the catchment with a continuous increase in the adoption of water harvesting technologies for crop and livestock farming. This can be interpreted as a sign of agricultural intensification and vegetation regrowth in the catchment. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Research news | 2018-05-21
Four cases of participatory foresight exercises show impact is not a given. Here’s how to fix it
Research news | 2018-05-17
Applying Elinor Ostrom’s principles on common pool resources management demonstrates how forest management in the Pamir Mountains may not be so tragic after all. But Soviet era legacy lingers, new research shows
Research news | 2018-05-14
To create change in coastal districts of Kenya and Mozambique, dominant narratives must be challenged by stories rooted in people’s lived experiences
Research news | 2018-04-26
Construction of roads and water channels across Colombia’s Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta wetlands has altered the landscape to the point of surpassing mangrove ecosystem tipping points
Research news | 2018-04-26
Over 100 scientists, architects, journalists, artists, designers and activists provide perspectives on what future urban sustainability should look like
Research news | 2018-04-19
New study of UNESCO biosphere reserves sheds light on how people learn to live with social-ecological complexity