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 | 2018-08-14
New index reveals how climate risks are reinforced by global connectivity, leaving no country shielded from impact
General news | 2018-08-14
Event, Tuesday 11 September 2018 in partnership with ICF and the UN Climate Resilience Initiative A2R. A Global Climate Action Summit affiliate event
Research news | 2018-08-13
New analysis reveals connections between tax havens and resource degradation in both the Amazon rainforest and global fisheries
Research news | 2018-08-06
Keeping global warming to within 1.5-2°C may be more difficult than previously assessed
Research news | 2018-07-10
The World in 2050 initiative launches new report outlining synergies and benefits that render the goals achievable
Research news | 2018-06-27
Overfishing, fractured international relationships and political conflicts loom as fish migrate more unpredictably because of climate change. Here is how to deal with it