Forest Cover, Condition, and Ecology in Human-Impacted Forests, South-Eastern Madagascar


Ingram, Jane C. and Dawson, Terence P. (2006) Forest Cover, Condition, and Ecology in Human-Impacted Forests, South-Eastern Madagascar. Conservation and Society, 4, (2), 194-230.

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Description/Abstract

The littoral forests of south-eastern Madagascar are a national
conservation priority due to high degrees of biodiversity, but face pressures
from regular human use and a future mining operation. A landscape scale assessment
of deforestation patterns, forest condition and composition of remaining
forest stands is important for understanding the nature and
distribution of human pressures and could act to inform land use management
and identify conservation priorities throughout the area. In light of these issues,
the aims of this study were threefold: to document patterns of littoral
forest loss at multiple spatial and temporal scales; to map littoral forest
structure across the landscape; and to assess the abundance and diversity of
littoral forest tree species valuable to both humans and conservationists. The
methods applied include satellite remote sensing applications and groundbased
ecological surveys. We demonstrate three results: first, patterns of forest
loss are spatially and temporally variable; second, forest basal area, an
indicator of forest condition, can be estimated using multi-spectral satellite
data, artificial neural networks and ground survey data; and third, littoral
forests possess high abundance and diversity of tree populations of importance
for both conservation and human livelihoods, despite regular use by local
people. A landscape perspective, combined with an understanding of the
local human and environmental context, is crucial for understanding the nature
and impact of human pressures on forest resources, and, thus, determining
optimal management possibilities.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0972-4923 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: Madagascar, littoral forest, deforestation, forest condition, human impact, diversity, remote sensing
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis
ePrint ID: 58470
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:40
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/58470

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