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Detecting trends in landuse and landcover change of Nech Sar National Park, Ethiopia

Detecting trends in landuse and landcover change of Nech Sar National Park, Ethiopia
Detecting trends in landuse and landcover change of Nech Sar National Park, Ethiopia
Nech Sar National Park (NSNP) is one of the most important biodiversity centers in Ethiopia. In recent years, a widespread decline of the terrestrial ecosystems has been reported, yet to date there is no comprehensive assessment on degradation across the park. In this study, changes in landcover were analyzed using 30 m spatial resolution Landsat imagery. Interannual variations of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were examined and compared with climatic variables. The result presented seven landcover classes and five of the seven landcover classes (forest, bush/shrubland, wooded grassland, woodland and grassland) were related to natural vegetation and two landcover types (cultivated land and area under encroaching plants) were direct results of anthropogenic alterations of the landscape. The forest, grassland, and wooded grassland are the most threatened habitat types. A considerable area of the grassland has been replaced by encroaching plants, prominently by Dichrostachys cinerea, Acacia mellifera, A. nilotica, A. oerfota, and A. seyal and is greatly affected by expansion of herbaceous plants, most commonly the species of the family Malvaceae which include Abutilon anglosomaliae, A.bidentatum and A.figarianu. Thus, changes in vegetation of NSNP may be attributed to (i) degradation of existing vegetation through deforestation and (ii) replacement of existing vegetation by encroaching plants. While limited in local meteorological station, NDVI analysis indicated that climate related changes did not have major effects on park vegetation degradation, which suggests anthropogenic impacts as a major driver of observed disturbances
1432-1009
137-147
Fetene, Aramde
fb4f831a-89d5-4137-85d8-9f0ff06bda92
Hilker, Thomas
c7fb75b8-320d-49df-84ba-96c9ee523d40
Yeshitela, Kumelachew
af450c6d-5294-421c-ab4b-7bbc547b6e85
Prasse, Ruediger
3022d803-120a-4b07-a942-8b2602962b79
Cohen, Warren
90697f3c-0e5b-47bd-a639-8281957be45d
Yang, Zhiqiang
d0c0850c-0bfd-4400-9279-ab9a836e2709
Fetene, Aramde
fb4f831a-89d5-4137-85d8-9f0ff06bda92
Hilker, Thomas
c7fb75b8-320d-49df-84ba-96c9ee523d40
Yeshitela, Kumelachew
af450c6d-5294-421c-ab4b-7bbc547b6e85
Prasse, Ruediger
3022d803-120a-4b07-a942-8b2602962b79
Cohen, Warren
90697f3c-0e5b-47bd-a639-8281957be45d
Yang, Zhiqiang
d0c0850c-0bfd-4400-9279-ab9a836e2709

Fetene, Aramde, Hilker, Thomas, Yeshitela, Kumelachew, Prasse, Ruediger, Cohen, Warren and Yang, Zhiqiang (2016) Detecting trends in landuse and landcover change of Nech Sar National Park, Ethiopia. Environmental Management, 57 (1), 137-147. (doi:10.1007/s00267-015-0603-0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Nech Sar National Park (NSNP) is one of the most important biodiversity centers in Ethiopia. In recent years, a widespread decline of the terrestrial ecosystems has been reported, yet to date there is no comprehensive assessment on degradation across the park. In this study, changes in landcover were analyzed using 30 m spatial resolution Landsat imagery. Interannual variations of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were examined and compared with climatic variables. The result presented seven landcover classes and five of the seven landcover classes (forest, bush/shrubland, wooded grassland, woodland and grassland) were related to natural vegetation and two landcover types (cultivated land and area under encroaching plants) were direct results of anthropogenic alterations of the landscape. The forest, grassland, and wooded grassland are the most threatened habitat types. A considerable area of the grassland has been replaced by encroaching plants, prominently by Dichrostachys cinerea, Acacia mellifera, A. nilotica, A. oerfota, and A. seyal and is greatly affected by expansion of herbaceous plants, most commonly the species of the family Malvaceae which include Abutilon anglosomaliae, A.bidentatum and A.figarianu. Thus, changes in vegetation of NSNP may be attributed to (i) degradation of existing vegetation through deforestation and (ii) replacement of existing vegetation by encroaching plants. While limited in local meteorological station, NDVI analysis indicated that climate related changes did not have major effects on park vegetation degradation, which suggests anthropogenic impacts as a major driver of observed disturbances

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 12 August 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 August 2015
Published date: January 2016
Organisations: Geography & Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 384649
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/384649
ISSN: 1432-1009
PURE UUID: df3f1250-be72-427b-8d15-08c454372d35

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Date deposited: 05 Jan 2016 14:31
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 20:55

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