Mapping decadal land cover changes in the woodlands of north eastern Namibia from 1975 to 2014 using the Landsat satellite archived data

Wingate, Vladimir R.; Phinn, Stuart R.; Kuhn, Nikolaus; Bloemertz, Lena; Dhanjal-Adams, Kiran L.. 2016 Mapping decadal land cover changes in the woodlands of north eastern Namibia from 1975 to 2014 using the Landsat satellite archived data. Remote Sensing, 8 (8), 681. 20, pp.

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Woodlands and savannahs provide essential ecosystem functions and services to communities. On the African continent, they are widely utilized and converted to subsistence and intensive agriculture or urbanized. This study investigates changes in land cover over four administrative regions of North Eastern Namibia within the Kalahari woodland savannah biome, covering a total of 107,994 km2. Land cover is mapped using multi-sensor Landsat imagery at decadal intervals from 1975 to 2014, with a post-classification change detection method. The dominant change observed was a reduction in the area of woodland savannah due to the expansion of agriculture, primarily in the form of small-scale cereal and pastoral production. More specifically, woodland savannah area decreased from 90% of the study area in 1975 to 83% in 2004, and then increased to 86% in 2014, while agricultural land increased from 6% to 12% between 1975 and 2014. We assess land cover changes in relation to towns, villages, rivers and roads and find most changes occurred in proximity to these. In addition, we find that most land cover changes occur within land designated as communally held, followed by state protected land. With widespread changes occurring across the African continent, this study provides important data for understanding drivers of change in the region and their impacts on the distribution of woodland savannahs.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
ISSN: 2072-4292
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: deforestation, land degradation, woodland, savannah, Landsat, land cover change, land-use change, Africa, Corona
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 25 Oct 2016 10:03 +0 (UTC)

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