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Place-Based Analysis of Satellite Time Series Shows Opposing Land Change Patterns in the Copperbelt Region of Zambia

  • The process of land degradation needs to be understood at various spatial and temporal scales in order to protect ecosystem services and communities directly dependent on it. This is especially true for regions in sub-Saharan Africa, where socio economic and political factors exacerbate ecological degradation. This study identifies spatially explicit land change dynamics in the Copperbelt province of Zambia in a local context using satellite vegetation index time series derived from the MODIS sensor. Three sets of parameters, namely, monthly series, annual peaking magnitude, and annual mean growing season were developed for the period 2000 to 2019. Trend was estimated by applying harmonic regression on monthly series and linear least square regression on annually aggregated series. Estimated spatial trends were further used as a basis to map endemic land change processes. Our observations were as follows: (a) 15% of the study area dominant in the east showed positive trends, (b) 3% of the study area dominant in the west showed negative trends, (c) natural regeneration in mosaic landscapes (post shifting cultivation) and land management in forest reserves were chiefly responsible for positive trends, and (d) degradation over intact miombo woodland and cultivation areas contributed to negative trends. Additionally, lower productivity over areas with semi-permanent agriculture and shift of new encroachment into woodlands from east to west of Copperbelt was observed. Pivot agriculture was not a main driver in land change. Although overall greening trends prevailed across the study site, the risk of intact woodlands being exposed to various disturbances remains high. The outcome of this study can provide insights about natural and assisted landscape restoration specifically addressing the miombo ecoregion.

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Author:Sana Munawar, Achim Röder, Stephen Syampungani, Thomas Udelhoven
Parent Title (English):Forests
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of completion:2022/01/17
Date of publication:2022/01/17
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Contributing corporation:The publication was funded by the Open Access Fund of Universität Trier and the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Release Date:2022/05/04
Tag:MODIS; degradation; miombo woodland; regeneration; sub-Saharan Africa
GND Keyword:Degradation; Landnutzung; Provinz Copperbelt; Sambia; Satellitenfernerkundung; Spektroradiometrie
Volume (for the year ...):2022
Issue / no.:Band 13, Heft 1 (2022)
Number of pages:21
Institutes:Fachbereich 6 / Raum- und Umweltwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:9 Geschichte und Geografie / 90 Geschichte / 900 Geschichte und Geografie
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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