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Geospatial Analysis of Fragmentation and its Effects on Biodiversity: A Case Study of Reserve Forest

Charlotte Remteng, K. A. Adepoju, J. O. Akinyede

Abstract


Fragmentation has many consequences on conservation, one of which is the loss of biological diversity. Remote sensing satellites and integration with Geographic Information Systems have provided a better understanding of natural resources and environmental dynamics. The present study focus on the use of geospatial methods to assess the level of fragmentation and its effects on biodiversity conservation in the Shasha forest reserve. The use of FRAGSTAT analysis technique incorporated with the classification of Landsat TM and ETM+ satellite data spanning a period of 14 years from 1986 to 2010 was used to quantify ecological metrics of fragmentation in the study area. The results showed increased settlement 24% (1986-2010) whilst agricultural/farmland uses increased by 38% (1986-2002) and dropped by 16% from 2002-2010. According to respondents who constituted inhabitants of the reserve, this was largely attributed to: human activities such as logging, farming, and settlement. Ecological metrics at landscape level (example, number of patches, Shannon and cohesion Indices) showed that fragmentation (Number of patches) strengthened (1986-2010 by over 57.7%). At class level, dense forest had fragmentation rate of over 59.7% between 1986 -2010 while agricultural/Farmland had its peak of fragmentation in 1986-2002 by over 22.3% which later weakened by 13.8% in 2010 The increase in the magnitude of fragmentation in the study area has influenced the dynamics of species and materials in the landscape in such a way that it will have negative implication for biodiversity, climate, ecotourism, if nothing is done to reverse the trend.

Keywords


Fragmentation, Biodiversity conservation, remote sensing and GIS

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