Analysis of Land Cover Changes in Afromontane Vegetation of Image Forest Reserve, Southern Highlands of Tanzania

ScientificWorldJournal. 2020 May 15;2020:7402846. doi: 10.1155/2020/7402846. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

An analysis of land cover changes (LCCs) was done in Image Forest Reserve (IFR) from August to October 2019. Free satellite images for 1990, 2004, and 2018 were downloaded from Landsat 5 (TM) and Landsat 8 (OLI) available through the USGS portal. Ground surveys were conducted using systematically set plots of 20 m × 40 m to identify the existing land cover types and human illegal activities. Geographical coordinates for each of these plots were recorded using handheld GPS. We witnessed the changes of land cover types in the three decades. Forest had contracted, while shrubland and grassland and woodland had expanded within IFR. Between 1990 and 2004, woodland, bareland and rocky outcrops, shrubland, and grassland had consistently decreased though at a different rate of change, while forest has increased between the same assessment periods. The period of 2004-2018 has shown a consistent increase at different rates in woodland, bareland and rocky outcrops, shrubland, and grassland at a different rate of change, while forest has decreased between the same assessment periods. Further study is needed, bylaws and laws should be implemented, participatory forest management should be encouraged, beekeeping and ecotourism should be introduced, provision of regular education to the community by the Tanzania Forest Service (TFS) should be encouraged, and awareness creation should be made.

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Ecosystem*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Tanzania