Article

National Assessment of Forest Fragmentation in India: Landscape indices as measures of the effects of fragmentation and forest cover change

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... We generated 5× 5 km 2 grids for forest cover change analysis following Padaliya et al (2019) and (C. S. for the time series assessment and analyzed spatial distribution trends of forest cover in these grids from 1930-1975, 1975-2000, and 2000Reddy et al., 2013). We computed the forest cover area (distribution of transitions and persistence of forest) of four different periods in each grid using the zonal statistics tool of ArcGIS software (ESRI, 2016). ...
... Landscape metrics analysis also reveals the massive fragmentation of forests between 1930 and 2020, increasing the patch number and decreasing patch size (Table 2.5, 2.6 and Figure 2.4) (S. C. . Similar to Nepal, a massive decline in extensive core forests and an increase in fragmented patches has been documented in other elephant range countries India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka (Puyravaud, 2003;Puyravaud et al., 2019Puyravaud et al., , 2010Reddy et al., 2013). Fragmented forest patches should be connected through a combination of the weak and high-quality habitat to enable elephant connectivity throughout the landscape. ...
... Several studies indicate loss of elephant habitats and fragmentation due to a combination of multiple factors such as agriculture and settlement expansion, encroachments, irrigation, infrastructure development hydropower projects, illegal logging, mining, commercial plantations (Nandy et al., 2011;Reddy et al., 2016Reddy et al., , 2013. Additionally, expansion of oil palm plantation in Indonesia (Suba et al., 2017) and tea, paddy cultivation in north-east India has also contributed to habitat loss . ...
... Landscape metrics analysis also reveals the massive fragmentation of forests between 1930 and 2020, increasing the patch number and decreasing patch size (Table 3, 4; Fig. 2) 44 . Similar to Nepal, a massive decline in extensive core forests and increase in fragmented patches has been documented in other elephant range countries India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka [53][54][55][56] . Fragmented forest patches should be connected through a combination of the weak and high-quality habitat to enable elephant connectivity throughout the landscape. ...
... Several studies indicate loss of elephant habitats and fragmentation due to a combination of multiple factors such as agriculture and settlement expansion, encroachments, irrigation, infrastructure development hydropower projects, illegal logging, mining, commercial plantations 53,61,70,71 . Additionally, expansion of oil palm plantation in Indonesia 72 and tea, paddy cultivation in north-east India has also contributed to habitat loss 73 . ...
... We estimated the conversion of forests into the non-forest area on a grid overlay basis. We generated 5 × 5 km 2 grids for forest cover change analysis following Padaliya et al. 91 and Reddy et al. 43 for the time series assessment and analyzed spatial distribution trends of forest cover in these grids from 1930 to 1975, 1975 to 2000, and 2000 to 2020 53,91 . We computed the forest cover area (distribution of transitions and persistence of forest) of four different periods in each grid using the zonal statistics tool of ArcGIS software 101 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Forest cover is the primary determinant of elephant distribution, thus, understanding forest loss and fragmentation is crucial for elephant conservation. We assessed deforestation and patterns of forest fragmentation between 1930 and 2020 in Chure Terai Madhesh Lanscape (CTML) which covers the entire elephant range in Nepal. Forest cover maps and fragmentation matrices were generated using multi-source data (Topographic maps and Landsat satellite images of 1930, 1975, 2000, and 2020) and spatiotemporal change was quantified. At present, 19,069 km 2 forest cover in CTML is available as the elephant habitat in Nepal. Overall, 21.5% of elephant habitat was lost between 1930 and 2020, with a larger (12.3%) forest cover loss between 1930 and 1975. Area of the large forests (Core 3) has decreased by 43.08% whereas smaller patches (Core 2, Core 1, edge and patch forests) has increased multifold between 1930 and 2020. The continued habitat loss and fragmentation probably fragmented elephant populations during the last century and made them insular with long-term ramifications for elephant conservation and human-elephant conflict. Given the substantial loss in forest cover and high levels of fragmentation, improving the resilience of elephant populations in Nepal would urgently require habitat and corridor restoration to enable the movement of elephants. Deforestation and conversion of natural areas into human use impacts the earth's ecosystems and functions, and threatens biodiversity 1, 2. The population of many wildlife species are declining globally, and about a million species are under threat of extinction primarily due to habitat loss/degradation, overexploitation, climate change, illegal wildlife trade, direct persecution, and conflict with humans 3-5. Fragmentation is a significant factor leading to the loss of biodiversity in forested landscapes 6. Habitat fragmentation affects ecological patterns and processes by increasing the number of forest patches, reducing the patch size, interrupting connectivity within the ecological network 7-9 , and impacting several species 10. Habitat fragmentation could alter animal communities and trigger cascading effects on plants and ecosystem functions, including their carbon storage potential 11-13. Continued fragmentation can lead to microclimatic changes in the edges, reduced core habitat, and eases the establishment of invasive species towards the forest interiors 14, 15. Effects of fragmentation on wide ranging large mammals like elephants is more severe and increases the extinction risks due to their needs for large and intact habitats 16-18. With the current rise in anthropogenic impacts and loss of wildlife habitats, shared heterogenous landscapes around protected areas have immense potential for long term conservation of large mammals 19, 20. Elephants are the largest living terrestrial mammals facing typical threats of large mammals such as habitat loss, poaching and conflict with communities 21. The increase in human population and expansion of agriculture had led to habitat loss and fragmentation, resulting in a significant decline in elephant populations across Asia and Africa 22-24. Asian elephants are confined to 5% of the historic elephant range 24. Elephants use large areas to meet their dietary and reproductive requirements 25, 26. Their home range size varies according to the forage OPEN
... Landscape metrics analysis also reveals the massive fragmentation of forests between 1930 and 2020, increasing the patch number and decreasing patch size (Table 3, 4; Fig. 2) 44 . Similar to Nepal, a massive decline in extensive core forests and increase in fragmented patches has been documented in other elephant range countries India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka [53][54][55][56] . Fragmented forest patches should be connected through a combination of the weak and high-quality habitat to enable elephant connectivity throughout the landscape. ...
... Several studies indicate loss of elephant habitats and fragmentation due to a combination of multiple factors such as agriculture and settlement expansion, encroachments, irrigation, infrastructure development hydropower projects, illegal logging, mining, commercial plantations 53,61,70,71 . Additionally, expansion of oil palm plantation in Indonesia 72 and tea, paddy cultivation in north-east India has also contributed to habitat loss 73 . ...
... We estimated the conversion of forests into the non-forest area on a grid overlay basis. We generated 5 × 5 km 2 grids for forest cover change analysis following Padaliya et al. 91 and Reddy et al. 43 for the time series assessment and analyzed spatial distribution trends of forest cover in these grids from 1930 to 1975, 1975 to 2000, and 2000 to 2020 53,91 . We computed the forest cover area (distribution of transitions and persistence of forest) of four different periods in each grid using the zonal statistics tool of ArcGIS software 101 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Forest cover is the primary determinant of elephant distribution, thus, understanding forest loss and fragmentation is crucial for elephant conservation. We assessed deforestation and patterns of forest fragmentation between 1930 and 2020 in Chure Terai Madhesh Lanscape (CTML) which covers the entire elephant range in Nepal. Forest cover maps and fragmentation matrices were generated using multi-source data (Topographic maps and Landsat satellite images of 1930, 1975, 2000, and 2020) and spatiotemporal change was quantified. At present, 19,069 km 2 forest cover in CTML is available as the elephant habitat in Nepal. Overall, 21.5% of elephant habitat was lost between 1930 and 2020, with a larger (12.3%) forest cover loss between 1930 and 1975. Area of the large forests (Core 3) has decreased by 43.08% whereas smaller patches (Core 2, Core 1, edge and patch forests) has increased multifold between 1930 and 2020. The continued habitat loss and fragmentation probably fragmented elephant populations during the last century and made them insular with long-term ramifications for elephant conservation and human-elephant conflict. Given the substantial loss in forest cover and high levels of fragmentation, improving the resilience of elephant populations in Nepal would urgently require habitat and corridor restoration to enable the movement of elephants.
... Many researchers have also performed studies related to the spatial patterns of forest fragmentation in India and globally. For example, the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Dehradun, India, has published landscape fragmentation mapping for national assessment based on satellite remote sensing data using landscape metrics at landscape level on a 1:20,000 scale in a GIS platform [34,35]. This landscape fragmentation map is now available on the Indian Biodiversity Information Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 4090 3 of 21 system (www.bisindia.org/, ...
... Generally, previous studies have addressed the influence of forest fragmentation changes on forest landscape, either through edge effects, identifying patch size, or through examining the forest fragmentation process by a multiple landscape metrics analysis, or just classifying forest fragmentation patterns on forest landscape level [17][18][19][20]34,35]. However, there is no factor-based estimation on where forest fragmentation is likely to occur. ...
... Previous studies have measured or quantified the forest fragmentation process and their patterns at the patch, class, and landscape level, relying on multiple landscape metrics (landscape indices) or landscape tools (FRAGSTATS, LFTv2.0, Shape Metrics, Patch Analyst, PolyFrag, PyLandStats) [18,24,28,[34][35][36][37]47,48,70,71]. However, there is no factorbased estimation of where forest fragmentation is likely to occur. ...
Article
Full-text available
An estimation of where forest fragmentation is likely to occur is critically important for improving the integrity of the forest landscape. We prepare a forest fragmentation susceptibility map for the first time by developing an integrated model and identify its causative factors in the forest landscape. Our proposed model is based upon the synergistic use of the earth observation data, forest fragmentation approach, patch forests, causative factors, and the weight-of-evidence (WOE) method in a Geographical Information System (GIS) platform. We evaluate the applicability of the proposed model in the Indian Himalayan region, a region of rich biodiversity and environmental significance in the Indian subcontinent. To obtain a forest fragmentation susceptibility map, we used patch forests as past evidence of completely degraded forests. Subsequently, we used these patch forests in the WOE method to assign the standardized weight value to each class of causative factors tested by the Variance Inflation Factor (VIF) method. Finally, we prepare a forest fragmentation susceptibility map and classify it into five levels: very low, low, medium, high, and very high and test its validity using 30% randomly selected patch forests. Our study reveals that around 40% of the study area is highly susceptible to forest fragmentation. This study identifies that forest fragmentation is more likely to occur if proximity to built-up areas, roads, agricultural lands, and streams is low, whereas it is less likely to occur in higher altitude zones (more than 2000 m a.s.l.). Additionally, forest fragmentation will likely occur in areas mainly facing south, east, southwest, and southeast directions and on very gentle and gentle slopes (less than 25 degrees). This study identifies Himalayan moist temperate and pine forests as being likely to be most affected by forest fragmentation in the future. The results suggest that the study area would experience more forest fragmentation in the future, meaning loss of forest landscape integrity and rich biodiversity in the Indian Himalayan region. Our integrated model achieved a prediction accuracy of 88.7%, indicating good accuracy of the model. This study will be helpful to minimize forest fragmentation and improve the integrity of the forest landscape by implementing forest restoration and reforestation schemes.
... Since 2000, India has added nearly 1 million paved lane-km (Dulac, 2013), and is continuously expanding infrastructure to achieve economic growth. As a result of rapid infrastructure and population growth, only 21% of the country's geographical area is under forests, which are highly fragmented-> 90% of the total number of forest patches constitute an area < 1 km 2 (Nayak et al., 2020;Reddy et al., 2013). Historically, forest cover in India reduced from 89 million ha in 1880 to 63 million ha in 2010 (Tian et al., 2014). ...
... Both landscapes are also part of global tiger conservation landscapes (Walston et al., 2010). These landscapes are witnessing widespread landscape fragmentation; WG has one of the highest proportions of non-forest area within its forests as a consequence of agriculture, plantations and human settlements (Reddy et al., 2013). CI has lost 76% of its forest cover due to urbanization and land conversion for agriculture between 1700 and 2000 . ...
Article
Human land use and activity results in the loss of habitat and biodiversity, and alters how animals move through landscapes. Spatially explicit information on where animal movement is affected at large spatial scales is crucial for prioritizing conservation efforts. We evaluated landscape permeability to movement in two conservation priority landscapes in India, the Western Ghats (WG) and Central India (CI). Using an agent-based model we simulated movement and dispersal of five wide-ranging species in WG (elephant, gaur, leopard, sambar and sloth bear) and four in CI (gaur, leopard, sambar and sloth bear). For each species we compared movement in the presence and absence of land-use land-cover, infrastructure and human population to identify areas where movement is impeded and reduced due to high-resistance features; unrestricted due to relatively low-resistance features; and increased and channelled due to surrounding high-resistance areas. In both landscapes, median movement was reduced. Human land-use, human population and high linear infrastructure density contribute the highest to impeded movement for all species. Natural areas constitute only 20–55% and 50–70% of unrestricted, increased and channelled movement areas in WG and CI respectively. This suggests that a large percentage of the landscape crucial for maintaining movement is not completely permeable. Such areas are often neglected in conservation planning. Our spatially explicit results help identify and prioritize areas where restoration or mitigation should be planned to improve permeability to movement for large mammals. Our approach can be used for other landscapes where data on large mammal movement is lacking.
... They found that most changes occurred in forest canopy density of 60-80% class due to submergence of islands in the Southern area of the reserve forest. Reddy et al. (2013) analyzed the influence of the increasing degree of deforestation in the Indian forests from 1975 to 2005 by measuring landscape indices (metrics) to analyze fragmentation. Sharma et al. (2016) assessed the multi-temporal forest fragmentation and land cover using satellite data in KBR, Sikkim, India. ...
... We considered the open and dense forest classes to calculate the net rate of deforestation of the study area. The net rate of deforestation for different years was calculated using the compound interest rate formula given by Puyravaud (2003) and used in similar studies by Reddy et al. (2013) and Singh et al. (2017), where a1 and a2 are areas covered by forest at time t1 and t2, respectively, and r is the annual rate of deforestation (% per year). ...
Article
Land use and land cover (LULC) change has serious impacts on the environment health. The knowledge and regular monitoring of LULC change has become a key facet for the sustainable management of natural resources. Forest fragmentation is considered one of the most pertinent conservation issues as it associates with the deterioration of ecosystem integrity. Using geospatial technology, we assessed the spatio-temporal changes in LULC, the net rate of deforestation, and forest fragmentation in the traditional landscape of Manipur, Northeast India, from 1999 to 2019. Multi-temporal satellite data Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager were used to classify different LULC classes. The Landscape fragmentation tool LFT v2.0 was used for the classification of different categories of forest fragmentation. During the study period, it was found that forest class dominated the study area, followed by cropland and shifting cultivation area. It was observed that area under dense forest has declined by 11.05% during 1999–2009 but slightly improved during 2009–2019 by 4.33%. The analysis of forest fragmentation found that a large area under the core forest has declined throughout the study period (1999–2019). The net rate of deforestation during 2009–2019 was 0.39% higher than the periods 1999–2009 (0.14%). Landscape indices at class level metrics were calculated using spatial analysis software called Fragstats. The results suggested an anthropogenic and natural activities are the major causes of LULC changes, deforestation, and forest fragmentation. The study provided the spatial database on LULC and forest fragmentation in the data-scare region of traditional landscape in Northeast India, which will help understand the impact of LULC and forest fragmentation on biodiversity-ecosystem processes and support the policymakers in ensuring sustainable land use planning.
... The study reportedly estimated a current global rate of forest loss at 0.6% per year [13]. Forest degradation poses a threat to biodiversity richness [14,15], ecosystem services [16][17][18], habitat quality [19,20], and invasive species [21,22], with forest cover loss and fragmentation regarded as the main causes of global ecosystem degradation [23]. Anthropogenic activities such as expansion of agriculture and ...
... By analyzing the transfer process between forest types and non-forest areas, we found that changes to edges contributed most to the forest cover change. Studies have shown that forest cover changes have stronger linear relationships with edges [21], which indicated that they are more likely to unfold at the edges of forests. Forest fragmentation can pose a threat to ecosystems, causing habitat loss and harming the biodiversity conservation [20,114,115]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Himalaya, a global biodiversity hotspot, has undergone considerable forest cover fluctuation in recent decades, and numerous protected areas (PAs) have been established to prohibit forest degradation there. However, the spatiotemporal characteristics of this forest cover change across the whole region are still unknown, as are the effectiveness of its PAs. Therefore, here, we first mapped the forest cover of Himalaya in 1998, 2008, and 2018 with high accuracy (>90%) using a random forest (RF) algorithm based on Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform. The propensity score matching (PSM) method was applied with eight control variables to balance the heterogeneity of land characteristics inside and outside PAs. The effectiveness of PAs in Himalaya was quantified based on matched samples. The results showed that the forest cover in Himalaya increased by 4983.65 km 2 from 1998 to 2008, but decreased by 4732.71 km 2 from 2008 to 2018. Further analysis revealed that deforestation and reforestation mainly occurred at the edge of forest tracts, with over 55% of forest fluctuation occurring below a 2000 m elevation. Forest cover changes in PAs of Himalaya were analyzed; these results indicated that about 56% of PAs had a decreasing trend from 1998 to 2018, including the Torsa (Ia PA), an area representative of the most natural conditions, which is strictly protected. Even so, as a whole, PAs in Himalaya played a positive role in halting deforestation.
... perforated (the boundaries between core forest and relatively small perforations), and core area (relatively far from the forestnon-forest boundary). Reddy et al. (2013) studied forest fragmentation and forest cover changes and the influence of deforestation on fragmentation by analyzing landscape indices using multi-temporal remote sensing data Landsat MSS-1975 andIRS P6 AWiFS-2005 across biogeographic zones of India. They found that the mean forest patch size at the national level is 187 ha. ...
Article
Full-text available
Forest fragmentation is associated with the deterioration of the ecosystem’s integrity, has negative impacts on biodiversity, degradation of forest, and spatial pattern of the landscape, and become a global conservative issue. Due to advancements in technology such as remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS), there is a wider possibility of studying, monitoring, and reporting of essential biodiversity variances. The aim of the present study is to assess and quantify the extent and pattern of forest fragmentation over the time series of 2013 and 2017 in the traditional landscape area of Senapati district of Manipur, Northeast India using multi-temporal Landsat data. The Landscape Fragmentation tool has been used to categorize the forest area into four categories: patch, edge, perforated, and core forest by assigning an edge width of 100 m. The result of the study shows that area covered by patch forest has increased by 5.54%, whereas the total core forest area has decreased by 318.5 km2. The change matrix analysis showed the conversion of one category of the forest to another with the overall maximum changes is associated with degradation in the forest area. With the identification of such change using RS technology and GIS data, we could suggest immediate measures for reclamation and restoration of degraded forest areas to regain its original ecosystem integrity in terms of carbon storage, soil retention, water conservation, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation.
... Research has shown that, when people are dependent on forest resources, socioeconomic factors are responsible for forest loss and further fragmentation, such as in Romania (Vorovencii 2015), India (Reddy et al. 2013) and Bolivia (Millington et al. 2003). Approximately 47 small villages are scattered inside the reserve, and numerous others exist at the periphery. ...
Article
Natural forces and anthropogenic activities greatly alter land cover, deteriorate or alleviate forest fragmentation and affect biodiversity. Thus land cover and forest fragmentation dynamics have become a focus of concern for natural resource management agencies and biodiversity conservation communities. However, there are few land cover datasets and forest fragmentation information available for the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve (DHR) of Nepal to develop targeted biodiversity conservation plans. In this study, these gaps were filled by characterizing land cover and forest fragmentation trends in the DHR. Using five Landsat images between 1993 and 2018, a support vector machine algorithm was applied to classify six land cover classes: forest, grasslands, barren lands, agricultural and built-up areas, water bodies, and snow and glaciers. Subsequently, two landscape process models and four landscape metrics were used to depict the forest fragmentation situations. Results showed that forest cover increased from 39.4% in 1993 to 39.8% in 2018. Conversely, grasslands decreased from 38.2% in 1993 to 36.9% in 2018. The forest shrinkage was responsible for forest loss during the period, suggesting that the loss of forest cover reduced the connectivity between forest and non-forested areas. Expansion was the dominant component of the forest restoration process, implying that it avoided the occurrence of isolated forests. The maximum value of edge density and perimeter area fractal dimension metrics and the minimum value of aggregation index were observed in 2011, revealing that forests in this year were most fragmented. These specific observations from the current analysis can help local authorities and local communities, who are highly dependent on forest resources, to better develop local forest management and biodiversity conservation plans.
... The studies from around the world revealed that the degradation or even extinction of forest ecosystems could be largely attributed to anthropologic disturbances (Lele et al., 2008, Lambin andMeyfroidt, 2010;Liu et al., 2013;Liu et al., 2016a). The deterioration of forest ecosystems is usually associated with forest loss and fragmentation (Laurance et al., 2000;Miller, 2012), which also have induced many negative eco-environmental consequences, including species degradation or extinction, soil erosion and sandy storm attacks (Reddy et al., 2013;Carranza et al., 2015). Notably, rapid urbanization and industrialization are currently the largest factor for urban land expansion in developing and developed countries of the world (Turner II et al., 2007;Liu et al., 2010b;Yang et al., 2019a;Xu et al., 2020), affecting ecosystems in local and global scales (Shen et al., 2008;Yang et al., 2017a;Girardet, 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
China has experienced rapid urbanizations with dramatic land cover changes since 1978. Forest loss is one of land cover changes, and it induces various eco-environmental degradation issues. As one of China's hotspot regions, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) has undergone a dramatic urban expansion. To better understand forest dynamics and protect forest ecosystem, revealing the processes, patterns and underlying drivers of forest loss is essential. This study focused on the spatiotemporal evolution and potential driving factors of forest loss in the GBA at regional and city level. The Landsat time-series images from 1987 to 2017 were used to derive forest, and landscape metrics and geographic information system (GIS) were applied to implement further spatial analysis. The results showed that: 1) 14.86% of the total urban growth area of the GBA was obtained from the forest loss in 1987-2017; meanwhile, the forest loss area of the GBA reached 4040.6 km 2 , of which 25.60% (1034.42 km 2) was converted to urban land; 2) the percentages of forest loss to urban land in Dongguan (19.14%), Guangzhou (18.35%) and Shenzhen (15.81%) were higher than those in other cities; 3) the forest became increasingly fragmented from 1987-2007, and then the fragmentation decreased from 2007 to 2017); 4) the landscape responses to forest changes varied with the scale; and 5) some forest loss to urban regions moved from low-elevation and gentle-slope terrains to higher-elevation and steep-slope terrains over time, especially in Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Urbanization and industrialization greatly drove forest loss and fragmentation, and, notably, hillside urban land expansion may have contributed to hillside forest loss. The findings will help policy makers in maintaining the stability of forest ecosystems, and provide some new insights into forest management and conservation.
... Understanding forest fragmentation and its evolution over time involve the use of statistical indicators or indices that describe the composition and configuration of the landscape. Quantification and comparison of landscape indices have been recognized as the most effective way to assess forest fragmentation processes, these methods have been applied in several studies at international levels Mexico [14][15][16][17]. Most studies limit their scope to identifying a landscape fragmentation pattern by a time window of interest. ...
Article
Full-text available
Nowadays the biodiversity loss has appeared with the search for human economic development which has reached dramatic proportions. Knowledge of biodiversity itself it is an essential factor, for finding the problems it faces and so develop appropriate control and conservation strategies. One of the main concerns in these days it is to characterize natural environments and how this have changed in recent years. The purpose of this study was to analyze the process of fragmentation of forests at the spatial and temporal level in the Río Botello catchment, Facatativá, Eastern Cordillera of Colombia, during the period 1985 to 2018. A time series of LANDSAT satellite images for 1985, 2001 and 2018 was used for this analysis, along with the CORINE LAND COVER methodology adapted for Colombia. The configuration of the identified terrestrial coverages was done with the FRAGSTATS software and the IndiFrag v2.1 application. These results show that the percentage of forests in the catchment decreased from 41% of the total area to 31% in the last 30 years, this because agricultural areas increased at an annual growth rate of 0.841 km2/year that replaced the natural forest mainly in the northeast and northwest sectors of the study area. The Eastern Cordillera of Colombia is one of the most deforested in the last 50 years. According to results it is necessary to carry out an integrated management of the catchment by different institutions to reduce the fragmentation and deforestation of natural areas.
... Fragmentation and consequent deforestation is a major issue for mitigating climate changes and conservation of forests. Anthropogenic pressures on forest landscapes result in a complex pattern of forest structure with devoid of connectivity (Reddy et al. 2013). Connectivity among patches places a major role in species survival and conservation. ...
Article
Forest ecosystems play a vital role in sustaining various life forms on the earth. These ecosystems support society through the provision of goods (timber, fuelwood, etc.) and an array of ecological services (carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, etc.). However, unplanned developmental activities have been affecting the ecological integrity evident from the fragmentation of forests, barren hilltops, conversion of perennial streams to intermittent or seasonal streams, etc. During the past three decades, forests have undergone major transitions with the breaking of contiguous native forests into small parcels of land, restricting the movement of species thereby limiting the potential of species for dispersal and colonization. This paper analyzes the landscape dynamics and spatial patterns of forests fragmentation of Shimoga District, Central Western Ghats and prioritizes ecologically fragile or Ecologically Sensitive regions (ESR) at village levels based on bio-geo-climatic-social variables with the land use dynamics considering temporal remote sensing data. Results revealed that there was a net loss of 10% in forest cover from 43.83% (1973) to 34.02% (2018), primarily caused by the expansion of agriculture, horticulture, and forest plantations. Forest fragmentation has increased, evident from the decline of the interior forest to an extent of 11% from 26% (1973-2018). ESR prioritization at village level in the Shimoga district considering the ecological, geo-climatic and social variables indicate that 11% villages are ESR 1 (highest sensitivity), 30% are in ESR 2 (higher sensitivity), 36% are in ESR 3 (high sensitivity) and the remaining 23% are in ESR 4 or moderate sensitivity category. The analysis illustrates the importance of understanding spatiotemporal patterns of landscape structure for sustainable management of tropical forests.
... Results suggest a lack of genetic connectivity across the distribution range regardless of site type. Geographical isolation is the main reason for the differences among the populations.The Himalayan vegetation landscape particularly the north-western and central Himalayan region have highly fragmented forest patches as compared to the eastern Himalayan region (Reddy et al., 2013). The conversion of vegetation cover to non-forest area by human activity further increased forest fragmentation (Sharma and Roy 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
Himalayan cedar ( Cedrus deodara ) is one of the most important temperate timber species of Western Himalayas and is considered to be among the endangered conifer species in the region. Knowledge of genetic diversity and population structure will help guide gene conservation strategies for this species. Ten polymorphic chloroplast microsatellites (cpSSR) were used to study genetic diversity and population structure in twenty one natural populations of C. deodara throughout its entire distribution range in Western Himalayas. When alleles at each of the 10 loci were jointly analysed, 254 different haplotypes were identified among 1050 individuals. The cpSSRs indicate that C. deodara forests maintain a moderately high level of genetic diversity (mean h = 0.79 ). AMOVA analysis showed that most of the diversity in C. deodara occurs within populations. Bayesian analysis for population structure (BAPS) revealed spatial structuration of the variation (22 % of the total variation) and substructuring captured nineteen genetic clusters in the entire divisions of the populations. Most of the populations were clustered independently with minor admixtures. The distribution of genetic diversity and sub-structuring of C. deodara may be due to restricted gene flow due to geographic isolation, genetic drift, and natural selection. These findings indicated existence of genetically distinct and different high diversity and low diversity clusters, which are potential groups of populations that require attention for their conservation and management. The results are interpreted in context of future conservation plans for C. deodara .
... Forests are dynamic ecosystems with vital roles in maintaining ecological and economic functions, such as carbon sequestration (Moomaw et al. 2020), environmental conditioning (Rudel et al. 2020), and supplying wood and bioenergy (Nepal et al. 2019). During their long lifespan, trees are susceptible to external abiotic and biotic stressors such as drought, salinity, herbivore and pathogen attack (Oliva et al. 2020;Pagán et al. 2022;Rodriguez et al. 2019;Zamora Ballesteros et al. 2019), which seriously compromise tree health and the stability and function of forest ecosystems on a global scale (Reddy et al. 2013). Soil-borne pathogens are especially harmful as they infect tree roots, limiting growth and increasing susceptibility to other diseases. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims The ability of plants to cope with environmental pressure and the interaction between rhizosphere microorganisms and host trees play an important role in the stability and function of forest ecosystems. Beneficial microbes recruited to the plant rhizosphere and stably associated with tree roots can potentially reduce biotic stress, but microbial interactions involved in coping with pathogen attack are not fully understood. Here, we hypothesized that the composition of the rhizosphere microbiota associated with different tree species can influence plant resistance to the stress from soil-borne pathogens, and investigated the roles of rhizosphere microbiota from four broad-leaved and three coniferous tree species involving in the suppression of soil-borne fungal pathogens. Methods We used two antagonism assays, with and without direct contact to soil-borne fungal pathogens, and assessed the differences in suppression of rhizosphere microbiota among seven tree species. Pyrosequencing of the V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was performed on rhizosphere microbiota, and root exudates of the trees were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC–MS). Results Rhizosphere microbial communities from all seven tree species effectively inhibited the fungal pathogens, nevertheless, there were significant differences in their effectiveness. The dissimilarities in rhizosphere bacterial communities were significantly correlated with phylogenetic distance of trees, accounting for the differences in pathogen suppression. Combined analysis of a random forest model and co-occurrence networks, revealed a potentially cooperative interactions between key groups that were positively associated with inhibition of fungal pathogens in the tree rhizosphere. This process was associated with higher concentration of specific compounds in rhizosphere soil. Conclusions In general, potent inhibitory effects of tree species rhizosphere on pathogens were relevant to the enrichment of such key microbes, as Phycisphaeraceae and Rokubacteria with modulation of the remainder taxa. Therefore, trees benefit steering of their rhizosphere microbiome for maintaining forest health.
... Fragmentation and consequent deforestation is a major issue for mitigating climate changes and conservation of forests. Anthropogenic pressures on forest landscapes result in a complex pattern of forest structure with devoid of connectivity (Reddy et al. 2013). Connectivity among patches places a major role in species survival and conservation. ...
Article
Forest ecosystems play a vital role in sustaining various life forms on the earth. These ecosystems support society through the provision of goods (timber, fuelwood, etc.) and an array of ecological services (carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, etc.). However, unplanned developmental activities have been affecting the ecological integrity evident from the fragmentation of forests, barren hilltops, conversion of perennial streams to intermittent or seasonal streams, etc. During the past three decades, forests have undergone major transitions with the breaking of contiguous native forests into small parcels of land, restricting the movement of species thereby limiting the potential of species for dispersal and colonization. This paper analyzes the landscape dynamics and spatial patterns of forests fragmentation of Shimoga District, Central Western Ghats and prioritizes ecologically fragile or Ecologically Sensitive regions (ESR) at village levels based on bio-geo-climatic-social variables with the land use dynamics considering temporal remote sensing data. Results revealed that there was a net loss of 10% in forest cover from 43.83% (1973) to 34.02% (2018), primarily caused by the expansion of agriculture, horticulture, and forest plantations. Forest fragmentation has increased, evident from the decline of the interior forest to an extent of 11% from 26% (1973–2018). ESR prioritization at village level in the Shimoga district considering the ecological, geo-climatic and social variables indicate that 11% villages are ESR 1 (highest sensitivity), 30% are in ESR 2 (higher sensitivity), 36% are in ESR 3 (high sensitivity) and the remaining 23% are in ESR 4 or moderate sensitivity category. The analysis illustrates the importance of understanding spatiotemporal patterns of landscape structure for sustainable management of tropical forests.
... Landscape metrics selected include patch density (PD), largest patch index (LPI), patch cohesion index (COHE), aggregation index (AI), fractal dimension (FRAC), landscape division index (DIVISI), and splitting index (SPLIT). These metrics are commonly used as heterogeneity measures in regional and local scale studies [45][46][47]. The selected metrics were calculated by FRAGSTAT 4.2 at the same level as the landscapes. ...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing land cover heterogeneity is essential for the assessment of spatial patterns to guide conservation planning. One of the top research priorities is the quantification of land cover heterogeneity using effective landscape metrics. However, due to the diversity of land cover types and their varied distribution, a consistent, larger-scale, and standardized framework for heterogeneity information extraction from this complex perspective is still lacking. Consequently, we developed a new Land Cover Complexity Index (LCCI), which is based on information-theory. The LCCI contains two foundational aspects of heterogeneity, composition and configuration, thereby capturing more comprehensive information on land cover patterns than any single metric approach. In this study, we compare the performance of the LCCI with that of other landscape metrics at two different scales, and the results show that our newly developed indicator more accurately characterizes and distinguishes different land cover patterns. LCCI provides an alternative way to measure the spatial variation of land cover distribution. Classification maps of land cover heterogeneity generated using the LCCI provide valuable insights and implications for regional conservation planning. Thus, the LCCI is shown to be a consistent indicator for the quantification of land cover heterogeneity that functions in an adaptive way by simultaneously considering both composition and configuration.
... We selected four landscape pattern indices, average plaque area, plaque density, plaque shape index, and fractal dimension. Calculation methods were taken from previous studies (Reddy et al., 2013;Yang et al., 2014). ...
Article
The Chinese government has emphasized the consolidation of rural settlements because of their extensive use and hollowing-out in the hope that agricultural land losses can be mitigated nationally, the ecological environment can be protected, and improvements can be made to agricultural production and rural livelihoods. Rural settlement consolidation, however, necessitates a complex optimization approach that involves multiple aspects including rural development policies as well as the evaluation and classification of settlement layout, the land-use decision-making behaviors of villagers, and spatial layout optimization models. Current rural settlement consolidation methods lack these respective modules and have therefore led to unsatisfactory results. We therefore coupled a spatial layout evaluation module, system dynamics (SD) models, and the multi-agent system (MAS) to establish the rural settlement consolidation model (RSCM), an approach which can comprehensively consider all these aspects. This model was then applied in Jizhou District, Tianjin, using the three policy scenarios of ecology priority, coordinated ecology and economic development, and economy priority. The results of this analysis show that, in the first place, given an optimized rural settlement layout, the average suitability value and degree of average spatial compactness increased by 3.23% and 96.68% respectively. These outcomes indicate that the model can improve land-use suitability and solve the village hollowing-out issue. Data also show that landscape pattern indices including average plaque density, average patch shape index, and average fractal dimension all decreased by 54.17%, 26.20, and 4.60%, respectively, while average plaque area increased by 117.22%. These outcomes indicate that the use of this model can reduce rural settlement complexity and alleviate the pressure on the landscape matrix. Secondly, results show that the consolidation of rural settlements leads to clear socioeconomic and ecological benefits within the study area as well as improvements in agricultural production and rural livelihoods because of spatial layout adjustments. Third, ecological and economic policy priorities reduce the effectiveness of rural settlement consolidation, hinder economic development, and can even exacerbate the hollowing-out of villages. Rural development policies must therefore strike a balance between environmental protection and economic development.
... km 2 , whereas natural vegetation covers an area of 98,780 km 2 (48.16 %) (Reddy et al. 2015). The Eastern Ghats of Odisha occupy 49532.60 km 2 and distributed in Phulbani, Kalahandi, Gajapati, Rayagada, Ganjam, Koraput and Malkangiri districts similarly the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh occupies 98,662 km 2 and represented in parts of Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Guntur, Krishna, Kurnool, Prakasham, Nellore, Cuddapah, Anantapur and Chittoor districts whereas the Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu covers 42,653 km 2 and spread over in parts of Vellore, Erode, Salem, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Tiruvanamalai, Tiruchirapalli, Pudukkottai and Villupuram districts and the Eastern Ghats of Karnataka part spread over 14,241 km 2 and found in Chamrajnagar, Kolar and Bellary districts (Reddy et al. 2006, Reddy et al. 2013. ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study focused on pteridophytes of the Eastern Ghats, India. A census of pteridophytes distributed in different states of the Eastern Ghats was prepared based on taxonomic literature, herbaria and field studies. Altogether, 184 species belonging to 75 genera under 40 families were enumerated. Of these, 20 species are common in states of the Eastern Ghats. The state-wise analysis shows that Odisha part of Eastern Ghats harbors a highest number of pteridophytes (142 spp.) followed by Andhra Pradesh (91 spp.), Tamil Nadu (67 spp.) and Karnataka (49 spp.). Odisha represents the highest number of unique species (65 spp.) followed by Karnataka (19) and Andhra Pradesh (13).
... A number of studies attempted to study forest health with either canopy density model (Rikimaru 1996;Roy et al. 1997;Nandy et al. 2003) or fragmentation model (Southworth et al. 2002;Reddy et al. 2013;Sahana et al. 2015). We integrated both the models for analyzing the disturbed forest tracts. ...
Article
Full-text available
The paper explored the level of forest disturbance in the Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR) of Indian tropical forest. We acquired single scene image of Landsat-5 (1989) and Landsat-8 (2015) for the analysis. Disturbance map was produced using fragmentation and canopy density models. The map was categorized into high, moderate, low, and undisturbed forest tracts. Spatiotemporal analysis of forest disturbance (1989–2015) revealed that highly disturbed tracts experienced a decrease of 43%, while medium and low disturbed tracts showed an increase of 57% and 30%, respectively. Undisturbed forest tracts witnessed decrease mainly due to a decrease in very high canopy density and increase in forest fragmentation. Within cores I, II and III of STR, undisturbed forest tracts in core I have significantly declined due to increased anthropogenic activities. Thus, the study calls for immediate attention to check forest disturbance in core I of STR. Though the government has initiated relocation program of the villages and restoration of the STR, the execution process has still a long way to achieve the goal. The methodology adopted in this study can effectively be utilized for assessing the forest disturbance tracts at spatial scales.
... The multiple drivers of forest cover loss such as expansion of settlement and cultivation, irrigation/ hydropower projects, illegal logging, mining, commercial plantations, encroachments, and infrastructure development (Sukumar 1989;Johnsingh et al. 1990;Singh 1995;Menon and Bawa 1998;Srivastava et al. 2002;Nandy et al. 2007;Chakraborty 2009;Reddy et al. 2009Reddy et al. , 2013Kushwaha et al. 2018) have been reported in different elephant ranges. Expansion of rubber in north-east India is similar to trends in Southeast Asia (Liu et al. 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
India is home of the largest remaining population of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus L.) in the South and Southeast Asia. The forest loss and fragmentation is the main threat to the long-term survival of Asian elephants. In the present study, we assessed forest loss and fragmentation in the major elephant ranging provinces in India, viz., north-eastern, north-western, central, and southern since the 1930s. We quantified forest cover changes by generating and analyzing forest cover maps of 1930, 1975, and 2013, whereas fragmentation of contiguous forest areas was quantified by applying landscape metrics on the temporal forest cover maps. A total of 21.49% of the original forest cover was lost from 1930 to 1975, while another 3.19% forest cover was lost from 1975 to 2013 in the elephant ranges in India. The maximum forest loss occurred in the southern range (13,084 km2) followed by north-eastern (10,188 km2), central (5614 km2), and north-western (4030 km2) elephant ranges in the past eight decades. The forests in the central range were the most fragmented followed by southern, north-eastern, and north-western elephant ranges. The forest fragmentation in the southern range occurred at the fastest rate than central, north-eastern, and north-western ranges. The core forest areas shrunk by 39.6% from 1930 to 2013. The causative factors of forest change and situation of elephant-human conflict have been discussed. Study outcomes would be helpful in planning effective conservation strategies for Asian elephants in India.
... Furthermore, we use fragmentation index ranged from 0 to 1 to evaluate fragmentation of results. It presents the more fragmentized when the value of index is closer to 1 [100], [101]. Compared with the three methods mentioned above (SVM, SID, and SAM), the DLWC method achieves a minimal fragmentation index for the extracted results, which is of great help in judging the number of landslides. ...
... Moreover, forest loss usually occurs after intense processes of forest fragmentation (McIntyre & Hobbs, 1999;Echeverría et al., 2012). The state of the landscape studied is more critical than that observed in India between 1975and 2005(Reddy et al., 2013and in southern Ecuador, between 1976and 2008(Sierra et al., 2013, where the reduction of large patches of native forest, and an increase in the number of patches occurred. ...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, there is no precise information on the degree of transformation of Tropical Andes hotspot landscape and native ecosystems due to the intensification of agricultural and urban land-use. Proper knowledge of these changes would provide crucial information for planning conservation strategies. We evaluated the impact of the intensification of agricultural and urban land-use on the Inter-Andean Dry Forest and Tropical Montane Forest, both of which are categorized as Critically Endangered, and the state of the landscape in the High Rio Guayllabamba watershed, Ecuador, during the periods 1991–2005 and 2005–2017. The evaluation was carried out using Landsat satellite images of 30 x 30 m pixels and landscape metrics. We found an advanced state of landscape transformation. Since the 1990s, the loss of both ecosystems was largely caused by the conversion of forest to agriculture, resulting in substantial changes in the spatial configuration of these ecosystems. From 1991 to 2017, 19.8 % and 16.1 % of Inter-Andean Dry Forest and Tropical Montane Forest respectively, were converted to agriculture. The loss of Inter-Andean Dry Forest was 28 % and the number of forest patches increased by more than 150%. The loss of Tropical Montane Forest was 16.5 % and the number of forest patches increased by more than 300 %. The largest loss and fragmentation of forest cover occurred from 1991 to 2005. We suggested planning landscape-scale conservation, using the patch-corridor-matrix model. This model is appropriate given the current configuration of the landscape studied, with Inter-Andean Dry Forest and Tropical Montane Forest restricted to small patches sparsely distributed across the landscape.
... indicadores) que cuantifican patrones espaciales característicos de los parches, clases de parches o de mosaicos paisajísticos enteros(Sudhakar Reddy et al 2013, Hill et al 2011, O`Neill et al 1988, Gardner et al 1987. La fisonomía del paisaje es factible caracterizarla bajo tres aspectos fundamentales: heterogeneidad (composición), configuración espacial y continuidad(Monedero y Gutiérrez 2001). ...
... Climate change in the region needs serious attention since local communities are directly and/or indirectly dependent on forest resources and plant diversity (Negi et al., 2011;2017;Rawal et al., 2012;Negi et al., 2020). Higher dependency of local inhabitants on forest goods result in forest degradation and habitat fragmentation (Negi et al., 2018b;Pandit et al., 2007;Rawal et al., 2012;Reddy et al., 2013;Kumar et al. 2019). Climate change is likely to affect the capacity of forests to produce ecosystem goods and services Upgupta et al., 2015;Chakraborty et al., 2018a). ...
Article
Forest vulnerability assessment with ground realities/ data has great implications for adaptation and management planning at local and regional scale. However, such assessments are still limited across globe including the Himalaya. In view of this, present study derived a spatial map of inherent forest vulnerability using ground based observation and information in the western Himalaya. Based on literature and data availability, we selected nine forest vulnerability indicators under four domains i.e., ecological (species richness, and NDVI), climate (temperature, rainfall), topographic (slope, aspect, elevation), disturbances (forest fragmentation) and social (population density). Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), which is a multi-criteria decision method, was used forweighting the vulnerability indicators. Based on AHP, forest vulnerability index (FVI) was developed using general linear model approach. The FVI index was further classified into four different categories i.e., low, medium, high and very high. The results revealed maximum (37%) forest grids under medium vulnerable profile followed by 31% (high) and 21% (low) vulnerable grids. In general, temperate and mixed forests show higher forest vulnerability in the region, whereas subtropical pine, broadleaf and subalpine forests falls under lesser vulnerable forest grids. These results exhibited that elevation (15.4%), population density (15.1%), slope (14.5%), rainfall (13.7%), forest fragmentation (12.9%), temperature (12.3), and aspect (11.4%) are the major drivers of forest vulnerability, particularly for the Himalayan region. To validate the results, we compared the developed FVI in present study with ground based FVI already generated in previous studies from the region, and found higher similarity in the assessments. The spatial forest vulnerability maps generated in the present study provides a realistic profile of vulnerable forests in Indian western Himalaya, which can be used for developing adaptation measure and management planning
... Forests are primary, dynamic ecosystems with vital roles in maintaining ecological and economic functions, such as sequestering carbon (Moomaw et al. 2020), environmental conditioning (Rudel et al. 2020), and supplying wood and bioenergy (Nepal et al. 2019). Due to their long lifespan, trees are susceptible to external abiotic and biotic stresses such as drought, salinity, herbivore and pathogen attack (Rodriguez et al. 2019;Zamora Ballesteros et al. 2019;Oliva et al. 2020;Pagán et al. 2022), which seriously compromise tree health and the stability and function of forest ecosystems on a global scale (Reddy et al. 2013). Soil-borne pathogens are especially harmful as they infect tree roots, limiting growth and increasing susceptibility to other disease occurrences. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background and aimsThe ability of plants to cope with environmental pressure and the interaction between rhizosphere microorganisms and host trees play an important role in the stability and function of forest ecosystems. Beneficial microbes recruited to the plant rhizosphere and stably association with tree roots can potentially reduce biotic stress, but the biochemical processes involved in coping with pathogen attack are not fully understood. Here, we aimed to investigate the ecology process of rhizosphere microbiota from four broad-leaved and three coniferous tree varieties involving in the suppression of soil-borne fungal pathogens. Methods We used separation cultivation and in vitro antagonistic experiments to investigate the inhibitory effects of rhizosphere microbiome on pathogenic fungi. Rhizosphere microbiome was then sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform, and root exudates of trees were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).ResultsRhizosphere microbes from seven tree varieties had strong inhibitory effects on fungal pathogens, nevertheless, there were significant differences in their capacity. The dissimilarities in rhizosphere bacterial communities that were significantly correlated with phylogenetic distance of trees had a greater influence on suppression of pathogens compared with microbial abundance and diversity. Combined analysis of a random forest model and co-occurrence networks, revealed a cooperative relationship between key groups that were positively associated with inhibition of fungal pathogens in the tree rhizosphere. This process was further strengthened by specific metabolites secreted by tree roots. Conclusions In general, the rhizosphere microbiota of seven tree species had different inhibitory effects on fungal pathogens, and the cooperative relationship within the rhizosphere microbial community plays an important role in maintaining trees resistance to soil pathogens stress.
... Forest habitat fragmentation is one of the first features to be investigated and assessed in the context of forest landscape configuration analysis on different scales, together with its structure, function and change [1][2][3]. It represents the most visible dynamic aspect of forest stand evolution [4]-a basic element of forest landscape change patterns at stand level in space and time [5,6]-to be modelled using integrated techniques of remote sensing and geographic information systems [7] at different scales, from local to regional, e.g., Rogan and Miller [8] in California, Ghosh et al. [9] in Northern India, up to the national level such as Heilman et al. [10] in the United States, Wulder et al. [11] in Canada, Singh et al. [12] or Reddy et al. [13] in India, and even at global levels [14,15]. In the context of global change, the biodiversity issue approach and modelling [16,17] is a task mentioned and explained in the framework of international/national programmes on the conservation of biological diversity after Rio 1992 [2], followed by earth observationfocused programmes, such as the EOSD (Earth Observation for Sustainable Development of Forests in Canada, 1999, see [18]) and the European Space Agency (ESA) diversity project [19]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Forest habitat fragmentation is one of the global environmental issues of concern as a result of forest management practices and socioeconomic drivers. In this context, a constant evaluation of natural habitat conditions still remains a challenge in order to achieve a general image of the environmental state of a protected area for proper sustainable management. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the evolution of forest habitat in the last 40 years, focusing on Bucegi Natural Park, one of the most frequented protected areas in Romania, as relevant for highly human-im-pacted areas. Our approach integrates a historical panchromatic Corona KH-9 image from 1977 and present-day Sentinel-2 multispectral data from 2020 in order to calculate a series of spatial metrics that reveal changes in the pattern of the forest habitat and illustrate forest habitat fragmentation density. Object-based oriented analysis with supervised maximum likelihood classification was employed for the production of forest cover fragmentation maps. Ten landscape metrics were adapted to the analysis context, from patch statistics to proximity index. The results show a general growth of the forest surface but also an increase in habitat fragmentation in areas where tourism was developed. Fragmentation indices explain that larger and compact patches feature natural park protected forests after the spruce-fir secondary canopies were grown during the last 4-5 decades. The number of patches decreased to half, and their average size is double that of before. The method can be of extensive use for environmental monitoring in protected areas management and for understanding the environmental history connected to present-day problems that are to be fixed under rising human pressure.
... Wildlife species which are sensitive to these changes can be wiped out from these fragments. Remote sensing combined with GIS provides an ideal tool to assess forest fragmentation both qualitatively and quantitatively (Reddy et al. 2013). Fragstats, a computer software program designed to compute a wide variety of landscape metrics for categorical map patterns, is an ideal tool to understand the effect of fragmentation in landscape variations (Cushman 2006;Saikia et al. 2013;Millington et al. 2003). ...
Chapter
Wildlife, which is one of the integral parts of our ecosystem, nowadays facing a severe threat from anthropogenic actions, like forest obliteration, wildlife poaching and trade, introduction of invasive species, pest and diseases, etc. Moreover, the anthropogenic influence on the Earth’s environment and climate is altering the nature of wildlife habitats and which in turn is accelerating the process of wildlife extinction in a faster way. Advancement in geospatial technology gives conservationists the benefit to improved understanding of the wildlife, their habitats, and the danger that they are facing, in a scientific way to simplify the process of planning, implementing, and tracking wildlife for conservation and management activities. This chapter provides an appraisal of various geospatial technologies in wildlife conservation and management that can be utilized effectively. One of the major applications of geospatial technology in wildlife management is habitat assessment. Wildlife habitat can be assessed for risk assessment, suitability assessment, habitat utilization pattern, and habitat restoration program or protecting threatened habitats. Bio-logging or bio-telemetry, one of the geospatial technologies, provides meaningful information about the movement ecology of individual species which can be used to understand the behavioral pattern of wildlife in relation to its environment. Another use of geospatial technology is the assessment of home ranges, territories, corridors, and connectivity metrics with the aid of bio-telemetry/camera traps/pug marks/visual observations. Assessment of human–wildlife conflicts for conflicts mitigation efforts is yet another application that offers a wide variety of solutions to the managers to mitigate conflicts. Nowadays geospatial technology is being used for wildlife census, wildlife crime investigation, and Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of protected areas. This chapter briefly explains the methodologies and utilities of various applications mentioned above with some examples to demonstrate the utility of geospatial technology for wildlife conservation and management.
... Moreover, forest cover changes have an impact on the supply of crucial ecosystem services such as biodiversity, climate control, carbon storage, and water supplies (Hansen et al 2013). Landscape structure and composition can also use to analyze ecological processes, which aids in landscape management (Reddy et al 2013a). Deforestation, commercial logging, and other human effects have all been monitored and assessed via geospatial analysis, which is frequently employed in the area of ecology (Wang et al 2010, Hou et al 2013. ...
Article
Full-text available
The study was conducted to figure out the landscape fragmentation in and around Rajaji National Park using landscape indices viz., total Class area (CA), number of patches (NP), patch density (PD), interspersion and juxtaposition Index (IJI) and largest patch index (LPI) over the classified LULC map of the study area during 1993 and 2015. Landsat imageries through spatial analyst programme FRAGSTATS 4.2.Comparative study of the landscape indices inside the protected area (2000 m buffer) and innermost protected area (excluding 2000 m buffer area) during 1993 and 2015 indices such as NP, PD, LPI decreased over time while, IJI got increased with respect to forest patch, which means interspersion is more and patch adjacency is getting increased during the analyzed period, which means inside the protected area fewer disturbances were observed. Meanwhile, comparison of landscape indices outside protected area (2000 m buffer outside PA) during 1993 and 2015 revealed that NP, PD increased overtime while, LPI and IJI decreased over time. Lower values of IJI characterize landscapes in which the patch types are poorly interspersed, means the outer side of protected area are more fragmented with respect to the inside boundary.
... Several researchers examined landscape fragmentation using geospatial techniques (McGarigal et al 2002, Vogt et al, 2007, Jaybhaye et al 2016, Batar et al 2017. A forest fragmentation study was done and has been implemented in several nations including India, Malaysia, North Korea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Kingdom and the USA (Kupfer 2006, Abdullah and Nakagoshi 2007, Reddy et al 2013, Shapiro et al 2016and Aditya et al 2018. Some studies emphasize that forest fragmentation is creating problems for ecosystems by fragmenting the forested area and creating edges along the forest area that result in decreasing core forest area. ...
Article
Full-text available
The Western Ghats is rich in a variety of flora, fauna and specifically about its endemism. The uncontrolled human interference in the area created the problems that leads to environmental degradation. In the Western Ghats, changing land-use patterns caused forest fragmentation, habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, loss of movement corridor for the wildlife and it became a primary concern for sustainability of biodiversity. To understand the forest fragmentation in the study area, the research work attempts to developed forest fragmentation analysis for the year of 1991 to 2020 using the Landscape Fragmentation Tool (LFT). The result revealed that from 1991 to 2020, non-forest types like water bodies, agriculture land, barren land, scrubland and settlement has been increased by 3.71% (834 ha), 3.36% (755 ha), 2.22% (499 ha), 1.92% (433 ha), and 0.08% (18 ha). Fragmentation analysis reveals increasing edges by 3.14% (707 ha) and a respectively decrease in the core forest by 6.12% (1376 ha). The result shows that forests are becoming more fragmented and isolated during a period of last three decades. This help to understand and conserve the forest environments. would
... It is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, representing 11% of the world's flora and encompassing four biodiversity hotspots (Chitale et al., 2014;NWAP, 2017). The country has experienced large-scale forest loss for decades, which has been extensively studied, with land use changes largely cited as the major cause of forest declines (Jha et al., 2000;Lele & Joshi, 2009;Reddy et al., 2013;Roy et al., 2013). Increased demand for crop productions, commercial livestock rearing, timber extraction, rapidly increasing populations and an emerging economy are all known to be putting high pressure on forests, alongside cultural practices of shifting cultivation (Lele & Joshi, 2009;Wani et al., 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests in India have declined at an alarming rate over the past century, with extensive literature focusing on the high contributions of agricultural expansions to deforestation, while the effects of climate change have largely been overlooked. Climate change effects, such as increasing temperatures, drought and flooding have already occurred, and are projected to worsen. Climate velocity, a metric that accounts for spatial heterogeneity in climate, can help identify contiguous areas under greater climate stress and potential climate refuges in addition to traditional temporal trends. Here, we examined the relative contribution of climate changes to forest loss in India during the period 2001‐2018, at two spatial (regional and national) and two temporal (seasonal and annual) scales. This includes, for the first time, a characterisation of climate velocity in the country. Our findings show that annual forest loss increased substantially over the 17 year period examined (2001‐2018), with the majority of forest loss occurring in the Northeast region. Decreases in temporal trends of temperature and precipitation were most associated with forest losses but there was large spatial and seasonal variation in the relationship. In every region except the Northeast, forest losses were correlated with faster velocities of at least one climate variable but overlapping areas of high velocities were rare. Our findings indicate that climate changes have played an important role in India’s past forest loss, but likely remain secondary to other factors at present. We stress concern for climates velocities recorded in the country, reaching 97km yr‐1, and highlight that understanding the different regional and seasonal relationships between climatic conditions and forest distributions will be key to effective protection of the country’s remaining forests as climate change accelerates.
... Refugees who escaped to Irbid district during the Syrian civil war would cause increased landscape fragmentation and an increasing urban spread. Our findings also underline the results of Li et al. [45] and Reddy et al. [46], who emphasize that accelerated urbanization in developing countries expedites land cover change. In addition, our study's findings agree with the conclusions introduced by Braimoh [47] and Griscom et al. [48], which point out that the expansion of urban areas and agricultural land are drivers of Land Use/Land Cover changes and are inextricably linked. ...
Article
Full-text available
The refugee movement creates urban and environmental pressures at their destination locations. This pressure often presents in the form of Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) change. This study seeks to understand the impact of the Syrian refugees’ influence on changing the urban and agricultural land dynamics in Irbid district in northwestern Jordan from 1985 to 2021, including the period of the civil war in Syria, using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images for the years 1985 and 2004, and the Landsat-8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) for the years 2013 and 2021. The Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform was used to conduct all image processing and perform calculations and classification analysis using the Random Forest (RF) approach. The study of the classified images compared LULC before and during the Syrian crisis using images from 1985, 2004, 2013, and 2021. The results show that the urban area increased. In parallel, agricultural land increased. During the Syrian refugee crisis, agriculture became a significant livelihood activity for Syrian refugees. In summary, the movement of the refugees to Irbid district caused an increased demand for land and housing, which accelerated the building and construction process.
... Presently, forest management is undertaken by the state because participatory forest management programs (joint forest management and community forest management) are no longer functional. The differences (at the implementation level) between joint and community forest management are reportedly minor, although community forest management was, in theory, supposed to be community led (for specific differences and details see Reddy et al. 2004Reddy et al. , 2013. Both of these initiatives were funded by the World Bank, along with centrally sponsored schemes to generate employment (Reddy et al. 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity conservation in the Global South is defined and implemented through multiple approaches and frameworks, but in most cases, there is little understanding or value for cultural ecosystem services (CES). CES remain a challenge to incorporate, not only because of their intangibility, but also because of multiple definitions and specificities that emerge from particular human-nature interactions. In India, CES literally and figuratively form a critical part of the social fabric of rural communities. Hence, there is an imperative to acknowledge CES broadly, but also more critically within indigenous communities whose lives continue to revolve around natural resources. Here, we examine CES in part of the Eastern Ghats, southern India through the lifeworld of the Yanadi or Irula people, who shape their lives around the forests, successfully adapting to scarcity and dealing with present-day challenges that threaten their existence. Drawing on a mixed-methods approach that includes semistructured interviews and participant observation, we argue that, as much as the Yanadi lifeworld is shaped by the forests, the forests have been shaped by the community and their interaction with species and spaces. We discuss the CES that are sought out by the Yanadi community and elaborate on how these intangible or nonmaterial benefits are critical. We also examine the consequences of the state's lack of acknowledgement of CES in its management interventions since the 1970s, alienating the community that depends on the forest for not only resources, but also spiritual, cultural, and social capital.
... Como se ha mencionado, perturbaciones naturales y antropogénicas alteran la composición de los ecosistemas generando fragmentación forestal, para su monitoreo se requiere información detallada de cuándo y dónde se producen cambios en los bosques (30) partiendo del uso de medidas estadísticas también llamados indicadores o índices que describen la composición del paisaje y la configuración. La cuantificación y la comparación de los índices de fragmentación han sido muy utilizados por investigadores (10) y reconocidos como la forma más eficaz para evaluar la fragmentación (44). Estos reflejan los patrones espaciales de los ecosistemas aportando interesantes datos numéricos sobre la composición y la configuración de un hábitat (20), la proporción de cada cobertura del suelo o la superficie y la forma de los elementos. ...
Article
Full-text available
El presente artículo de revisión busca describir la fragmentación de bosques desde un enfoque conceptual y explorar las metodologías implementadas para su estudio a nivel nacional e internacional, principalmente, orientadas al uso de sistemas de información geográfica y diferentes métricas para la caracterización del paisaje. Para ello se realizó la revisión de artículos científicos relacionados con la fragmentación de bosques, análisis espacial y multitemporal. Mostrando el valor único y eficacia en la evaluación de las dinámicas del proceso de fragmentación, que tienen el uso de Sistemas de Información Geográfica, junto con los índices y el análisis de factores económicos, políticos y sociales dentro de un área de estudio.
... A possible explication for the lack of explanatory power of land cover for landslide events in India is the large fragmentation that land cover has experienced in this country (Reddy et al. 2013). The global land cover layer in our analysis is the ESA land cover Fig. 6 a People living in landslide hazard areas at regional level according to landslide human exposure equation; b People living in landslide hazard areas normalized by total population at regional level according to landslide human exposure equation, owner elaboration from equation number 2 with 250 m pixel resolution which is unable to describe highly fragmented landscapes adequately. ...
Article
Full-text available
Decision-making plays a key role in reducing landslide risk and preventing natural disasters. Land management, recovery of degraded lands, urban planning, and environmental protection in general are fundamental for mitigating landslide hazard and risk. Here, we present a GIS-based multi-scale approach to highlight where and when a country is affected by a high probability of landslide occurrence. In the first step, a landslide human exposure equation is developed considering the landslide susceptibility triggered by rain as hazard, and the population density as exposed factor. The output, from this overview analysis, is a global GIS layer expressing the number of potentially affected people by month, where the monthly rain is used to weight the landslide hazard. As following step, Logistic Regression (LR) analysis was implemented at a national and local level. The Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) indicator is used to understand the goodness of a LR model. The LR models are defined by a dependent variable, presence-absence of landslide points, versus a set of independent environmental variables. The results demonstrate the relevance of a multi-scale approach, at national level the biophysical variables are able to detect landslide hotspot areas, while at sub-regional level geomorphological aspects, like land cover, topographic wetness, and local climatic condition have greater explanatory power.
... Presently, forest management is undertaken by the state because participatory forest management programs (joint forest management and community forest management) are no longer functional. The differences (at the implementation level) between joint and community forest management are reportedly minor, although community forest management was, in theory, supposed to be community led (for specific differences and details see Reddy et al. 2004Reddy et al. , 2013. Both of these initiatives were funded by the World Bank, along with centrally sponsored schemes to generate employment (Reddy et al. 2004). ...
Article
Biodiversity conservation in the Global South is defined and implemented through multiple approaches and frameworks, but in most cases, there is little understanding or value for cultural ecosystem services (CES). CES remain a challenge to incorporate, not only because of their intangibility, but also because of multiple definitions and specificities that emerge from particular human-nature interactions. In India, CES literally and figuratively form a critical part of the social fabric of rural communities. Hence, there is an imperative to acknowledge CES broadly, but also more critically within indigenous communities whose lives continue to revolve around natural resources. Here, we examine CES in part of the Eastern Ghats, southern India through the lifeworld of the Yanadi or Irula people, who shape their lives around the forests, successfully adapting to scarcity and dealing with present-day challenges that threaten their existence. Drawing on a mixed-methods approach that includes semistructured interviews and participant observation, we argue that, as much as the Yanadi lifeworld is shaped by the forests, the forests have been shaped by the community and their interaction with species and spaces. We discuss the CES that are sought out by the Yanadi community and elaborate on how these intangible or nonmaterial benefits are critical. We also examine the consequences of the state's lack of acknowledgement of CES in its management interventions since the 1970s, alienating the community that depends on the forest for not only resources, but also spiritual, cultural, and social capital.
... We adopted a multidisciplinary approach involving field sampling, genetic information, and multivariate & Bayesian analytical frameworks to address spatial genetic patterns and demography of the largest dhole population in the central Indian landscape. This region is currently facing significant changes in land use pattern from rapid urbanisation, expanding agriculture, infrastructure development, acquisition of minerals and economic growth 34,35 . Our results from this study thus have important conservation/ management implications for dholes and their habitat. ...
Article
Full-text available
Deforestation and agricultural intensification have resulted in an alarming change in the global land cover over the past 300 years, posing a threat to species conservation. Dhole is a monophyletic, social canid and, being an endangered and highly forest-dependent species, is more prone to the loss of favorable habitat in the Anthropocene. We determined the genetic differentiation and demographic history of dhole across the tiger reserves of Maharashtra using the microsatellite data of 305 individuals. Simulation-based analyses revealed a 77–85% decline in the major dhole sub-populations. Protected areas have provided refuge to the historically declining dhole population resulting in clustering with strong genetic structure in the remnant dhole population. The historical population decline coincides with the extreme events in the landscape over the past 300 years. The study highlights the pattern of genetic differentiation and diversity of a highly forest-dependent species which can be associated with the loss of forest cover outside tiger reserves. It also warrants attention to develop conservation plans for the remnant surviving population of dholes in India.
... They are useful indicators in the study of the ecosystem's health [31]. Previous research has widely used these metrics [32][33][34][35], currently considering them a standard data source in landscape research at different scales [36,37]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The temperate forests of northern Mexico possess a great diversity of unique and endemic species, with the greatest associations of pine-oak in the planet occurring within them. However, the ecosystems in this region had experienced an accelerated fragmentation process in the past decades. This study described and quantified the landscape fragmentation level of a degraded watershed located in this region. For that, data from the Landsat series from 1990, 2005 and 2017, classified with the Support Vector Machine method, were used. The landscape structure was analyzed based on six metrics applied at both, the landscape and class levels. Results show considerable gains in surface area for the land use land cover change (LULC) of secondary forest while the Primary Forest (PF) lost 18.1% of its area during 1990–2017. The PF increased its number of patches from 7075 to 12,318, increased its patch density (PD) from 53.51 to 58.46 # of patches/100 ha, and reduced its average patch size from 39.21 to 15.05 ha. This made the PF the most fragmented LULC from the 5 LULCs evaluated. In this study, strong fluctuations in edge density and PD were registered, which indicates the forests of northern Mexico have experienced a reduction in their productivity and have been subjected to a continuous degradation process due to disturbances such as fires, clandestine and non-properly controlled logging, among others.
... Direct human actions on forests affect two interdependent components: forest area loss (or gain) and spatial pattern changes, to which ecosystem services respond differently (Echeverría et al., 2012;Carranza et al., 2015;Taubert et al., 2018). It is largely known that forest loss and fragmentation are the two most important causes of losses in biodiversity and ecosystem functions at the global scale (Reddy et al., 2013;Haddad et al., 2015). In contrast, the continuous changes imposed on landscapes and spatial habitat configuration by forest expansion have had both positive and negative effects in terms of wildfires, species survival, water stocks and retention, soil stability and many others (Rey Benayas et al., 2007;Sitzia et al., 2010;Duane et al., 2016;Palmero-Iniesta et al., 2020). ...
Article
Ecological restoration programs (ERPs) have greatly expanded forested areas in China to mitigate environmental problems. Unfortunately, this general increase in forest cover has not revealed clear changes in the states of fragmentation and loss of connectivity of forested habitats, and few studies have investigated the effects of ERPs on the spatial patterns of forests. Taking the Three Gorges Reservoir Area as a case study, we assess and quantify how the dynamics of the spatial patterns of forest following massive ERPs from 1990 through 2015 by morphological spatial pattern analysis (MSPA). We examine possible landscape structure thresholds in the forest restoration gradient. The results indicate that dramatic decreases in forest fragmentation and patchiness have occurred since ERP implementation. Among the seven MSPA forest types, core forests show the highest increase of 513.91 km 2 ⋅yr − 1. ERPs promote the defragmentation of forests via two pathways: (1) Old forests are preserved and expanded by building new forests around existing patches and closing perforations within forests; and (2) new core forests are gradually created in areas far from older forests. However, isolated forest patches surrounded by cropland production areas formed after the conversion of croplands into forests have appeared across the study area. Furthermore, at least two points of nonlinear changes in the landscape structure with increasing forest cover are identified. These nonlinear trajectories can be used as indicators of critical shifts in ecosystem states, and relevant thresholds support the identification of specific conservation actions. Our findings demonstrate the importance of ERPs for the defragmentation of forest patches and provide a basis to establish a more effective arrangement of patches necessary to mitigate fragmentation effects. Given that landscape structural changes are not expected in ERP design, future ERPs should focus on remaining isolated forest patches and on maintaining the health and sustainability of landscapes.
Technical Report
Full-text available
The increasing spatial, spectral and temporal resolution of satellite images create a potential for producing accurate datasets on community level biodiversity and more widely, as an alternative to monitor individual species. This project is aimed to develop community level vegetation database for regional landscapes and describe vegetation characteristics using remote sensing data and field studies.The specific objectives of this project are - assessment of decadal changes to the regional forest landscape using satellite remote sensing data, spatial characterization of vegetation communities using multi sensor Earth Observation data and field studies, evaluating the utility of stand level canopy heterogeneity and height (for selected study site), identifying Earth Observation variables that are relevant to monitoring biodiversity and generation of web-based data repository and information system in Bhuvan and its integration with IBIN and Biodiversity Information System. This study examines the vegetation composition in an attempt to explain the spatial pattern of compositional biodiversity. The use of multi-sensor remote sensing data advance the understanding of the relationship between floristic and phenological similarities as well as floristic and structural characteristics. The physiognomic-floristic classification proposed in this study would combines physiognomic and floristic criteria allows flexibility for characterizing a given area by both its physiognomy and composition. The study would lead to the identification of biodiversity metrics which are essential for monitoring biodiversity. Spatial and attribute data generated by the study would be organized as a data repository and information system. This study proposed the development of approaches for observing and characterizing biodiversity at the community level using multiple Earth observation sensors, with the inclusion of three-dimensional variables. The detailed version is available with National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad.
Preprint
Full-text available
Forest cover is the primary determinant of elephant distribution, thus, understanding forest loss and fragmentation is crucial for elephant conservation. We assessed deforestation and patterns of forest fragmentation during 1930–2020 in Chure Terai Madhesh Lanscape (CTML) which covers the entire elephant range in Nepal. Forest cover maps and fragmentation matrices were generated using multi-source data (Topographic maps and Landsat images of 1930, 1975, 2000, and 2020) and spatiotemporal changes was quantified. Forest cover within the elephant range was 19,069 km ² . Overall, 21.5% of elephant habitat was lost between 1930 to 2020, with a larger (12.3%) forest cover loss between 1930 & 1975. Area of the large forests (Core 3) in CTML has decreased by 43.08% whereas smaller patches (Core 2, Core 1, edge and patch forests) has increased multifold during 1930–2020. The continued habitat loss and fragmentation probably fragmented elephant populations during the last century and made them insular with long-term ramifications for elephant conservation and human-elephant conflict. Given the substantial loss in forest cover and high levels of fragmentation, improving the resilience of elephant habitats in Nepal would urgently require habitat and corridor restoration to enable the movement of elephants.
Article
Linear infrastructure development is an important driver of forest fragmentation leading to habitat and biodiversity loss as well as disruption of critical ecosystem processes. The tropical forests of India are increasingly impacted by infrastructure development. Little quantitative information is available on the extent of fragmentation due to linear infrastructure on these habitats. Here, we quantified fragmentation due to linear infrastructure by studying forest structural connectivity. We compared the existing forest patch characteristics with a scenario that excluded all linear infrastructure. We classified forest patches into three different fragmentation categories that combined information on patch size, inter patch distance and percentage perforations. Results show that power-transmission lines and roads were the most common infrastructure features within forests. We found a 6% increase in the number of forest patches due to the construction of linear infrastructure. Forest patches >10,000 km² in size were severely affected and there was a 71.5 % reduction in the number of such patches. We found that 86 % of the existing forest patches are in the small (median patch size <1 km²) and isolated (a median distance of 155 m) category. The density of linear infrastructure inside protected areas was similar to density in non-protected forested areas. Our results highlight the need to minimize the effects of fragmentation in the future by considering re-routing or bundling of infrastructure. When infrastructure is unavoidable, there is a need to mitigate their potential impacts. The results of this study have been made publicly accessible (https://indiaunderconstruction.com) to provide information on 'where' to avoid future linear infrastructure development and to make informed decisions which can lead to optimally designed local management plans.
Article
Full-text available
Many wildlife sanctuaries in India are suffering from the effects of increasing urbanization and agricultural expansion. In recent decades, the Jamshedpur industrial township, which is located near the Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary (DWS) in Jharkhand, has seen a significant increase in pollution because of increased industrial activity. In this study, authors used pixel integration of two indicators, connectedness (Pf) and density (Pff), to simulate forest degradation due to fragmentation in DWS. The Forest Fire Severity (FFS) was calculated using the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) Index on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform from 1995 to 2019. Using parametric and non-parametric advanced statistics, the trend and connection between FFS and forest fragmentation were investigated. The change of the core region to perforated (+ 2.72%), edge (+ 10%), transitional (+ 4.75%), and patch (+ 5.3%) was shown by the fragmentation study. Around 70% of the area is experiencing an increasing (positive) trend in FFS. Forest fragmentation in the DWS was found to impact the intensity of forest fires as the amount of fragmentation increased. Forest fires are more likely to occur in patches of transitional forest along the margins. The goal of forest management strategies should be to maintain forest connectedness via collaboration.
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Background. Tropical dry deciduous forests are the most vulnerable ecosystems for fragmentation. Satellite remote sensing data (of various resolutions and temporal availability) helps to study the forest fragmentation at local, regional and global scale. Spatial distribution of fragments at regional scale would provide insight into restoration and connectivity among the fragments, such that wildlife habitat can be protected. Results In the present study the forests of Mirzapur district, Uttar Pradesh were studied using LANDSAT- OLI (2017) satellite data and the forest fragmentation was quantified using the fragmentation metrics. The forest cover of the district (17.27% of the total geographic area) was delineated into four classes, very dense forest, dense forest, medium dense forest and open forest. Various fragments of size class were also defined in each forest cover. Fragments of size <2, 2–10, 10–50, 50–100, 100–500, and >600 ha were analysed. Presence of Sloth Bear and wildlife was noted in the fragmented forest based on pieces of evidence like scats, termite mounds, and dens. Conclusion In this study, it was observed that the number of fragments in category <2 ha are more in each forest cover class. The suitable wildlife habitat was found to be very dense and dense forest. Thus the need of the hour is to protect these fragmented forests and connect these fragments to allow better movement of large mammals such that their population can thrive. The study also acts as a bench mark in using geospatial technology to define fragmentation. The focus should be on medium dense and open forests. Very dense and dense forests act as refugia which should be protected from further destruction.
Article
Full-text available
The objective of the present study was to determine changes in land coverage for 31 satellite cities surrounding Seoul and changes in values of MSPA (Morphological Spatial Pattern Analysis) for a time period of about 30 years (from 1988 to 2018). Cities that showed similar environmental changes were grouped utilizing a hierarchical cluster analysis. The results of this study are summarized as follows: First, as a result of analyzing changes in land coverage, urbanized areas in all 31 cities greatly increased, whereas areas of forest, grassland, farmland, wetland, etc., greatly decreased. Second, as a result of carrying out MSPA for green areas in each city, the number of Cores, Islets as stepping-stone green areas, and Branches greatly decreased. As a result of analyzing factors in cluster analysis, 12 variables were classified into four groups. After performing a cluster analysis, the 31 cities were classified into six clusters. Cluster-6 showed the biggest decrease in wetland areas. These results could be used as basic data for establishing differentiated environmental policies for clusters of cities that show similar environmental changes, and for establishing policy priorities that break away from uniform environmental policies at the local level.
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent centuries have experienced drastic changes in land cover around the world where Himalayan countries like Nepal have undergone changes in the past several decades because of increasing anthropogenic pressure, natural risks and climatic factors. Accordingly, forest fragmentation has also been increasing alarmingly, which is a matter of concern for natural resource management agencies and biodiversity conservation communities. In this study, we assessed land cover change and forest fragmentation trends in Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve of Nepal by implementing landscape fragmentation and recovery process models, and calculating landscape indices based on five-date land cover maps derived from Landsat satellite images from 1993 to 2018. Six land cover types including forest, grass land, barren land, agriculture & built-up, water bodies and snow & glaciers were determined after an intensive field survey. Diverse derived image features were fed to the Support Vector Machines classifier to create land cover maps, followed by a validation procedure using field samples and reference data. Land cover maps showed an increase in forest area from 37.32% (1993) to 39.26% (2018) and snow & glaciers from 1.72% (1993) to 2.15% (2018) while a decrease in grassland area from 38.78% (1993) to 36.41% (2018) and agriculture & built-up area from 2.39% (1993) to 1.80% (2018). Barren land and water body showed negligible changes. The spatial explicit process of forest fragmentation indicated that shrinkage was the most responsible factor of forest loss while expansion was dominant to increment for forest restoration. High dependency of people persists on the reserve for subsistence resources being a cause of forest fragmentation and posing threats to biodiversity. Focus should be made on strategies to decrease the anthropogenic pressure on the reserve. This requires approaches that provide sustainable alternative resources to the local people and innovations that will help them become less reliant on natural resources.
Article
Full-text available
Mountain ecosystems across South Asia are facing huge pressure and are threatened by different drivers of loss. Red List of Ecosystems, to assess risks and ecosystem health, offers an exciting prospect to address complex challenges faced by ecosystems. This opinion is an outcome of the brainstorming organized to mark the International Mountain Day in December 2020, followed by further discussions among key stakeholders for initiating the Red List of Ecosystem (RLE) assessment in the region. As an initial endeavor, we have explored the evidence available to be integrated with the basic RLE requirements to undertake the ecosystem health assessment for mountain ecosystems in South Asia. We argue that the existing data gaps and insufficient understanding of the RLE process are a key-barriers to initiating ecosystem health assessment for supporting and contributing to knowledge-based conservation, governance, livelihood, land use, and macroeconomic planning. The RLE-based planning should be expanded and implemented for diverse ecosystems by enhancing transboundary cooperation, research collaboration, co-production of knowledge, and involving local communities. This opinion paper is an effort to facilitate, encourage and enhance discussions among wider stakeholders for developing a multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary network of experts in the region for undertaking large scale RLE assessment for different mountain ecosystems that are threatened by an array of drivers of biodiversity and ecosystem services loss. This can guide strategic conservation efforts to halt and reverse the losses by community supported landscape restoration programmes.
Article
Full-text available
We estimated changes in forest cover between 1973 and 1995 in the southern part of the Western Ghats using satellite data. The study area of approximately 40,000 km2 showed a loss of 25.6% in forest cover over 22 years. The dense forest was reduced by 19.5% and open forest decreased by 33.2%. As a consequence, degraded forest increased by 26.64%. There has been a great deal of spatial variability in the pattern of forest loss and land use change throughout the region. Our estimates of deforestation in the region for the contemporary period are the highest reported so far.
Article
Full-text available
The present study was carried out in the context of conservation biology research, focusing on the species diversity in the fragmented landscapes of island ecosystem. The study analyzed the levels of forest fragmentation and its effect on species diversity in the North Andaman Islands using satellite remote sensing data and a GIS-based fragmentation model in conjunction with phyto-sociological analysis. Results depict that the model performed well when the forest is considered as a single unit, compared to the scenario wherein the individual forest types are accounted. Additionally, the phyto-sociological data analysis results are correlated with the fragmentation model, which indicates that majority of the area is under intact category, contemplating that the process of fragmentation in these islands is in its initial phase. Taking a note of such observations, conservation measures are recommended to facilitate the sustainable management of the pristine vegetation glory of these islands.
Article
Full-text available
THE northeastern region (NER) is regarded as the bio- geographical 'gateway' for much of India's biological resources. The NER has been under focus for its biodi- versity and has been a region of high priority for invest- ment by leading conservation agencies of the world. But, in recent times the forest ecosystems of the region are being disturbed. Several initiatives were taken for the conserva- tion of the resources in North East India. The Biodiversity Conservation Prioritization Project (BCPP) by WWF-India (1997-2000) was the first exercise of its kind that at- tempted identifying priority sites and species on the basis of their biological and socio-economic values, and deve- loped strategies for their conservation at a national scale. In the NER, shifting cultivation, illegal felling, forest fire, developmental activities and encroachment of forest lands are principal causes of forest degradation in the region. Mining activities, both in the organized and unor- ganized sectors, have also been an important factor for forest degradation 1 . Shifting cultivation, locally known as 'jhum', is a widely distributed form of agriculture in the upland areas of the NER. The shortening of the jhum
Article
Full-text available
This review examines landscape indices and their usefulness in reflecting the effects of ecosystem fragmentation. Rapid fragmentation of natural ecosystems by anthropogenic activity spurred the development of landscape indices, which occurred in three phases. In proliferation, indices were introduced to quantify aspects of fragmentation, including composition, shape, and configuration. In re-evaluation, several studies demonstrated that landscape indices vary with varying landscape attributes, correlate highly with one another, and relate differently to different processes. Finally, in re-direction, efforts shifted towards developing new or modified indices motivated by ecological theory or incorporating pattern directly into models of ecological process. Overall, landscape indices do not serve as useful indicators of fragmentation effects. While certain indices are useful in specific cases, most indices should only be used to describe landscape pattern. Research should develop knowledge and models of ecosystem processes that incorporate fragmentation directly. Potential research areas include area requirements of different processes, understanding when patterns of fragmentation are important and when not, understanding which processes operate at which scales, determining relationships between pattern and exotic species persistence, and evaluating the effects of different levels of information on pattern and any follow-on effects. Studying processes directly will provide the information required to choose among various conservation options to maximize conservation gains.
Article
Full-text available
Canada is one of the world's largest nations at nearly one billion hectares in size. This vast area is home to a number of unique ecosystems, comprised of different climate, land cover, topography, and disturbance characteristics. Depiction of forest composition, based upon satellite-derived land cover, is a common means to characterize and identify trends in forest conditions and land use. Forest pattern analyses that consider the size, distribution, and connectivity of forest patches can provide insights to land use, habitat, and biodiversity. In this communication, we present the pattern characteristics of Canada's forests as determined by the Earth Observation for Sustainable Development of Forests (EOSD) product, a new land cover classification of the forested area of Canada. The EOSD product represents conditions circa the year 2000, mapping each 25m x 25m pixel into one of 23 categories. We used the EOSD data to assess forest patterns at four spatial extents: level 1 – 13,000 km2 (corresponding to the area of a single 1:250,000 National Topographic System (NTS) map sheet); level 2 – 800 km2 (corresponding to the area of a single 1:50,000 NTS map sheet); level 3 – 1 km2; and level 4 – 1 ha. All products are delivered by 1:250,000 NTS map sheet. For levels 1-3, a total of 95 landscape pattern metrics were calculated; for the 1 ha units, a subset of 8 metrics were calculated. The results of this analysis indicate that Canada's forest pattern varies by ecozone, with some ecozones characterized by large areas of contiguous forest (i.e., Boreal Shield, Atlantic Maritime), while other ecozones have less forest and are characterized by large numbers of small forest patches, reflecting the complex mosaic of land cover types present (Taiga Shield, Taiga Cordillera). Trends for the subset of metrics used to characterize national conditions are relatively consistent across levels 1-3. Level 4 metrics, where the analysis extent is 1 ha, are more appropriate for regional or local analyses and will be considered for future projects. As the first regional assessments of the patterns contained in the EOSD LC 2000 land cover data set, these measures of national forest landscape pattern add value to the national land cover baseline.
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we attempt to quantify change in forest area of the Western Ghats of Maharashtra over a 20-year time period (1985-87 to 2005) using visual interpretation technique at 1: 250 K scale. The study was conducted using the Forest Survey of India vegetation maps for 1985-87, prepared using Landsat TM data and IRS LISS III imagery for 2005. The results reveal loss of dense forest at an annual rate of 0.72% and that of open forest at 0.49%. It also reports an increase in mangrove vegetation and water bodies in the study area. In addition, it also reports districtwise pattern of change in forest cover.
Article
Full-text available
The present study deals with periodic assessment and monitoring of the mangroves of Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Orissa, India using remote sensing and Geographic Information System techniques. Satellite data of Landsat MSS for 1973, IRS-1A LISS II for 1988 and IRS-P6 LISS III for 2004 along with other spatial and non-spatial data were used to find out the changes that occurred in mangrove and other landcover categories during the last 30 years. It was found that the sanctuary is occupied by agriculture (51.76%), followed by dense mangrove (21.77%), water bodies (20.19%) and open mangrove (2.73%). A loss of 1534 ha mangrove area and an increase of 2436 ha agriculture area clearly depict anthropogenic activities by local villagers. A significant increase of 270 ha plantations illustrates plantation activities taken up by the Orissa Forest Department to protect the coastal shoreline.
Article
Full-text available
Habitat fragmentationisan issue of primary concern in conservation biology. However.both the concepts of habitat and fragmentation are ill-defined and often misused. We review the habitatconcept and examine differences between habitat fragmentation and habitat heterogeneity, and wesuggest that habitat fragmentation is both a state (or outcome) and a process. In addition, we attemptto distinguish between and provide guidelines for situations where habitat loss occurs without frag-mentation, habitat loss occurs with fragmentation, and fragmentation occurs with no habitat loss. Weuse two definitions for describing habitat fragmentation. a general definition and a situational definition(definitions related to specific studies or situations). Conceptually. we define the state of habitat frag-mentation as the discontinuity, resulting from a given set of mechanisms. in the spatial distribution ofresources and conditions present in an area at a given scale that affects occupancy, reproduction, orsurvival in a particular species. We define the process of habitat fragmentation as the set of mechanismsleading to that state of discontinuity.We identify four requisites that we believe should be describedin situational definitions: what is being fragmented. what is the scale of fragmentation, what is theextent and pattern of fragmentation. and what is the mechanism causing fragmentation.
Article
Full-text available
Deforestation and fragmentation are important concerns in managing and conserving tropical forests and have global significance. In the Indian context, in the last one century, the forests have undergone significant changes due to several policies undertaken by government as well as increased population pressure. The present study has brought out spatiotemporal changes in forest cover and variation in forest type in the state of Odisha (Orissa), India, during the last 75 years period. The mapping for the period of 1924-1935, 1975, 1985, 1995 and 2010 indicates that the forest cover accounts for 81,785.6 km(2) (52.5 %), 56,661.1 km(2) (36.4 %), 51,642.3 km(2) (33.2 %), 49,773 km(2) (32 %) and 48,669.4 km(2) (31.3 %) of the study area, respectively. The study found the net forest cover decline as 40.5 % of the total forest and mean annual rate of deforestation as 0.69 % year(-1) during 1935 to 2010. There is a decline in annual rate of deforestation during 1995 to 2010 which was estimated as 0.15 %. Forest type-wise quantitative loss of forest cover reveals large scale deforestation of dry deciduous forests. The landscape analysis shows that the number of forest patches (per 1,000) are 2.463 in 1935, 10.390 in 1975, 11.899 in 1985, 12.193 in 1995 and 15.102 in 2010, which indicates high anthropogenic pressure on the forests. The mean patch size (km(2)) of forest decreased from 33.2 in 1935 to 5.5 in 1975 and reached to 3.2 by 2010. The study demonstrated that monitoring of long term forest changes, quantitative loss of forest types and landscape metrics provides critical inputs for management of forest resources.
Article
Full-text available
Landscape ecology, inter alia, addresses the question as to how altered landscape patterns affect the distribution, persistence, and abundance of a species. Landscape ecology plays an important role in integrating the different scales of biodiversity from habitat patch to biome level. Satellite remote sensing technology with multi-sensor capabilities offers multi-scale information on landscape composition and configuration. Advances in geospatial analytical tools and spatial statistics have improved the capability to quantify spatial heterogeneity. Globally, landscape level characterization of biodiversity has become an important discipline of science. Considering the vast extent, heterogeneity, and ecological and economic importance of forest landscapes, significant efforts have been made in India during the past decade to strengthen landscape level biodiversity characterization. The generic frame work of studies comprises preparation of national databases providing information on composition and configuration of different landscapes using multi-scale remote sensing techniques, understanding the landscape patterns using geospatial models to elicit disturbance and diversity patterns and application of this information for bioprospecting and conservation purposes. Studies on hierarchical linkage of multi-scale information to study the processes of change, landscape function, dynamics of habitat fragmentation, invasion, development of network of conservation areas based on the understanding of multi-species responses to
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between trajectories of forest-cover change and the bio-physical and social characteristics of the landscape in the mountains of Western Honduras is addressed. Metrics of land-cover change were used to infer patterns of land-use change, using Landsat TM imagery from 1987, 1991 and 1996. With 15–20% of the land cover changing across each two-date period, the study landscape was very dynamic. Areas of reforestation were signicantly larger than areas of deforestation, across all dates. Patch size was a good indicator of economic activity. Stable patches of forest and agriculture were fewer and larger, compared to forest regrowth and clearing. Small patches of swidden agriculture were found close to roads, at lower elevations and on more gradual slopes between 1987 and 1991. Between 1991 and 1996, expansion of export coffee production resulted in forest clearings on steeper slopes and at higher elevations. Results highlight the importance of landscape metrics in monitoring land-cover change over time.
Article
Full-text available
India sustains some of the world's most imperiled forests. The Forest Survey of India recently announced that forest cover in India had expanded by nearly 5% over the past decade. This result, while technically accurate, is misleading. The Forest Survey estimates forest cover by using automated algorithms to analyze satellite imagery—an approach that fails to distinguish native forests from tree plantations, which are often monocultures of exotic species that have limited value for endangered biodiversity. Since the early 1990s, tree plantations have expanded in India at an estimated rate of roughly 15,400 km2/year. Subtracting plantations from total forest cover shows that native forests in India have declined by 1.5%–2.7% per year. The limited precision of our estimate highlights a paucity of data on native forest cover in India—a problem requiring urgent attention. Forest cutting for fuelwood has been the biggest driver of forest loss and thinning in India. Like India, many nations now rely on satellite imagery to discern changes in vegetation cover, and these frequently lump native, exotic, and degraded forest types. Without sufficiently high-resolution imagery and adequate safeguards, such approaches could paint a misleading picture of the fate of the world's native forests.
Article
Full-text available
Tropical forests have been recognized as having global conservation importance. However, they are being rapidly destroyed in many regions of the world. Regular monitoring of forests is necessary for an adaptive management approach and the successful implementation of ecosystem management. The present study analyses the temporal changes in forest ecosystem structure in tribal dominated Malkangiri district of Orissa, India, during 1973–2004 period based on digitized forest cover maps using geographic information system (GIS) and interpretation of satellite data. Three satellite images Landsat MSS (1973), Landsat TM (1990) and IRS P6 LISS III (2004) were used to determine changes. Six land cover types were delineated which includes dense forest, open forest, scrub land, agriculture, barren land and water body. Different forest types were also demarcated within forest class for better understanding the degradation pattern in each forest types. The results showed that there was a net decrease of 475.7 km2 forest cover (rate of deforestation = 2.34) from 1973 to 1990 and 402.3 km2 (rate of deforestation = 2.27) from 1990 to 2004. Forest cover has changed over time depending on a few factors such as large-scale deforestation, shifting cultivation, dam and road construction, unregulated management actions, and social pressure. A significant increase of 1222.8 km2 agriculture area (1973–2004) clearly indicated the conversion of forest cover to agricultural land. These alterations had resulted in significant environmental consequences, including decline in forest cover, soil erosion, and loss of biodiversity. There is an urgent need for rational management of the remaining forest for it to be able to survive beyond next decades. Particular attention must be paid to tropical forests, which are rapidly being deforested. Keywordsdeforestation–forest dynamics–GIS remote sensing–tropical forest–Malkangiri–Orissa
Article
Full-text available
At present the biodiversity in Eastern Ghats is threatened by loss of habitats, exploitation and unscientific management of natural resources, forest fire, biological invasion and other anthropogenic pressures. In this context, we have assessed the forest cover changes, fragmentation and disturbance in the R.V. Nagar Range of Eastern Ghats region, Andhra Pradesh using satellite remote sensing and GIS techniques. Satellite data of IRS-1A LISS II of 1988 and IRS-P6 LISS III of 2006 were assessed for forest cover changes in 1 sq.km grid and generated as Sensitivity Index map. Further the road and settlement buffer of 1000m was generated to represent Threat Index map. From 1988 to 2006, the forest cover had a total cover loss of 35.2 sq.km and increase in scrub cover by 7.2%. Over all change analysis from 1988 to 2006 with reference to forest cover indicates, negative changes (loss of forest area) accounted for 48.1 sq.km area and positive changes (gain of forest) for an area of 12.1 sq.km of area. The results of the change detection using multi-date satellite imagery suggest degradation in forest cover over two decades, which necessitates the conservation measures in this range with high priority. KeywordsForest change–Fragmentation–Sensitivity index–Threat index–Eastern Ghats
Article
Full-text available
Deforestation is a primary driver of biotic extinctions in the tropics. The impacts of deforestation in tropical biodiversity hotspots are of particular concern because these regions contain high concentrations of globally endemic species. However, the effects of large-scale deforestation on native biotas within the biodiversity hotspot of Himalaya remain poorly documented. Here we report on an alarming trend of deforestation in the Indian Himalaya and project the likely consequential extinctions of endemic taxa (species and subspecies) by 2100 across a broad range of taxonomic groups, including gymnosperms, angiosperms, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. With the current level of deforestation, by 2100 only about 10% of the land area of the Indian Himalaya will be covered by dense forest (>40% canopy cover)—a scenario in which almost a quarter of the endemic species could be wiped out, including 366 endemic vascular plant taxa and 35 endemic vertebrate taxa. We also show that inaccurate reporting of forest cover data by governmental institutions can result in underestimations of the biological impacts of deforestation, as well as potential miscalculations in land-use decisions (e.g., the construction of hydroelectric dams). Large-scale conservation efforts, including forest protection and reforestation, are urgently needed to avoid the impending deforestation-driven biodiversity losses in the Himalaya. KeywordsExtinctions-Hot spots-Deforestation-Species–area-relationship-Endemic species
Article
Full-text available
The Dudhwa landscape, a priority conservation area representing Terai ecosystem (woodland-grassland-wetland complex) has witnessed a sea change in past 150 years or so on account of long history of forest management, changes in land use, and rapid economic development. We assessed fragmentation in two constituent protected areas (Dudhwa National Park-DNP and Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary-KAT) of the landscape due to forest management activities (clear cutting, development of rail and road network, and plantations) and compared the magnitude among them using select metrics at the forest class level. We applied FRAGSTATS spatial pattern analysis software (ver.3.3) on different forest classes deciphered by land use/ cover maps generated using IRS P6 LISS IV digital data. Study amply revealed that the forests in DNP are less fragmented and of better habitat quality than forests of KAT. The set of seven metrics (patch density, mean patch size, edge density, mean shape index, mean core area, mean nearest neighbour, and interspersion and juxtaposition index) at the class level quantified in the present study are simple and proved useful for quantifying complex spatial processes and can be used as an effective means of monitoring in Dudhwa landscape. KeywordsConservation priority–Land use/cover–Fragmentation metrics–Dudhwa National Park–Katerniaghat wildlife sanctuary
Article
Full-text available
The process of forest fragmentation, a common phenomenon occurring in tropical forests, not only results into continuously forest getting fragmented but also brings about several physical and biological changes in the environment of forests. Consequently, there is a loss of biodiversity due to change in habitat conditions. These remnant fragments provide the last hope for biodiversity conservation. The present study deals with the impact of decreasing patch size of a fragmented forest on the diversity of the tropical dry deciduous forests in Vindhyan highlands, India. There is considerable change in the vegetation cover of this region owing to rapid industrialization and urbanization, which has also contributed to forest fragmentation. In the present study, remotely sensed data has been used to describe the changes brought about in vegetated areas over a period of 10 years as a result of fragmentation and its impact on biodiversity was assessed. Further, in order to assess the loss of species with respect to the reduction in patch size, species area curves for various change areas were analysed. It was observed that the rate of decrease in the number of species is faster in the case of negative change areas as compared to the positive change areas of the region. Various diversity indices also support this observation. Such an analysis would help in formulating appropriate conservation measures for the region.
Article
Full-text available
Different authors utilize different formulae to calculate the annual rate of change of forest cover (or its opposite, the annual rate of deforestation) and use different terms to describe it. This generates confusion. I suggest that the annual rate of change of forest cover should be calculated as: r=(1/(t2−t1))×ln(A2/A1). This formula is derived from the Compound Interest Law. It is also derived from the mean annual rate of change and for this reason, is more intuitive than the formula used by FAO [q=((A2/A1)1/(t2−t1))−1]. The rate r is always higher than q, but in most cases, the difference between the two quantities is lower than the sampling error. The rate r is significantly higher than q only when deforestation is extremely high. To ease comparisons between sites of annual rates of forest change, the forest area, time of measurements and formulae used should be clearly indicated.
Article
Full-text available
The literature on effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity is huge. It is also very diverse, with different authors measuring fragmentation in different ways and, as a consequence, drawing different conclusions regarding both the magnitude and direction of its effects. Habitat fragmentation is usually defined as a landscape-scale process involving both habitat loss and the breaking apart of habitat. Results of empirical studies of habitat fragmentation are often difficult to interpret because (a) many researchers measure fragmentation at the patch scale, not the landscape scale and (b) most researchers measure fragmentation in ways that do not distinguish between habitat loss and habitat fragmentation per se, i.e., the breaking apart of habitat after controlling for habitat loss. Empirical studies to date suggest that habitat loss has large, consistently negative effects on biodiversity. Habitat fragmentation per se has much weaker effects on biodiversity that are at least as likely to be positive as negative. Therefore, to correctly interpret the influence of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity, the effects of these two components of fragmentation must be measured independently. More studies of the independent effects of habitat loss and fragmentation per se are needed to determine the factors that lead to positive versus negative effects of fragmentation per se. I suggest that the term "fragmentation" should be reserved for the breaking apart of habitat, independent of habitat loss.
Article
Full-text available
Ecologists have used a variety of comparative mensurative and manipulative experimental approaches to study the biological consequences of habitat fragmentation. In this paper, we evaluate the merits of the two major approaches and offer guidelines for selecting a design. Manipulative experiments rigorously assess fragmentation effects by comparing pre- & post-treatment conditions. Yet they are often constrained by a number of practical limitations, such as the difficulty in implementing large-scale treatments and the impracticality of measuring the long-term(decades to centuries) responses to the imposed treatments. Comparative mensurative studies generally involve substituting space for time, and without pre-treatment control, can be constrained by variability in ecological characteristics among different landscapes. These confounding effects can seriously limit the strength of inferences. Depending on the scale of the study system and how "landscape" is defined, both approaches may be limited by the difficulty of replicating at the landscape scale. Overall, both mensurative and manipulative approaches have merit and can contribute to the body of knowledge on fragmentation. However, from our review of 134 fragmentation studies published recently in three major ecological journals, it is evident that most manipulative and mensurative fragmentation have not provided clear insights into the ecological mechanisms and effects of fragmentation. We discuss the reasons for this and conclude with recommendations for improving design and implementation of fragmentation experiments.
Article
Full-text available
Forest change is of great concern for land use decision makers and conservation communities. Quantitative and spatial forest change information is critical for addressing many pressing issues, including global climate change, carbon budgets, and sustainability. In this study, our analysis focuses on the differences in geospatial patterns and their changes between federal forests and nonfederal forests in Alabama over the time period 1987-2005, by interpreting 163 Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) scenes using a vegetation change tracker (VCT) model. Our analysis revealed that for the most part of 1990s and between 2000 and 2005, Alabama lost about 2% of its forest on an annual basis due to disturbances, but much of the losses were balanced by forest regeneration from previous disturbances. The disturbance maps revealed that federal forests were reasonably well protected, with the fragmentation remaining relatively stable over time. In contrast, nonfederal forests, which are predominant in area share (about 95%), were heavily disturbed, clearly demonstrating decreasing levels of fragmentation during the time period 1987-1993 giving way to a subsequent accelerating fragmentation during the time period 1994-2005. Additionally, the identification of the statistical relationships between forest fragmentation status and forest loss rate and forest net change rate in relation to land ownership implied the distinct differences in forest cutting rate and cutting patterns between federal forests and nonfederal forests. The forest spatial change information derived from the model has provided valuable insights regarding regional forest management practices and disturbance regimes, which are closely associated with regional economics and environmental concerns.
Article
Full-text available
The mountains along the west coast of peninsular India, the Western Ghats, constitute one of the unique biological regions of the world. Rapidly occurring land-cover and land-use change in the Western Ghats has serious implications for the biodiversity of the region. Both landscape changes as well as the distribution of biodiversity are phenomena with strong spatial correlates. Recent developments in remote-sensing technology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allow the use of a landscape ecology and spatial analysis approach to the problem of deforestation and biodiversity conservation in the Western Ghats. Applications of this approach include analyses of land-cover and land-use change; estimation of deforestation rates and rates of forest fragmentation; examination of the spatial correlates of forest loss and the socioeconomic drivers of land-use change; modeling of deforestation; analysis of the consequences of land-cover and land-use change in the form of climate change and change in distribution of biodiversity; biomass estimation; gap analysis of the effectiveness of the protected area network in conserving areas of importance for biodiversity conservation; and conservation planning. We present examples from our work in the Western Ghats, in general, and in the Agastyamalai region and Biligiri Rangan Hills, in particular, as well as that of other researchers in India on various aspects of applications of GIS, remote-sensing, and a landscape ecology approach to biodiversity conservation.
Article
Full-text available
A majority of the research on forest fragmentation is primarily focused on animal groups rather than on tree communities because of the complex structural and functional behavior of the latter. In this study, we show that forest fragmentation provokes surprisingly rapid and profound alterations in tropical tree community. We examine forest fragments in the tropical region using high-resolution satellite imagery taken between 1973 and 2004 in the Southern Western Ghats (India) in relation to landscape patterns and phytosociological datasets. We have distinguished fragmentation in six categories--interior, perforated, edge, transitional, patch, and undetermined--around each forested pixel. Furthermore, we have characterized each of the fragment class in the evergreen and semi-evergreen forest in terms of its species composition and richness, its species similarity and abundance, and its regeneration status. Different landscape metrics have been used to infer patterns of land-use changes. Contiguous patches of >1,000 ha covered 90% of evergreen forest in 1973 with less porosity and minimal plantation and anthropogenic pressures; whereas in 2004, the area had 67% forest coverage and a high level of porosity, possibly due to Ochlandra spread and increased plantations which resulted in the loss of such contiguous patches. Results highlight the importance of landscape metrics in monitoring land-cover change over time. Our main conclusion was to develop an approach, which combines information regarding land cover, degree of fragmentation, and phytosociological inputs, to conserve and prioritize tropical ecosystems.