Characterizing the Intensity and Dynamics of Land-Use Change in the Mara River Basin, East Africa | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2018
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
LP-midp002661
Copyright details: 
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article

The objective of this study was to analyze patterns, dynamics and processes of land-use/cover changes in the transboundary Mara River Basin in East Africa. We specifically focused on deforestation and expansion of agriculture in the watershed. The intensity analysis approach was used to analyze data from satellite imagery-derived land-use/cover maps. Results indicate that swap change accounted for more than 50% of the overall change, which shows a very dynamic landscape transformation. Transition from closed forest to open forest was found to be a dominant landscape change, as opposed to a random change. Similarly, transition from open forest to small-scale agriculture was also found to be a dominant transition. This suggests a trend (pathway) of deforestation from closed forest to small-scale agriculture, with open forest as a transitional land cover. The observed deforestation may be attributed to continuous encroachment and a series of excisions of the forest reserve. Transition from rangeland to mechanized agriculture was found to be a dominant land-use change, which was attributed to change in land tenure. These findings are crucial for designing strategies and integrated watershed management policies to arrest further deforestation in the forest reserves as well as to sustainably control expansion of agriculture.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Mwangi, Hosea M.Lariu, PadiaJulich, StefanPatil, Sopan D.McDonald, Morag A.Feger, Karl-Heinz

Corporate Author(s): 

Forests (ISSN 1999-4907) is an international and cross-disciplinary scholarly journal of forestry and forest ecology. It publishes research papers, short communications and review papers. There is no restriction on the length of the papers. Our aim is to encourage scientists to publish their experimental and theoretical research in as much detail as possible. Full experimental and/or methodical details must be provided for research articles.

There are, in addition, unique features of this journal:

Publisher(s): 

MDPI AG, a publisher of open-access scientific journals, was spun off from the Molecular Diversity Preservation International organization. It was formally registered by Shu-Kun Lin and Dietrich Rordorf in May 2010 in Basel, Switzerland, and maintains editorial offices in China, Spain and Serbia. MDPI relies primarily on article processing charges to cover the costs of editorial quality control and production of articles. Over 280 universities and institutes have joined the MDPI Institutional Open Access Program; authors from these organizations pay reduced article processing charges.

Data provider

MDPI AG, a publisher of open-access scientific journals, was spun off from the Molecular Diversity Preservation International organization. It was formally registered by Shu-Kun Lin and Dietrich Rordorf in May 2010 in Basel, Switzerland, and maintains editorial offices in China, Spain and Serbia. MDPI relies primarily on article processing charges to cover the costs of editorial quality control and production of articles. Over 280 universities and institutes have joined the MDPI Institutional Open Access Program; authors from these organizations pay reduced article processing charges.

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