3 years ago

Long-term land use and land cover changes (1920–2015) in Eastern Ghats, India: Pattern of dynamics and challenges in plant species conservation

Long-term land use and land cover changes (1920–2015) in Eastern Ghats, India: Pattern of dynamics and challenges in plant species conservation
Natural resources are experiencing unprecedented pressures due to land use and land cover (LULC) changes. Such changes in LULC have significantly affected the extent and condition of forests in the Eastern Ghats of India causing a decline in the forest cover as well as disturbing the habitats of several rare, endangered, threatened (RET) and endemic species. The current study attempts to determine the habitat suitability and threat of a selected group of plants viz, RET and endemic species. This is realized in light of LULC change and forest fragmentation over a period of ∼100 years to understand the possible conservation strategies in the study area. Historical maps and satellite images from 1920 to 2015 were used to develop the LULC and fragmentation maps. MaxEnt species distribution model were used to simulate the distribution of RET and endemic species. Our study reveals that, by and large, the Eastern Ghats have lost 15.83% of its forest area over a span of ∼100 years. For the study period from 1920 to 2015, it is estimated that about 7.92% of forest area was converted into agriculture, and up to 3.80% into scrub/grassland respectively. Also, it was found that the total number of forest patches have been increased from 1509 in 1920–9457 in 2015, core area has declined from 93461.05sq.km in 1920–61262.11sq.km in 2015, and edge length has increased to 2.20sq.km in 2015 as compared to 0.82sq.km in 1920. Best suitable habitats of RET and endemic species have reduced by 0.08% and 0.22% respectively. Habitat reduction has mainly occurred in the districts of Gajapati (Odisha state), Mahbubnagar (Telangana state) and also in Nallamalai and Kolli hill ranges. The species mostly spread across and the suitable habitats was found outside the rages of protected areas. From the present study we recommend that appropriate conservation strategies should be initiated on these threatened areas to prevent further decline in the extent and habitat quality of the RET and endemic species in Eastern Ghats.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1470160X17306362

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.