Land Use and Landscape Structural Changes in the Ecoregions of Ghana

Antwi, Effah Kwabena, Boakye-Danquah, John, Asabere, Stephen Boahen, Yiran, Gerald, Loh, Seyram Kofi, Awere, Kwabena Gyekye, Abagale, Felix K., Asubonteng, Kwabena O., Attua, Emmanuel Morgan and Owusu, Alex Barimah, (2014). Land Use and Landscape Structural Changes in the Ecoregions of Ghana. Journal of Disaster Research, 9(4), 452-467

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Antwi, Effah Kwabena
    Boakye-Danquah, John
    Asabere, Stephen Boahen
    Yiran, Gerald
    Loh, Seyram Kofi
    Awere, Kwabena Gyekye
    Abagale, Felix K.
    Asubonteng, Kwabena O.
    Attua, Emmanuel Morgan
    Owusu, Alex Barimah
    Title Land Use and Landscape Structural Changes in the Ecoregions of Ghana
    Appearing in Journal of Disaster Research
    Volume 9
    Issue No. 4
    Publication Date 2014
    Place of Publication Japan
    Publisher Fuji Technology Press
    Start page 452
    End page 467
    Language English
    Abstract

    In recent years, land use (LU) and landscape structure in ecoregions around the world have been faced with enormous pressures, from rapid population growth to urban sprawl. A preliminary account of changes in land cover (LC) and landscape structure in the ecoregions of Ghana is missing from the academic and research literature. The study therefore provides a preliminary assessment of the changing LU and landscape structure in the ecoregions of Ghana, identifying the causes and assessing their impact on land-based resources, and on urban and agricultural development. LU/LC maps produced from 30 m resolution Landsat TM5 in 1990 and ETM+ in 2000 were classified into dominant land cover types (LCTs) and used to survey the changing landscape of Ghana. LC-changemap preparation was done with change detection extension “Veränderung” (v3) in an ArcGIS 10.1 environment. At the class level, Patch Analyst version 5.1 was used to calculate land use (LU) statistics and to provide landscape metrics for LU maps extracted from the satellite imagery. The results showed that commonly observed LCCs in the ecoregions of Ghana include conversion of natural forest land to various forms of cultivated lands, settlements, and open land, particularly in closed and open forest and savannah woodland. The dominant LU types in the ecoregions of Ghana are arable lands, which increased by 6168.98 km2. Forest and plantation LCTs decreased in area and were replaced by agricultural land, forest garden, and open land. Afforestation rarely occurred except in the rainforests. The mean patch size (MPS), ameasure of fragmentation, was generally reduced consistently from 1990 to 2000 in all the ecoregions. Similar results that indicated increased fragmentation were an increased number of patches (NumP) and the Shannon diversity index (SDI). Habitat shape complexity inferred from mean shape index (MSI) decreased in all ecoregions except for rainforest and wet evergreen. The SDI and Shannon evenness index (SEI) showed that habitat diversity was highest in the coastal savannah and the deciduous forest ecoregions. The main drivers of changes in the LUs and landscape structure are demand for land and land-based natural resources to support competing livelihoods and developmental activities in the different ecoregions.

    Keyword Landscape metrics
    Land change
    Landscape planning
    Urban sprawl
    Fragmentation
    Copyright Holder Fuji Technology Press
    Copyright Year 2014
    Copyright type All rights reserved
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    Created: Tue, 24 Mar 2015, 14:21:03 JST