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Land, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2013), Pages 1-80

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Research

Open AccessArticle Simulating Future Forest Cover Changes in Pakxeng District, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR): Implications for Sustainable Forest Management
Land 2013, 2(1), 1-19; doi:10.3390/land2010001
Received: 29 November 2012 / Revised: 12 December 2012 / Accepted: 9 January 2013 / Published: 21 January 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2117 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Future forest cover changes were simulated under the business-as-usual (BAU), pessimistic and optimistic scenarios using the Markov-cellular automata (MCA) model in Pakxeng district, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). The Markov chain analysis was used to compute transition probabilities from satellite-derived forest cover [...] Read more.
Future forest cover changes were simulated under the business-as-usual (BAU), pessimistic and optimistic scenarios using the Markov-cellular automata (MCA) model in Pakxeng district, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR). The Markov chain analysis was used to compute transition probabilities from satellite-derived forest cover maps (1993, 1996, 2000 and 2004), while the “weights of evidence” procedure was used to generate transition potential (suitability) maps. Dynamic adjustments of transition probabilities and transition potential maps were implemented in a cellular automata (CA) model in order to simulate forest cover changes. The validation results revealed that unstocked forest and current forest classes were relatively well simulated, while the non-forest class was slightly underpredicted. The MCA simulations under the BAU and pessimistic scenarios indicated that current forest areas would decrease, whereas unstocked forest areas would increase in the future. In contrast, the MCA model projected that current forest areas would increase under the optimistic scenario if forestry laws are strictly enforced in the study area. The simulation scenarios observed in this study can be possibly used to understand implications of future forest cover changes on sustainable forest management in Pakxeng district. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effectiveness of Conservation Reserves: Land Tenure Impacts upon Biodiversity across Extensive Natural Landscapes in the Tropical Savannahs of the Northern Territory, Australia
Land 2013, 2(1), 20-36; doi:10.3390/land2010020
Received: 27 November 2012 / Revised: 8 January 2013 / Accepted: 9 January 2013 / Published: 22 January 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (599 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examines whether there is a biodiversity benefit (“dividend”) associated with the existence and management of conservation reserves in the extensive and largely natural landscape of northern Australia. Species richness and abundance of vertebrate fauna and the intensity of a range [...] Read more.
This study examines whether there is a biodiversity benefit (“dividend”) associated with the existence and management of conservation reserves in the extensive and largely natural landscape of northern Australia. Species richness and abundance of vertebrate fauna and the intensity of a range of disturbance factors were compared across a set of 967 sampled quadrats, located either in pastoral lands, Indigenous lands or conservation reserves, with all sampled quadrats within a single vegetation type (open forests and savannah woodlands dominated by Eucalyptus miniata and/or E. tetrodonta). The relationships with land tenure varied between major taxonomic groups, but generally (and particularly for threatened species) values were highest for conservation reserves. This “biodiversity dividend” associated with conservation reserves is considered to be due to the effects of management rather than because conservation reserves were established on lands supporting atypically high conservation values. The impact of weeds and (unsurprisingly) livestock was greatest on pastoral lands, and pig impact was greatest in conservation reserves. Although pastoral and Indigenous lands supported lower biodiversity tallies than reserved lands, the conservation values of reserved lands in this region are probably substantially supported by the maintenance of relatively intact ecological systems across all lands. Full article
Open AccessArticle Mapping Urbanization Dynamics in Major Cities of Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, and Bolivia Using Night-Time Satellite Imagery
Land 2013, 2(1), 37-59; doi:10.3390/land2010037
Received: 10 December 2012 / Revised: 8 January 2013 / Accepted: 29 January 2013 / Published: 5 February 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1540 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
By 2050, 90% of the population in Latin America will live in cities, but there is a lack of up-to-date spatial information about the urban extent and patterns of urbanization in cities of this region. In this study, we analyzed population growth, [...] Read more.
By 2050, 90% of the population in Latin America will live in cities, but there is a lack of up-to-date spatial information about the urban extent and patterns of urbanization in cities of this region. In this study, we analyzed population growth, urban density and urbanization dynamics between 1992 and 2009 in the major cities of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Perú using Google Earth and DMSP/OLS night-time lights imagery. We used Google Earth to map the urban extent, and time series of night-time lights to analyze spatial patterns of urban development. The dominant urban development patterns were: high-density compact in Bogotá, Cali, Guayaquil, and Medellín; high-density expansive growth in La Paz/El Alto; low-density expansive in Quito and Santa Cruz; and a mix of high-density compact and suburban growth in Lima. Urban growth occurred largely along the periphery of cities, influenced by the local landscape and by demographic and socioeconomic factors such as immigration and housing prices. Urban density in Colombia (>20,000 per/km2) was among the highest in the world. Future growth in the region will probably be characterized by densification and slow urban expansion. This study also validates the utility of Google Earth and night-time lights for monitoring urbanization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle On Demand, Development and Dependence: A Review of Current and Future Implications of Socioeconomic Changes for Integrated Water Resource Management in the Okavango Catchment of Southern Africa
Land 2013, 2(1), 60-80; doi:10.3390/land2010060
Received: 3 January 2013 / Revised: 13 February 2013 / Accepted: 21 February 2013 / Published: 28 February 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1816 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water is both a key and limited resource in the Okavango Catchment of Southern Africa. It is vital for the ecosystem and the three riparian states Angola, Botswana and Namibia who use the water of the catchment for multiple purposes including pastoralism, [...] Read more.
Water is both a key and limited resource in the Okavango Catchment of Southern Africa. It is vital for the ecosystem and the three riparian states Angola, Botswana and Namibia who use the water of the catchment for multiple purposes including pastoralism, farming and tourism. Socioeconomic changes, primarily strong population growth and increasing development demands pose significant challenges for the Okavango Catchment and its Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). In this paper, we first review the socioeconomic background and the current and projected water situation. Against this background, we analyze the dependence of the riparian states and the local livelihoods on the Okavango Catchment. Third, we discuss the implications of socioeconomic changes and increased water demand for the IWRM in the catchment. We review the scientific literature and relevant reports. Further we utilize (geo-spatial) analysis of socioeconomic, livelihood and hydrological data, supplemented by a field visit to Namibia and Botswana. Our findings suggest that strong population growth and the stabilization of Angola are likely to increase the pressure to develop the region along the Okavango. The central challenge for IWRM is hence to enable Angola to meet its development needs without limiting livelihood and economic prospects in Botswana and Namibia. Full article

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