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Landscape Metric Modeling - a Technique for Forest Disturbance Assessment in Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

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Author(s): Subin Jose | Alex C. J. C. J. | Santhosh Kumar | Abin Varghese | G. Madhu

Journal: Environmental Research, Engineering and Management
ISSN 1392-1649

Volume: 58;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 34;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Landscape metrics | GIS | Remote sensing | fragstat | GPS

ABSTRACT
Deforestation and forest degradation are associated and progressive processes result in the anthropogenic stress, climate change, and conversion of the forest area into a mosaic of mature forest fragments, pasture, and degraded habitat. The present study addresses forest degradation assessment of landscape using landscape metrics. Geospatial techniques including GIS, remote sensing and fragstat methods are powerful tools in the assessment of forest degradation. The present study is carried out in Shendurney wildlife sanctuary located in the mega biodiversity hot spot of Western ghats, Kerala. A large extent of forest is affected by degradation in this region leading to depletion of forest biodiversity. For conservation of forest biodiversity and implementation of conservation strategies, forest degradation assessment of habitat destruction area is important. Two types of data are used in the study i.e. spatial and non-spatial data. Non-spatial data include both anthropogenic stress and climate data. The study shows that the disturbance index value ranges from 2.5 to 7.5 which has been reclassified into four disturbance zones as low disturbed, medium disturbed, high disturbed and very high disturbed. The analysis would play a key role in the formulation and implementation of forest conservation and management strategies.
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