Spatial Pattern of Land Cover Change Using Remotely Sensed Imagery and GIS: A Case Study of Omo-Shasha-Oluwa Forest Reserve, SW Nigeria (1986-2002)


Spatial patterns of land cover changes in the Omo-Shasha-Oluwa Forest Reserves were conducted on Landsat TM and ETM+ imageries of 1986 and 2002 using remote sensing and GIS techniques. Extent of tree plantation (Gmelina arborea) grew from about 145 sq. km in 1986 to about 322 sq. km in 2002 (122% increase). The natural forest declined from about 2569 sq. km in 1986 to about 2253 sq. km by 2002, while the non-forest areas increased by some 5% from 341 km2 in 1986 to about 490 km2 by 2002. Land cover pattern and its changes in the study area are linked to both natural and anthropogenic processes such as illegal logging, demand for soft wood for industries and expansion of settlements. The conversion of natural forest into monoculture plantations should be discouraged because they do not give room for biodiversity. Specific forestry and environmental laws and regulations that significantly address landscape changes in reserved and protected areas should be enforced to reduce activities that negatively affect the forest reserves. There is also the need to develop a wider and more integrated GIS system of the forest and other land resources in the country to assist different kinds of planning and management activities.

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Adedeji, O. and Adeofun, C. (2014) Spatial Pattern of Land Cover Change Using Remotely Sensed Imagery and GIS: A Case Study of Omo-Shasha-Oluwa Forest Reserve, SW Nigeria (1986-2002). Journal of Geographic Information System, 6, 375-385. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2014.64033.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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