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Dynamics of forage and land cover changes in Teltele district of Borana rangelands, southern Ethiopia: using geospatial and field survey data.

BMC Ecology 2020 October 8
BACKGROUND: The gradual conversion of rangelands into other land use types is one of the main challenges affecting the sustainable management of rangelands in Teltele. This study aimed to examine the changes, drivers, trends in land use and land cover (LULC), to determine the link between the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and forage biomass and the associated impacts of forage biomass production dynamics on the Teltele rangelands in Southern Ethiopia. A Combination of remote sensing data, field interviews, discussion and observations data were used to examine the dynamics of LULC between 1992 and 2019 and forage biomass production.

RESULTS: The result indicate that there is a marked increase in farm land (35.3%), bare land (13.8%) and shrub land (4.8%), while the reduction found in grass land (54.5%), wet land (69.3%) and forest land (10.5%). The larger change in land observed in both grassland and wetland part was observed during the period from 1995-2000 and 2015-2019, this is due to climate change impact (El-Niño) happened in Teltele rangeland during the year 1999 and 2016 respectively. The quantity of forage in different land use/cover types, grass land had the highest average amount of forage biomass of 2092.3 kg/ha, followed by wetland with 1231 kg/ha, forest land with 1191.3 kg/ha, shrub land with 180 kg/ha, agricultural land with 139.5 kg/ha and bare land with 58.1 kg/ha.

CONCLUSIONS: The significant linkage observed between NDVI and LULC change types (when a high NDVI value, the LULC changes also shows positive value or an increasing trend). In addition, NDVI value directly related to the greenness status of vegetation occurred on each LULC change types and its value directly linkage forage biomass production pattern with grassland land use types. 64.8% (grass land), 43.3% (agricultural land), 75.1% (forest land), 50.6% (shrub land), 80.5% (bare land) and 75.5% (wet land) more or higher dry biomass production in the wet season compared to the dry season.

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