M.Sc. handed in: Quantifying land cover change using remote sensing data in a transboundary protected area

M.Sc. handed in: Quantifying land cover change using remote sensing data in a transboundary protected area

May 16, 2017

Henrike Schulte to Bühne handed in her M.Sc. thesis “Quantifying land cover change using remote sensing data in a transboundary protected area” supervised by Nathalie Pettorelli (ZSL) and me. From the abstract: Biodiversity is declining at unprecedented rates as a result of global environmental change, threatening ecosystem stability and resilience, on which human well-being ultimately depends. Transboundary cooperation is being promoted as an effective way to conserve biodiversity that straddles national borders. However, monitoring the ecological outcomes of these large-scale endeavours is challenging, and as a result, the factors and processes likely to shape their effectiveness remain poorly identified and understood. To address this knowledge gap, this thesis quantified loss and fragmentation of natural vegetation across the W-Arly-Pendjari transboundary protected area complex, a key biodiversity hotspot in West Africa. Land cover maps for 2000, 2006 and 2013 were generated by combining open source optical remote sensing data with spectral change analyses and supervised classification algorithms to quantify loss and fragmentation of natural vegetation as a result of agricultural expansion. There was widespread agricultural expansion outside protected areas between 2000 and 2013, whereas expansion was limited inside protected areas. Additionally, natural vegetation was less fragmented inside than outside protected areas. Protected areas with high protection status appeared considerably more effective at preventing land conversion, and had less fragmented natural vegetation, than other protected areas. There were marked differences in cropland expansion rates between countries, which might be linked to differences in rural population growth. Altogether, these results indicate that transboundary protected areas can be relatively successful at reducing human pressure on biodiversity. However, there can be considerable spatial heterogeneity in anthropogenic pressure across transboundary protected area complexes, which highlights the need for more comprehensive assessments of this mode of biodiversity protection; these assessments could capitalise on the current  availability of remote sensing information.

you may also like:

Presentations at the EARSeL conference in Manchester

Presentations at the EARSeL conference in Manchester

Presentations at the EARSeL conference in Manchester   Dr. Marta Sapena and Dr. John Friesen represented the Earth Observation Center (EOC) of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and our Earth Observation Research Cluster (EORC) this week at the EARSeL conference...

Our PhD candidate Ines Standfuss teaches at AniMove

Our PhD candidate Ines Standfuss teaches at AniMove

Our PhD candidate Ines Standfuss is teaching remote sensing for animal movement analysis this year at MPI at Lake Constanze. The AniMove science school has been founded more than ten years ago together with MPI and other organisations such as Smithsonian joined in the...

television and radio coverage about urban measurements

television and radio coverage about urban measurements

Our urban research got covered by TV and radio where we had the chance to explain the relevance of urban monitoring via remote sensing methods as well as in-situ devices (in cooperation with Prof. Marco Schmidt) especially for adaptation and mitigation potential of...

“Super Test Site Würzburg” – from the idea to realization

“Super Test Site Würzburg” – from the idea to realization

The "Super Test Site Würzburg" originated as an idea at the "Geolingual Studies Workshop", which our Geolingual Studies team (Prof. Biewer, Prof. Taubenböck) organized last year - we had reported on it: https://remote-sensing.org/geolingual-studies-workshop-day-1-2/ ;...

Two new Msc graduates Caroline and Helena

Two new Msc graduates Caroline and Helena

We are very happy to congratulate Caroline Goehner and Helena Wehner for successfully defending their thesis on alpine research and ibis environment analysis.  Great to see their journey through the eagle program, their technical advances, gaining hands-on...

Science and teaching at UFS

Science and teaching at UFS

The research and teaching activities of our University at the research station Schneefernerhaus on Zugspitze are increasing steadily and becoming more diverse. Ongoing and planned courses and science projects range from topics in informatics, astronomy to medicine and...