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University of Cape Town (1999)

Patterns of land cover change in Kanyati communal land in Zimbabwe

Howard, Madeleine A

Titre : Patterns of land cover change in Kanyati communal land in Zimbabwe

Auteur : Howard, Madeleine A

Université de soutenance : University of Cape Town.

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 1999

Résumé partiel
Expanding areas under cultivation and settlement are a global trend with significant effects on existing land cover types and ecosystems. High rates of human population growth in southern Africa and subsequent increased pressure on land has led to the extension of cultivation and settlement into marginal lands. This study investigates the spatial patterns ofland cover change in a communal land in Zimbabwe over the period 1973 to 1993, and their likely ecological effects. The study site is in the Zambezi Valley and has a well­ preserved area ofmiombo woodland and has the potential to become an important wildlife corridor between a national park, safari area and communal lands with local community based wildlife management projects. The area is divided into wildlife and settled areas by a game fence so provided an opportunity to compare patterns ofland cover change vvith and without extensive human impact within the same administrative area. The land cover types were derived from manually interpreted aerial photographs as multispectral satellite imagery is not available before the 1980’s and is expensive. Geographical Information Systems were used to analyse the spatial patterns ofland covers identified, the sizes and shapes of spatial entities and the spatial distribution of land cover types in relation to slope and proximity to rivers. The likely ecological effects of land cover change were investigated by deriving habitat suitability maps using the habitat requirements of seven large herbivore species : buffalo, bushbuck, elephant, kudu, sable, waterbuck and zebra.


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