Simulating Land-Cover and Land-Use Change in the Savanna Under Present Day and Future Climate Scenarios-A GIS-Based Approach

  •  Mayowa Fasona    
  •  Alabi Soneye    
  •  Olatunde Ogunkunle    
  •  Olusegun Adeaga    
  •  Olutoyin Fashae    
  •  Innocent Abbas    


Understanding the feedback between climate and land-cover is important for planning climate mitigation and adaptation measures at local scales. This study presents evidence that climate change has the potential to influence land-cover patterns over space and time and land change models can compliment climate models to provide better understanding of the climate and land-cover relations at local levels. Present day (1982–2006) and downscaled future (2046–2065) rainfall and temperature data were integrated with local eco-geographical factors to build change suitabilities for land-cover change for present day and future climate scenarios. The basis land-cover maps were derived from Landsat imageries. The change suitabilities were combined with markov probabilities and applied to the basis land-cover to predict future land-cover maps under the present day and future climate scenarios using Idrisi’s Cellular Automata-Markov land change model. The results suggest that forest and woodland which is the major canopy ecosystems are expected to remain relatively stable both in areal coverage and spatial pattern under the present day climate scenario. In the future climate scenario, the areal coverage of the canopy ecosystems is expected to be relatively stable, but dramatic change in the spatial pattern is likely as the wooded savanna becomes drier. The forests would likely become more disturbed, with galleria forest becoming the most significant forest type. Shrub/grassland is also projected to become much more widespread. This scenario is expected to alter the spatial pattern of emerging built up and agricultural land-uses.

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