Afromontane forest condition assessment

in Kenya

This research, mainly funded by Chester Zoo, detected vegetation change and assessed forest condition in two fenced forests of Kenya: the Aberdare National Park and Shimba Hills National Reserve.

Afromontane forests are biodiversity hotspots and provide essential ecosystem services. However, they are under pressure as a result of an expanding human population and the impact of climate change. In many instances, electric fencing has become a necessary management strategy to protect forest integrity and reduce human-wildlife conflict. The impact of confining hitherto migratory elephant populations within forests remains unknown, and monitoring largely inaccessible areas is challenging.

 

We explored the application of remote sensing to monitor the impact of confinement, employing the Breaks For Additive Season and Trend (BFAST) time-series decomposition method over a 15-year period on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) (MOD13Q1) datasets for the two Kenyan forests (Morrison et al. 2018).

 

Results indicated that BFAST was able to identify disturbances from anthropogenic, fire and elephant damage. Sequential monitoring enabled the detection of gradual changes in the forest canopy, with degradation and regeneration being observed in both sites. Annual rates of forest loss in both areas were significantly lower than reported in other studies on Afromontane forests, suggesting that installing fences has reduced land-use conversion from human-related disturbances. Negative changes in EVI were predominantly gradual degradation rather than large-scale, abrupt clearings of the forest. Results presented here demonstrate that BFAST can be used to monitor biotic and abiotic drivers of change in Afromontane forests. 

Location of the study areas within Kenya
& clear sky observations of MODIS MOD13Q1 for 

(a) Aberdare National Park and (b) Shimba Hills National Reserve

Change maps for the Aberdare National Park
from 2005–2015 showing:

(a) The magnitude of change in the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) derived using Breaks For Additive Season and Trend (BFAST); (b) The year the breakpoint was detected by BFAST; (c) Areas of fire detected by the MODIS MCD451A product.

Change maps for the Shimba Hills National Reserve
from 2005–2015 showing:

(a) The magnitude of change in the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) derived using Breaks For Additive Season and Trend (BFAST); (b) The year the breakpoint was detected by BFAST; (c) Areas of fire detected by the MODIS MCD451A product.

© 2023 by Hunter & Thompson. Proudly created with Wix.com

  • Facebook Basic Black
  • LinkedIn Basic Black
  • Twitter Basic Black
This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now