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A Novel Approach for Forest Fragmentation Susceptibility Mapping and Assessment: A Case Study from the Indian Himalayan Region

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Title: A Novel Approach for Forest Fragmentation Susceptibility Mapping and Assessment: A Case Study from the Indian Himalayan Region
Authors: Batar, Amit Kumar Browse this author
Shibata, Hideaki Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Watanabe, Teiji Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: forest fragmentation susceptibility
forest landscape integrity
patch forests
land-use/ land-cover change
forest conversion and loss
Indian Himalayan region
remote sensing and geographical information system (GIS)
Issue Date: Oct-2021
Publisher: MDPI
Journal Title: Remote Sensing
Volume: 13
Issue: 20
Start Page: 4090
Publisher DOI: 10.3390/rs13204090
Abstract: An estimation of where forest fragmentation is likely to occur is critically important for improving the integrity of the forest landscape. We prepare a forest fragmentation susceptibility map for the first time by developing an integrated model and identify its causative factors in the forest landscape. Our proposed model is based upon the synergistic use of the earth observation data, forest fragmentation approach, patch forests, causative factors, and the weight-of-evidence (WOE) method in a Geographical Information System (GIS) platform. We evaluate the applicability of the proposed model in the Indian Himalayan region, a region of rich biodiversity and environmental significance in the Indian subcontinent. To obtain a forest fragmentation susceptibility map, we used patch forests as past evidence of completely degraded forests. Subsequently, we used these patch forests in the WOE method to assign the standardized weight value to each class of causative factors tested by the Variance Inflation Factor (VIF) method. Finally, we prepare a forest fragmentation susceptibility map and classify it into five levels: very low, low, medium, high, and very high and test its validity using 30% randomly selected patch forests. Our study reveals that around 40% of the study area is highly susceptible to forest fragmentation. This study identifies that forest fragmentation is more likely to occur if proximity to built-up areas, roads, agricultural lands, and streams is low, whereas it is less likely to occur in higher altitude zones (more than 2000 m a.s.l.). Additionally, forest fragmentation will likely occur in areas mainly facing south, east, southwest, and southeast directions and on very gentle and gentle slopes (less than 25 degrees). This study identifies Himalayan moist temperate and pine forests as being likely to be most affected by forest fragmentation in the future. The results suggest that the study area would experience more forest fragmentation in the future, meaning loss of forest landscape integrity and rich biodiversity in the Indian Himalayan region. Our integrated model achieved a prediction accuracy of 88.7%, indicating good accuracy of the model. This study will be helpful to minimize forest fragmentation and improve the integrity of the forest landscape by implementing forest restoration and reforestation schemes.</p>
Type: article
Appears in Collections:北方生物圏フィールド科学センター (Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

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