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Quantifying The Importance of Driving Forces of Landscape Change Using Remote Sensing: A Case Study

Jitendra Thakur


Over the past decades, large scale agricultural intensification and deforestation have enormously changed the landscape in India. The aim of this research study was to quantify the importance of driving forces of landscape change in the Man River Basin, Central India using remote sensing and standard procedure of driving forces over four decade time period. The landscape changes were quantified based on the analysis and comparison of Landsat time series imagery from 1972, 1980, 1989, 2001and 2009. Sample plots (243) of landscape changes were selected to analysis from the three trends such as agriculture intensification, deforestation and development water bodies. A list of driving forces potentially acting in the study area was determined in five groups; political, economic, cultural, technological and natural/spatial based on interviews and scientific documents. The driving forces were also assigned to an administrative level, according to their origin, namely former, OGI (Organization, Group, and Individual), State, national, and international. In the final synthesis, the actors, institutions, and driving forces were linked in causal relationships .Their impact on the three landscape elements under study was determined. Findings show that the use of remote sensing combined with the standard procedure of driving forces improved quantification of landscape change which therefore improved understanding of the importance of driving forces of landscape change in the study area. Results also highlight that agricultural intensification (39938 ha), deforestation (46357 ha) anddevelopment ofwater bodies (2978 ha) were found to be most dynamics landscape in the Man River basin. While, the contributions of economic driving forces followed by cultural driving forces were recorded most important for these three landscape change in the study region over the four decades of time periods.

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