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Landscape Ecological Planning Through a Multi-Scale Characterization of Pattern: Studies in the Western Ghats, South India

Nagendra, Harini and Utkarsh, Ghate (2003) Landscape Ecological Planning Through a Multi-Scale Characterization of Pattern: Studies in the Western Ghats, South India. In: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 87 (3). pp. 215-233.

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Abstract

This article analyzes landscape pattern in the Western Ghats mountain ranges in southwestern India at two scales, comparing small-scale, detailed studies of landscape pattern, with broader, regional-scale assessments of the Western Ghats. Due in large part to their inaccessibility, relatively little is known about the landscapes of this biodiverse region, which also supports some of the highest population densities in the world. A broad-scale NDVI-based IRS 1B satellite image classification is used to analyze north-south and east-west trends across the entire Western Ghats and western coast of India, an area over $170\hspace{2mm}000\hspace{2mm}km^2$. Northern and eastern landscapes are more fragmented compared to the southern and western slopes. Western slopes also have greater landscape diversity with land cover types more interspersed compared to the eastern slopes. These differences can be related to north-south and east-west variations in rainfall and plant distribution. Data from thirteen landscapes $10-50\hspace{2mm}km^2$ in area, are further utilized to analyze trends in landscape pattern, and describe the geographical distribution of major natural and managed ecotope types. At this scale, very high levels of intra-ecotope type variability in landscape pattern are encountered for all land cover types. Results at these two scales are integrated to suggest a hierarchical stratified approach for monitoring land cover and biodiversity in the region.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: The copyright of this article belongs to Springer Netherlands.
Keywords: Biodiversity;Fragmentation;Land cover change;Remote sensing;Satellite imagery;Western ghats
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:35
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/9738

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