Modelling agricultural expansion in Kenya's Eastern Arc Mountains biodiversity hotspot
AbstractThe Taita Hills are the northernmost part of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya and Tanzania, which is one of the most important regions for biological conservation in the world. The indigenous cloud forests in this area have suffered substantial degradation for several centuries due to agricultural expansion. In the Taita Hills, currently only 1% of the original forested area remains preserved. In order to create effective policies to preserve the natural resources and biodiversity of the Eastern Arc Mountains it is crucial to understand the causes and interactions involved in the landscape changes in the most degraded areas. The research presented here aimed to understand the role of landscape attributes and infrastructure components as driving forces of agricultural expansion in the Taita Hills. Geospatial technology tools and a landscape dynamic simulation model were integrated to identify and evaluate the driving forces of agricultural expansion and simulate future landscape scenarios. The results indicate that, if current trends persist, agricultural areas will occupy roughly 60% of the study area by 2030. Agricultural expansion will likely take place predominantly in lowlands and foothills throughout the next 20Â years, increasing the spatial dependence on distance to rivers and other water bodies. The main factors driving the spatial distribution of new croplands were the distance to markets, proximity to already established agricultural areas and distance to roads. Other driving forces of the agricultural expansion, as well as their implications for natural resources conservation, are discussed. Further studies are necessary to integrate the effects of population pressure and climate change on the sustainability and characteristics of local agricultural systems.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.
Volume (Year): 103 (2010)
Issue (Month): 9 (November)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agsy
Land use change Simulation model Eastern Arc Mountains Taita Hills;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Thornton, Philip K. & Jones, Peter G. & Alagarswamy, Gopal & Andresen, Jeff & Herrero, Mario, 2010. "Adapting to climate change: Agricultural system and household impacts in East Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 73-82, February.
- Eric Koomen & Piet Rietveld & Ton Nijs, 2008. "Modelling land-use change for spatial planning support," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 1-10, March.
- Washington-Ottombre, C. & Pijanowski, B. & Campbell, D. & Olson, J. & Maitima, J. & Musili, A. & Kibaki, T. & Kaburu, H. & Hayombe, P. & Owango, E. & Irigia, B. & Gichere, S. & Mwangi, A., 2010. "Using a role-playing game to inform the development of land-use models for the study of a complex socio-ecological system," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 117-126, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.