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Dynamics of land use/cover changes and landscape fragmentation analysis in Rustenburg area, South Africa


  • Olusola O. Ololade
  • Harold J. Annegarn


Many factors contribute to rapid urban expansion and large-scale land use/land cover (LULC) changes. This paper analyses spatiotemporal patterns of LULC and quantifies landscape structures in the Rustenburg district, South Africa, locus of a platinum mining boom. Using multi-temporal Landsat images from 1973 to 2002, LULC changes are evaluated to derive transition matrices of patterns and rates of change of LULC classes. These matrices are integrated with landscape metrics to assess impacts of LULC changes on landscape fragmentation. Changes in LULC are coincident with expansion of mining; urban and mining categories increase at the expense of cultivated land, woodland and grassland. The landscape becomes highly fragmented with decreases in mean and largest patch size, and increases in patch density. The pre-existing natural land cover, grassland, shows a high degree of fragmentation. To ensure proper landscape planning for resource management, this study has implications for rapidly growing cities and mining regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Olusola O. Ololade & Harold J. Annegarn, 2015. "Dynamics of land use/cover changes and landscape fragmentation analysis in Rustenburg area, South Africa," African Journal of Economic and Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(3), pages 234-253.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ajesde:v:4:y:2015:i:3:p:234-253

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