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Landscape cover dynamics pattern in Meghalaya

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Human interventions in natural systems have resulted in large changes in vegetation composition and distribution patterns. The Land Use Change and Climate Change (LUCC) study under the International Geosphere Biosphere Program (IGBP) is a major initiative in this regard. Changes in land use and hence in vegetation cover, due to climatic change and human activity, affect surface water and energy budgets directly through plant transpiration, surface albedo, emissivity and roughness. They also affect primary production and, therefore, the carbon cycle. Thus, there is a need for spatial and temporal characterization of vegetation cover at different scales, from the global and continental scale to the local patch scale. Satellite remote sensing provides detailed information regarding the spatial distribution and extent of land use changes in the landscape. Meghalaya, in north-east India, is one of the most important, biologically rich landscapes. Degradational activities, namely shifting cultivation, clear felling of forests for timber, and mining, have altered the natural landscape to a great extent. Because of these increased anthropogenic activities the natural landscape has been modified which has resulted in a fragmented landscape with poor species composition. These changes in the landscape were analysed using IRS 1A, 1B and Landsat Multi-Spectral Scanner (MSS) data during the period 1980-1995. The vegetation type maps were prepared by a visual interpretation technique in order to study the land cover dynamics pattern in Meghalaya.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), NRSA, Dept of Space, 4-Kalidas Road, P.B. 135, Dehra Dun, 248001 India 2: Indira Gandhi Conservation Monitoring Center IGCMC, WWF-India, 172-B, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi, 110003 India

Publication date: December 15, 2001

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