Defining Deforestation Patterns Using Satellite Images from 2000 and 2017: Assessment of Forest Management in Miombo Forests—A Case Study of Huambo Province in Angola

Vasco Chiteculo, Azadeh Abdollahnejad, Dimitrios Panagiotidis, Peter Surový, Ram Sharma
2018 Sustainability  
A few studies have recently been published on changes in land use/land cover (LU/LC) of Angolan Miombo forests, however, none have attempted to offer forest management solutions for degraded Miombo forests. Landscapes are witness to past and present natural and social processes influencing the environment, where each period in the past leaves footprints on the landscape's development, which can be described by a continual decrease in forest area over time. The expansion of degraded areas from
more » ... 00 to 20017 began near urban areas where many Miombo forests have been eliminated or highly degraded, particularly in the southwest and northeast of the Huambo province. Large areas of degraded forests were observed along the Benguela railway (Caminho de ferro de Benguela). Our detailed analysis of the landcover map suggests that the impact has been devastating and there is no form of forest protection, which leads to unregulated exploitation. Descriptions of the Miombo forest dynamics are explained using height–diameter curves developed for different vegetation types that provide important insights about forest structures in the management zones. The height–diameter models differed for all vegetation types, and four management zones (MZ) were created based on a set of particular attributes. The vegetation types differed in each management zone, which included agricultural land and bare soil (MZ–E), grassland or savanna (MZ–C), open Miombo forests (MZ–B), and closed Miombo forests (Miombo forests). The four management zones were easily identified on the available maps and the height–diameter models developed represent a fundamental tool for future studies on forest planning.
doi:10.3390/su11010098 fatcat:cglncontfbhw7c6cdodb3xgmxy