Dynamics of land use/cover changes and the analysis of landscape fragmentation in Dhaka Metropolitan, Bangladesh
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The original publication is available at: http://www.springerlink.com
First published online December 14, 2010
Rapid urban expansion due to large scale land use/cover change, particularly in developing countries becomes a matter of concern since urbanization drives environmental change at multiple scales. Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, has been experienced break-neck urban growth in the last few decades that resulted many adverse impacts on the environment. This paper was an attempt to document spatiotemporal pattern of land use/cover changes, and to quantify the landscape structures in Dhaka Metropolitan of Bangladesh. Using multi-temporal remotely sensed data with GIS, dynamics of land use/cover changes was evaluated and a transition matrix was computed to understand the rate and pattern of land use/cover change. Derived land use statistics subsequently integrated with landscape metrics to determine the impact of land use change on landscape fragmentation. Significant changes in land use/cover were noticed in Dhaka over the study period, 1975-2005.Rapid urbanization was manifested by a large reduction of agricultural land since urban built-up areaincreased from 5,500 ha in 1975 to 20,549 ha in 2005. At the same time, cultivated land decreased from12,040 to 6,236 ha in the same period. Likewise, wetland and vegetation cover reduced to about 6,027 and 2,812 ha, respectively. Consequently, sharp changes in landscape pattern and composition were observed. The landscape became highly fragmented as a result of rapid increase in the built-up areas. The analysis revealed that mean patch size decreased while the number of patches increased. Landscape diversity declined, urban dominance amplified, and the overall landscape mosaics became more continuous, homogenous and clumped. In order to devise sustainable land use planning and to determine future landscape changes for sound resource management strategies, the present study is expected to have significant implications in rapidly urbanizing cities of the world in delivering baseline information about long term land use change and its impact on landscape structure.
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