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Land 2013, 2(3), 508-533; doi:10.3390/land2030508
Article

Land Saturation in SE Niger: Triangulating Qualitative and Quantitative Information for Critical Assessment of Land Use Trajectories

1,* , 2
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Received: 12 July 2013; in revised form: 6 September 2013 / Accepted: 16 September 2013 / Published: 24 September 2013
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Abstract: The paper analyzes land use changes, notably cropland expansion, in SE-Niger from the mid-1980s to 2011. It scrutinizes land use trajectories and investigates how cultivation shifts between dune landscapes and valleys (bas-fonds) in response to climate, population pressure, and sociocultural opportunities, combining lenses rooted in land change science and the notions of double exposure and human-environmental timelines. Specifically, the interest is directed towards exploring the value of different methods of land use data harvesting. The importance of cropland expansion is assessed in two ways: by interpreting Landsat satellite images and by interviewing local people to obtain qualitative descriptions. The results demonstrate a glaring discrepancy between the assessed land use trends derived from these two data sources. Issues such as important developments in landscape priorities, allocation of cropland between dunes and valleys, possible land saturation, and adaptation to climate change or globalization are portrayed very differently. It is concluded that critical attention to data reliability is crucial to avoid misleading narratives in land change science, especially in places covered by sparse data.
Keywords: satellite image mapping; Landsat; land systems; livelihoods; Sahel; population pressure satellite image mapping; Landsat; land systems; livelihoods; Sahel; population pressure
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Reenberg, A.; Maman, I.; Bouzou Moussa, I.; Fog, B. Land Saturation in SE Niger: Triangulating Qualitative and Quantitative Information for Critical Assessment of Land Use Trajectories. Land 2013, 2, 508-533.

AMA Style

Reenberg A, Maman I, Bouzou Moussa I, Fog B. Land Saturation in SE Niger: Triangulating Qualitative and Quantitative Information for Critical Assessment of Land Use Trajectories. Land. 2013; 2(3):508-533.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Reenberg, Anette; Maman, Issoufou; Bouzou Moussa, Ibrahim; Fog, Bjarne. 2013. "Land Saturation in SE Niger: Triangulating Qualitative and Quantitative Information for Critical Assessment of Land Use Trajectories." Land 2, no. 3: 508-533.

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