Next Article in Journal
Understanding Land Use and Land Cover Dynamics from 1976 to 2014 in Yellow River Delta
Previous Article in Journal
Characterizing Spatial Neighborhoods of Refugia Following Large Fires in Northern New Mexico USA
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Land 2017, 6(1), 18; doi:10.3390/land6010018

Multi-Criteria Assessment of Land Cover Dynamic Changes in Halgurd Sakran National Park (HSNP), Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Using Remote Sensing and GIS

1,2,3,* , 1,4
and
2,3
1
Centre for Landscape and Climate Research (CLCR), Department of Geography, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
2
Faculty of Science, Petroleum Geosciences Department, Soran University, Soran 44001, Iraq
3
Centre for Natural Resources Research (CNRR), Soran University, Delyzian Road, Soran 44008, Iraq
4
National Centre for Earth Observation, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew Millington
Received: 11 December 2016 / Revised: 24 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6386 KB, uploaded 7 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

Halgurd Sakran National Park (HSNP) is Iraq’s first designated national park, located in the Kurdistan Region, which has suffered multiple armed conflicts over the past decades. This study assesses how vegetation dynamics have affected the landscape structure and composition of the core zone of the park over the last 31 years. Spatio-temporal changes in land cover were mapped for three points in time using remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and landscape metrics. Land cover changes were mapped using random forest classifications of satellite images from Landsat 5 TM, Landsat 7 ETM+, and Landsat 8 LDCM acquired in 1984, 1998, and 2015. Five landscape pattern metrics were analysed at class and landscape levels in order to quantify landscape patterns arising from land use and land cover (LULC) change in HSNP using FRAGSTATS 4.2. These landscape pattern metrics were patch metrics, area metrics, shape metrics interspersion/juxtaposition and contagion metrics and diversity metrics. Significant changes in cultivated areas after 1991 were observed, which indicate the role of anthropogenic activities in land cover change. Areas of bare surface and forest lands declined and became more fragmented in 1984 and 1998 while, at the same time, cultivated areas increased, with a continuing fragmentation of pasture land. Internal migration of people was one of the major drivers of LULC change. The results reveal that significant LULC changes in terms of composition and spatial structure over the 31-year period have occurred in the designated protected area. Landscape metrics were able to assess the trend of spatial patchiness over the studied period. A discussion of the significance of changes in land use systems for understanding the causes and consequences of change is provided. View Full-Text
Keywords: Halgurd Sakran National Park; remote sensing; GIS; land use; land cover; FRAGSTATS; landscape metrics; random forest Halgurd Sakran National Park; remote sensing; GIS; land use; land cover; FRAGSTATS; landscape metrics; random forest
Figures

Figure 1

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. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hamad, R.; Balzter, H.; Kolo, K. Multi-Criteria Assessment of Land Cover Dynamic Changes in Halgurd Sakran National Park (HSNP), Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Using Remote Sensing and GIS. Land 2017, 6, 18.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Land EISSN 2073-445X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top