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Effects of Prosopis julifloraInvasions on land use/cover change in South Afar region, Northeast Ethiopia

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Prosopis juliflora(henceforth referred as Prosopis) plant is an invasive species affecting the health of rangelands in Afar region of Ethiopia. The study aims to assess (1) the effects of Prosopisinvasion on land use land cover (henceforth referred to LULC) and (2) extent of vegetation cover changes. We used a combination of remote sensing data and field observations to analyze the effects Prosopisinvasion on land use/ land cover dynamics and changes (LULCC) for the patterns and dynamics of land-use/cover changes for 31 years from 1986 to2017 in the arid and semi-arid of Sothern Afar rangelands Ethiopia. The overall accuracy for 1986 2000 and 2017 were 81.4% 82.3% and 84.9% with Kappa statistics of 0.77 0.79 and 0.82 respectively. InAmibara district farmlands water bodies land under Prosopis and grassland areas were increased during 1986-2017 by 1879 ha (10.8%) 1197 ha (55.6%) 3132 ha (99.0 %) and 31039 ha (22.0 %) respectively. However bare lands and woodlands areas were decreased by 1239 ha (56.7 %) and 36065 ha (49.9 %) respectively. In Awash Fentale district changes in land use/land cover types showed positive trends for farmlands water bodies Prosopis and grazing lands by 4258 ha (81.4 %) 1035 ha (97.4 %) 2335 ha (97.0 %) and 18187 ha (25.8 %) respectively in the same period. However bare lands and woodland areas decreased by 59.78 ha (59.8 %) and 51 ha (50.9 %) respectively. If the present change continues pastoralists grazing lands will be lost.

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