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Research article2008Peer reviewed

Land cover changes in a forested watershed, southern Zagros, Iran

Salehi, A.; Wilhelmsson, E.; Soderberg, U.


This study aims to investigate the land cover changes in relation to traditional utilization and livestock grazing. socioeconomic development, and demographic changes during recent decades in a forested watershed in the southern Zagros, Iran. Data on land cover change were collected through stereo interpretation With digital photogrammetric techniques applied to sets of scanned aerial photographs from 1969 and 1993 with a systematic grid of sample plots provided by GIS techniques. Efforts were made to mitigate errors in the interpretation. Field data Were gathered in 2003 from woodland inventory. biophysical, and demographic data and in 2006 from interviews.The results show stability in crown cover density (%) and in the number of large trees, and an increase in the woodland class. The results may be related to a change in woodland utilization. Socioeconomic development, decrease in human and livestock population. and a change in the type of livestock have influenced the traditional pattern. Steep slopes partially limit human accessibility to woodland resources. Around 54% of the oak trees are in coppice form and natural regeneration of the trees is rare. Overgrazing and seed gathering have a negative effect on regeneration and endanger the future survival of the woodland. Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons. Ltd.


aerial photographs; stereo interpretation; woodland; grazing; oak; Iran

Published in

Land Degradation and Development
2008, Volume: 19, number: 5, pages: 542-553