MULTITEMPORAL ANALYSIS OF FOREST COVER CHANGE USING REMOTE SENSING AND GIS OF KANHA TIGER RESERVE, CENTRAL INDIA
Forest ecosystems play a key role in global ecological balance and provide a variety of tangible and intangible ecosystem services that support the livelihoods of rural poor. In addition to the anthropogenic pressure on the forest resources, climate change is also impacting vegetation productivity, biomass and phenological patterns of the forest. There are many studies reported all over the world which use change in Land Use Land Cover (LULC) to assess the impact of climate change on the forest. Land use change (LC) refers to any anthropogenic or natural changes in the terrestrial ecosystem at a variety of spatial or temporal scale. Changes in LULC induced by any causes (natural/anthropogenic) play a major role in global as well as regional scale pattern which in turn affects weather and climate. Remote sensing (RS) data along with Geographic Information System (GIS) help in inventorying, mapping and monitoring of earth resources for effective and sustainable landscape management of forest areas. Accurate information about the current and past LULC including natural forest cover along with accurate means of monitoring the changes are very necessary to design future adaptation strategies and formulation of policies in tune of climate change. Therefore, this study attempts to analyze the changes of LULC of Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR) due to climate change. The rationale for selecting KTR is to have a largely intact forest area without any interference so that any change in LULC could be attributed to the impact of climate change. The change analysis depicted changes in land use land cover (LULC) pattern by using multi-temporal satellite data over a period of time. Further, these detected changes in different LULC class influence the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities. As the study site is a Sal dominated landscape; the findings could be applied in other Sal dominated landscape of central India in making future policies, adaptation strategies and silvicultural practices for reducing the vulnerability of forest-dependent communities.