Title: Dynamics of land use/cover changes and landscape fragmentation analysis in Rustenburg area, South Africa
Authors: Olusola O. Ololade; Harold J. Annegarn
Addresses: Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa; Centre for Environmental Management, School of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State, P.O. Box 339 Bloemfontein 9300, South Africa ' Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies, University of Johannesburg, P.O. Box 524, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa; Energy Institute, Faculty of Engineering, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, P.O. Box 652, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Abstract: Many factors contribute to rapid urban expansion and large-scale land use/land cover (LULC) changes. This paper analyses spatiotemporal patterns of LULC and quantifies landscape structures in the Rustenburg district, South Africa, locus of a platinum mining boom. Using multi-temporal Landsat images from 1973 to 2002, LULC changes are evaluated to derive transition matrices of patterns and rates of change of LULC classes. These matrices are integrated with landscape metrics to assess impacts of LULC changes on landscape fragmentation. Changes in LULC are coincident with expansion of mining; urban and mining categories increase at the expense of cultivated land, woodland and grassland. The landscape becomes highly fragmented with decreases in mean and largest patch size, and increases in patch density. The pre-existing natural land cover, grassland, shows a high degree of fragmentation. To ensure proper landscape planning for resource management, this study has implications for rapidly growing cities and mining regions.
Keywords: land use change; land cover change; landscape fragmentation; platinum mining; Landsat data; South Africa; urban expansion; urbanisation; spatiotemporal patterns; landscape structures; cultivated land; woodland; grassland; patch size; patch density; resource management.
African Journal of Economic and Sustainable Development, 2015 Vol.4 No.3, pp.234 - 253
Received: 24 Apr 2015
Accepted: 24 Apr 2015
Published online: 23 Sep 2015 *