Mapping and analysis of changes in the riparian landscape structure of the Lockyer Valley Catchment, Queensland, Australia

Apan, Armando and Raine, Steven R. and Paterson, Mark (2002) Mapping and analysis of changes in the riparian landscape structure of the Lockyer Valley Catchment, Queensland, Australia. Landscape and Urban Planning , 59 (1). pp. 43-57. ISSN 0169-2046


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[Abstract]: A case study of the Lockyer Valley catchment in Queensland, Australia, was conducted to develop appropriate mapping and assessment techniques to quantify the nature and magnitude of riparian landscape structural changes within a catchment. The study employed digital image processing techniques to produce land cover maps from the 1973 and 1997 Landsat imagery. Fixed and variable width buffering of streams were implemented using a geographic information system (GIS) to estimate the riparian zone and to subsequently calculate the landscape patterns using the Patch Analyst (Grid) program (a FRAGSTATS interface). The nature of vegetation clearing was characterised based on land tenure, slope and stream order. Using the Pearson chi-square test and Cramer’s V statistic, the relationships between the vegetation clearing and land tenure were further assessed. The results show the significant decrease in woody vegetation areas mainly due to conversion to pasture. Riparian vegetation corridors have become more fragmented, isolated and of much smaller patches. Land tenure was found to be significantly associated with the vegetation clearing, although the strength of association was weak. The large proportion of deforested riparian zones within steep slopes or first-order streams raises serious questions about the catchment health and the longer term potential for land degradation by upland clearing. This study highlights the use of satellite imagery and geographic information systems in mapping and analysis of landscape structural change, as well as the identification of key issues related to sensor spatial resolution, stream buffering widths, and the quantification of land transformation processes.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:16
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:48
Uncontrolled Keywords: riparian landscape, landscape structure, landscape change, remote sensing, GIS
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/S0169-2046(01)00246-8

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