Vol18 No.2: 416-426
【Title】Forest cover dynamics in Palas Valley Kohistan, Hindu Kush-Himalayan Mountains, Pakistan
【Author】Noorul HAQ¹*; Iffat TABASSUM¹; MEHRAN¹
【Addresses】1 Department of Geography, University of Peshawar, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan; 2 Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Peshawar, Peshawar 25120, Pakistan
【Corresponding author】Noor ul HAQ
【Citation】HaqN,Rahman F, TabassumI, et al. (2021)Forest cover dynamics in Palas Valley Kohistan, Hindu Kush-Himalayan Mountains, Pakistan. Journal of Mountain Science 18(2).https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-020-6093-4
【Abstract】Forest cover change in the mountainous region is driven by a variety of anthropogenic and natural factors. The Hindu Kush-Himalayan Mountains has experienced a considerable vegetation cover change due to intensive human activities, such as populationgrowth, proximate causes, accessibility, unstable political situations, government policy failure and poverty. The present study seeks to find out the impact of population growth and road network expansion on forest cover of Palas valley based on remotely sensed data and employing geo-spatial techniques. Changes in forest cover were determined by classifying time-series satellite images of Landsat and Sentinel 2A. The images of October 1980, 2000, 2010 and 2017 were classified into six land cover classes and then the impact of population growth and accessibility on forest cover was analyzed. Furthermore, forest cover and land-use change detection map was prepared using classified images of 1980 and 2017. The data were collected mainly from field visits (ground verification), census reports, Communication and Works Department, Kohistan. Satellite imageries were obtained from the United States Geological Survey'swebsites and classified in ERDAS imagine 2014 and ESRI ArcGIS 10.2.1 using supervised classification-maximum likelihood algorithm. Result of this study revealed that a substantial reduction in forest cover has taken place mainly in the proximity of human settlements. On the average, during the study period, annually more than 460 hectares of forest area has been converted into other uses.
【Keywords】Forest cover changes; Population growth; Road networks;Deforestation; Palas Valley;Pakistan