Mapping land degradation and forest resource loss from fused Landsat TM and Nigeriasat-1 images in some parts of the southwest coast of Nigeria.
This research quantifies forest resources and describes its spatial pattern, configuration and arrangement in parts of southwest cost of Nigeria. Band 1 and 7 of Landsat TM were fused with band 2 of NigeriaSat-1 to generate a hybrid image. Unsupervised image classes were vectorised and allocated into information classes. From the results, human interference is on the increase with about 25% of the land under cultivation, about 800km2 (40%) of forest is still standing and forest degradation has accounted for 7%. Landscape pattern indices suggest the area presently consists of several variable, irregular, jointed, but rich patches. The level of disturbance has not significantly affected the connectivity and feedback functions of the ecosystems. Considering the anticipated increase in demand for agricultural lands in the near future, designating the area an ecological reserve for eco-tourism is suggested as probably the only way to protect the remaining forest stands