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Assessment of inherent vulnerability of forests at landscape level: a case study from Western Ghats in India

Sharma, Jagmohan and Upgupta, Sujata and Kumar, Rajesh and Chaturvedi, Rajiv Kumar and Bala, G and Ravindranath, N H (2017) Assessment of inherent vulnerability of forests at landscape level: a case study from Western Ghats in India. In: MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION STRATEGIES FOR GLOBAL CHANGE, 22 (1). pp. 29-44.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11027-015-9659-7

Abstract

Assessment of vulnerability is an important step in building long-term resilience in the forestry sector. The objective of this paper is to present a methodological approach to assess inherent vulnerability of forests at landscape level. The approach involves use of vulnerability indicators, the pairwise comparison method, and geographic information system (GIS) tools. We apply this approach to assess the inherent vulnerability of forests of the Western Ghats Karnataka (WGK) landscape, which is a part of the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India. Four vulnerability indicators, namely biological richness, disturbance index, canopy cover, and slope, are selected. We find that forests in 30, 36, 19, and 15 % grid points in this region show low, medium, high, and very high inherent vulnerability, respectively. The forest showing high and very high inherent vulnerability are mostly dry deciduous forests and plantations located largely on the eastern side of the landscape. We also find that canopy cover is one of the key indicators that determine the inherent vulnerability of forests, and natural forests are inherently less vulnerable than man-made plantations. Spatial assessment of inherent vulnerability of forests at landscape level is particularly useful for developing strategies to build resilience to current stressors and climate change in future.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the SPRINGER, VAN GODEWIJCKSTRAAT 30, 3311 GZ DORDRECHT, NETHERLANDS
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Sustainable Technologies (formerly ASTRA)
Depositing User: Id for Latest eprints
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2017 06:11
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2018 09:50
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/56359

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