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Visualisation of landscape alterations with the proposed linear projects and their impacts on the ecology

Ramachandra, TV and Vinay, S and Bharath, S (2022) Visualisation of landscape alterations with the proposed linear projects and their impacts on the ecology. In: Modeling Earth Systems and Environment, 8 (1). pp. 977-989.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40808-021-01135-2


Land-use transformations altering the ecosystem function have impacted the sustenance of natural resources. Implementation of unplanned developmental activities in the ecologically fragile regions has contributed to frequent landslides, conversion of perennial rivers to intermittent or seasonal rivers, reduced water retention capability, etc. Addressing these challenges entails understanding the drivers of land-use change and also their role in altering land uses. Large-scale linear projects such as roads and railways, though contribute to better infrastructure and enhance employment opportunities but severely change the landscape structure affecting peoples’ livelihood due to the reduction of ecosystem goods and services. Planned interventions are essential for adopting appropriate land-use trends and shift the trajectory of ecosystem service provision through prior visualization of land-use dynamics with likely impacts. The current study analyses the possible land-use changes in the ecologically fragile central Western Ghats with the proposed railway networks, namely (i) Mysore–Kushalnagar and (ii) Mysore–Thalassery (limited to Karnataka state), using an agent-based model (Fuzzy-AHP-CA-Markov) considering the linear project regions with a buffer of 5 km. The analyses reveal a reduction of forests by 2 and 5%, respectively, during 2010 and 2019. This trend would continue with a significant forest decline by 2026. Areas under built-up have increased over 5% during 2010–2019, which would increase by 7% (2019 and 2026) at the expense of cultivation lands. Major cities such as Mysore and Kushalnagara would witness concentrated urban growth with sprawl in the peripheries, while other towns have undergone leapfrog developments. The spatial distribution of fauna and flora indicates that most parts of the buffer region endow endemic species and serve as foraging grounds. Prediction of likely land uses in 2026 suggests that these regions would undergo large-scale alterations threatening fauna and flora. Implementing linear projects in the ecologically fragile Western Ghats would further destabilize the region, posing a threat with the increased hazard frequencies and the sustenance of natural resources.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Modeling Earth Systems and Environment
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH.
Keywords: analytical hierarchy process; biodiversity; ecosystem function; environmental impact; landscape change; seasonal variation; trend analysis; visualization, India; Western Ghats
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Center for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP)
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Sustainable Technologies (formerly ASTRA)
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 10:17
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2022 10:17
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/73835

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