The Extent of Spatial Temporal Variations in Land Use and its Implications on Forest Ecosystems: A Case of Nandi Hills Forests Kenya

Julius Gordon Tanui


Land cover change is probably the most exceptional form of global change in environment since it occurs at temporal and spatial scales directly applicable to our daily survival. The changes in land use, particularly when joined with climate change and variability, could impact on ecosystems and natural resources in complex ways. Over an extended period, almost 1.1 million km2 of woodland and forest and 5.4 million km2 of pasture and grassland have been transformed to other utilities in the recent centuries. According to Foley et al., (2005), during this period, cropland has expanded by 10 million km2. Changing land use patterns or transformations, motivated by a multiplicity of socio-economic causes, often lead to land cover changes that affects biodiversity, global temperatures, greenhouse gases accumulation and emissions, water budgets and other bio-geophysiochemical processes (Meyer & Turner, 1994). This paper sought to determine the extent to which Spatial Temporal Variations have impacted on the Forest Ecosystem in Kenya. The study employed both qualitative and quantitative methods and GIS and remote sensing was used for data collection. Results from the GIS data indicated a decrease in forest cover of 9.219 km2 (17.95%). This is an implication of changing land use practices from forests to human settlements and agriculture as emergent land uses/land practices.

Keywords: Extent, Spatial Temporal Variations, Land Use, Implications, Forest Ecosystems, Nandi Hills Forests.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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