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LONG TERM LAND USE AND LAND COVER CHANGE AND ITS IMPACT ON COOL TEMPERATE RAINFOREST IN THE STRZELECKI RANGES, AUSTRALIA

By Z. Zhang A, J. Peterson A, X. Zhu A and W. Wright B

Abstract

The Australian landscape, as in many countries, has undergone a significant change. The extent of native forests in Australia has steadily decreased over time since European settlement. The establishment of towns and cities, mining and a range of other factors have all reduced forest cover, however it is land clearing for agriculture that has been the most significant process by far. Along with the southern uplands of the Otways, the Central Highlands, and East Gippsland, the Strzelecki Ranges are recognised as one of the four major Victorian areas of cool temperate rainforest. Cool temperate rainforests, although now very restricted in their distribution, are of major historical and ecological significance. They are the remanets of the oldest extant vegetation formation in Australia and are categorised as an endangered Ecological Vegetation Class within Victoria. Areas bordering cool temperate rainforest in the Eastern Strzeleckis are a mosaic of different land use histories formatted by both natural and human disturbances. Different land use patterns have different influences on imbedded remnant patches of cool temperate rainforest mainly through edge effects. This study aims to model the long term land use and land cover changes (from 1939 to 2004) and their impacts on cool temperate rainforest in the Strzelecki Ranges by integrating remote sensing and geographical information system (GIS). The reconstructed history of land use and land cover is mainly based on historical aerial photography with the support of Vicmap Elevation, Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs) map. The general trend of land use and land cover change, including rainforest in study areas was analysed. 1

Topics: ABSTRACT
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.183.8643
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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