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Vol 13No 12019
The study aimed to analyze the process of Landuse/Landcover change of two rural communes (SaéSaboua and Chadakori) of Maradi region (Republic of Niger) over the past 28 years (1986 – 2014),through landscape structure analysis by diachronic cartographic approach and landscape indices. Mixedclassification of temporal series of Landsat images led identifying six Landuse/Landcover (LULC)classes, namely ”cultivated land under shrubs and trees”, ”cultivated land under trees”, “continuouscropland”, ”fallow/pasture land”, ”forest reserve”, and ”settlement”. The composition and structure ofthe studied landscapes have greatly changed from 1986 to 2014. The class ”cultivated land under trees”was the landscape matrix in 1986 with 38.65% of landscape total area but in 2001 and 2014 the class”continuous cropland” became the landscape matrix. The changes also affected the ”forest reserve”which was transformed to smallholder agricultural land from 1986 to 2014. The area occupied byclasses ”cultivated land under trees” changed from 38.65% in 1986 to 8.78% in 2014; and from 1986to 2014, the area occupied by ”fallow/pasture land” has decreased of about 16%. The decrease in theseclasses was in favor of ¨continuous crop land¨, ¨settlement¨ and “cultivated land under shrubs and trees”which respectively gained 38%, 0.3% and 8.15% of their areas in 1986. The results of this study reflectthe problem of access to land and even land saturation in semi-arid region, a consequence of strongpopulation growth. They also contribute to a better rethinking of agricultural practices in order to initiateadaptation and resilience strategies for the population facing food insecurity and poverty.
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