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Assessment of environmental responses to land use/land cover dynamics in the Lower Ogun River Basin, Southwestern Nigeria


DR Awoniran
MB Adewole
SA Adegboyega
AYB Anifowose

Abstract

This study investigates the pattern of land use/land cover change in the Lower Ogun River Basin between 1984 and 2012. Two sets of topographical maps, a Landsat-5 TM image of 1984, Landsat-7 ETM+ of 2000 and a Google Earth image of 2012 were used for the study. The topographical maps and satellite images were digitally processed using ILWIS 3.2™ software and exported to ArcGIS 9.3™ for further processing and analysis. The processed images were subsequently classified using the maximum likelihood classification algorithm, resulting in the identification of seven land use classes. Furthermore, change detection analysis was carried out using Cross Module in ILWIS™. The result of the change detection analysis indicated that between 1984 and 2000, 80.08% of the land cover in the study area has been converted to other land uses while only 19.92% remained unchanged. Also, within the same period, light forests, non-forested wetlands and forested wetlands decreased at average annual rates of 8.26, 4.66 and 2.81%, respectively, while water bodies also decreased at an annual rate of 0.17%. On the other hand, farmland, shrubs and urban/built-up areas expanded at average annual rates of 7.23, 6.74 and 4.65%, respectively. The result further indicates that between 2000 and 2012, 49.86% of the land cover has been converted to other land uses, while 50.14% remained unchanged, and that farmlands, shrubs, urban/built-up areas and forested wetlands expanded at average annual rates of 6.01, 1.95, 0.89 and 0.17%, respectively, just as light forests, non-forested wetlands and water bodies decreased annually by 8.26, 2.70 and 1.40%, respectively. Five randomly collected soil samples were analyzed for their physicochemical properties. Findings show the growing impact of urban agriculture on wetland ecosystem within the study area, manifesting in soil degradation and biodiversity loss. The implication of these findings is that the area is susceptible to devastating flooding which can culminate in the loss of lives and properties. This study recommends the development of effective land management information system and policies that will ensure sustainable management of fragile ecosystem.

Key words: Change detection, river basin, urban agriculture, land use/land cover, wetlands.