Examination of the relationship between vegetation cover indices and land degradation in the peri- urban area of Kaduna metropolis, Nigeria
This study examined the relationship between some vegetation cover indices and land degradation in the periurban area of Kaduna metropolis, Nigeria with the aim of reducing, if not stopping, the activities that produce vegetation indices that contribute to land degradation. Methods adopted for data collection are field observation and measurement of variables along twelve transects, using the following indices; size of surface cover, tree crown fullness, area covered by litters, tree density and leaf cover index. The physical measurements were carried out on each transect of 50m by 500m.The data collected was collated and presented in a tabular format which was later subjected to correlation analysis using SPSS software. The results revealed an inverse relationships between the size of land degraded and tree density (-0.521), leaf cover index (-0.387), area covered by litters (-0.332), surface cover index (-0.244) and tree crown fullness (-0.163), but a very strong positive correlation between tree density and leaf cover index (0.886), tree crown fullness (0.718) and area covered by litters (0.557) respectively. From this analysis the major vegetal index contributing to land degradation is the tree density which, when it is improved upon, will lead to the improvement of other indices because of the positive correlation between them and tree density. Therefore it is recommended that agroforestry and land scaping should be embraced in the area with emphasis on short economic trees with moderate crown cover that will allow crops or grasses to grow under it as well as avoid the negative impact of rain water drops from very tall tree that can cause soil erosion.
KEYWORDS: Agroforestry, leaf, land degradation, litters, tree density and vegetation.