Spatial and Temporal Changes of Sundarbans Reserve Forest in Bangladesh
Sundarbans, the largest mangrove chunk of the world is shared between Bangladesh (62%) and India (38%). The objective of this paper was to examine the spatial and temporal changes in land cover (forest cover area) of Sundarbans from 1973 to 2010 using remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) tool. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was applied to calculate the density of vegetation of Sundarbans reserved forest (SRF). This study found that there were no major changes in total areas of SRF in the last 37 years (from 1973 to 2010) albeit changes were detected within the four land cover categories-water body, mudflat, barren land and vegetated land. During 1973 to 2010, water bodies, mudflats and barren lands increased by 0.45%, 19.69% and 14.81%, respectively, while vegetated land decreased by 4.01% during the same period. This indicated that the density of evergreen vegetation and its canopy closure decreased in Sundarbans. It was thus recommended that GIS and remote sensing based real time monitoring system be developed to identify spatial and temporal changes of land cover classes of SRF.
Bangladesh; Geographic Information System (GIS); Land cover change; Remote sensing; Sundarbans reserved forest; Sundarbans mangrove forest
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