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Using high spatial resolution satellite imagery to evaluate the impact of mesquite invasion on desert rangeland at southeastern Egypt

Research Paper | September 1, 2018

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Ahmed H. Mohamed

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.13( 3), 167-175, September 2018


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Shalateen–Abou-Ramad-Halaib triangle is located in the south eastern corner of Egypt. It occupies approximately 18000km2 and has a vital and strategic importance to Egypt. Recently, Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) invasion was reported as a new constrain that negatively impact Halaib rangeland management. The recent development of high spatial resolution satellite imagery in the last decade has opened new opportunities for remote sensing applications in rangeland management. The objectives of this research were to use WorldView-1 satellite imagery to map mesquite distribution and identify areas where mesquite is clearly the dominate species within the study area in the Halaib desert rangelands, and to evaluate the relationship between mesquite canopy cover and perennial grass cover and forb forage production at the Egyptian Southeastern desert rangelands. A WorldView-1 high resolution satellite image with ground resolution of 50cm at the panchromatic band for the study area in October, 2012 was acquired. Image segmentation and object-based classification in the software Cognition were conducted and used to map mesquite shrubs cover. Results indicate that increasing mesquite canopy cover was corresponding with decreasing understory vegetation cover. Under low mesquite cover, Panicum turgidum, the most important forage plant in Halaib region from stand point of high nutritive value and palatability, had the highest coverage (5.51%). However, areas with high mesquite cover were associated with lower Panicum turgidum coverage (2.48). Results showed that object-based image analysis of high resolution satellite image can provide useful way for detecting and mapping shrub encroachments on arid desert rangelands.


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