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Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 2141–2153 | Cite as

Land changes and their drivers in the cloud forest and coastal zone of Dhofar, Oman, between 1988 and 2013

  • Christopher S. GallettiEmail author
  • Billie L. TurnerII
  • Soe W. Myint
Original Article

Abstract

The land-cover changes in the cloud forest and coastal plain of Dhofar, Oman, from 1988 to 2013 are reported, and their possible causes explored. Multiple endmember spectral mixture analysis, cluster analysis using local indicators of spatial association, and trend analysis of NDVI time series are used to measure environmental changes. The results demonstrate: systematic degradation and loss of vegetation types in the cloud forest; loss of native land covers to impervious surfaces on the coastal plain; decreases in woody plant vegetation in almost half of the cloud forest in distinctive hotspots of loss; and significant decreases in NDVI trends around the city of Salalah, along the coastal plain, and in parts of the cloud forest. The proximate drivers of these changes in the cloud forest appear to be changes in grazing activities, while the growth of Salalah, especially its peri-urban area, altered the coastal plain. These drivers, in turn, are linked to distal ones, foremost changes in Omani policies and investments in the Dhofar area, traced to government responses to the Dhofar War (1970–1975), which have resulted in increased livestock populations and urban growth.

Keywords

Land cover Land change science Dhofar Cloud forest National policies Remote sensing 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Support for this research was provided in part by a Fulbright grant to Oman funded by the US Department of State and sponsored by the Office of the Advisor to His Majesty The Sultan for Economic Planning Affairs. Special thanks to Dr. Said Al-Saqri for support during the Fulbright grant period. The authors would also like to thank the reviewers for their insightful comments; the paper is greatly improved as a result of their efforts.

Supplementary material

10113_2016_942_MOESM1_ESM.docx (409 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 408 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher S. Galletti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Billie L. TurnerII
    • 2
    • 3
  • Soe W. Myint
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeographyDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  2. 2.School of Geographical Sciences and Urban PlanningArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.School of SustainabilityArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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