Measuring forest change patterns from oil and gas land use dynamics in northeastern British Columbia, 1975 to 2017

  • Joseph Oduro AppiahEmail author
  • Christopher Opio
  • Shanon Donnelly


Information about forest change patterns from oil and gas (OG) activities could improve our understanding of the land use–land cover change nexus, aid in predicting future forest changes, and prompt the need for more mitigation measures in reducing impacts from the activities. However, little is known about forest change patterns from OG infrastructure development in northeastern British Columbia (BC). In this study, we assess forest change from the impacts of OG infrastructure development using a geospatial approach. The study finds that forest cover was reduced by 0.234% between 1975 and 2017. However, we show that forest cover change (− 0.182%) from OG infrastructure development between 1995 and 2017 was faster compared to that of the two decades before 1995. The faster change, however, coincides with the period of the OG boom in BC. Between time points and locations, we measured a larger amount of forest fragmentation in the land cover for the year and location with larger quantities of human-induced land classes. The differences in the quantity of human-induced land cover types between time points and locations could account for the differences in the amount of fragmentation. Our findings suggest that forest fragmentation is likely to reduce if land managers would make relentless effort to reduce the quantity of anthropogenic-induced land cover classes and increase forest recovery programs in the forest areas.


Oil and gas development Human-induced land cover Forest cover fragmentation Spatiotemporal forest change Landscape metrics Remote sensing of forest 


Supplementary material

10661_2019_7958_MOESM1_ESM.docx (41 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 41 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecosystem Science and ManagementUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada
  2. 2.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of AkronAkronUSA

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