Land use/land cover change and prediction of changes in ecosystem service values in Lake Mburo National park
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Monitoring the impact of current land use/landcover management practices on future ecosystem services provisioning has been emphasized because of the effect of such practices and ecological sustainability. The land use cover pattern of the region is an outcome of natural and socio economic factors and their utilization by man in time and space and has become a central component in current strategies for managing natural resources and monitoring environmental changes, land cover change is a major concern of global environment change and its modeling and projecting in essential to the assessment of consequent environmental impacts. The availability of remotely sensed data and growing advances in their temporal, spatial, and spectral resolutions continue to provide tools for the detecting changes on the earth’s surface at different scales. Understanding the dynamics of these changes provides information for better decision making for using and managing natural resources. Furthermore, since digital archives of remotely sensed data provide the opportunity to study historical LULC changes, the geographic pattern of such changes in relation to other environmental and human factors can be evaluated. Land cover maps were derived for the study period and used to estimate the variation in ecosystem services values. Five land use/landcover classes were obtained that is; settlement and bare land, wetland, forest, waterbodies and temperate forest. The results showed that the conversion from one land use to another doesn’t follow a similar pattern, due to natural or anthropogenic factors like policy change, population growth and decrease in productivity of the land. The overall accuracy of the land use/landcover maps were assessed using refence data and it was above 80% for all the classified images. The ESV decreased from approximately $27,929 × 10^6 U.S in 2004 to $26.174×10^6U.S in 2018. This decline in ESV is attributed to the corresponding decrease in the total area of wetland, water bodies and forests.