International Journal of Research in Environmental Studies
ISSN: 2059-1977
Vol. 7(2), pp. 17-24, September 2020
doi.org/10.33500/ijres.2020.07.002



Change detection analysis of mangrove ecosystems in the Mesurado Wetland, Montserrado County, Liberia

Emmanuel T. Olatunji1,3* and Joseph F. Charles2,3

1School of Environmental Studies and Climate Change, T.J.R Faulkner College of Science and Technology, University of Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia.
2Department of Interdisciplinary Research, Honors College of Research and Gender Studies, University of Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia.
3Department of Compliance and Enforcement, Environmental Protection Agency, Monrovia, Liberia.

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: etolatunji23@gmail.com.

Received 18 May, 2020; Received in revised form 28 July, 2020; Accepted 04 August, 2020.

Abstract


Keywords:
Mangrove ecosystems, Spatiotemporal variation.


Worldwide, there has been a drastic decline in mangrove ecosystems; hence, there is a need for information on the spatiotemporal characteristics of mangrove ecosystems to inform sustainability efforts. This study sought to provide information to bridge the knowledge gaps on spatiotemporal mangrove distribution in the Mesurado Wetland by analyzing three distinct years (1986, 1998 and 2020). Landsat 8 and Landsat 5 for supervised classification to classify mangrove forest cover within the region of interest (ROIs) were employed to achieve the study goal. The classification done on the three distinct years had an accuracy of 84.83, 93.27, and 92.01% and kappa coefficient of 0.80, 0.92, and 0.88, respectively. The analysis indicated a continuous decline in the mangrove forest cover overall for the thirty-four years (1986-2020) studied-a loss of 10.83% (1986 and 1998) and 24.73% (1998 and 2020); however, most of the decline was experienced from patches within other zones surrounding the Mesurado wetland. Consequently, a total mangrove forest loss amounting to 32.88% at an extrapolated decline rate of 0.96% yr-1 was recorded for the study period (1986-2020). Three of the ten zones, including Central Monrovia, Clara Town, and Old road losing 100% of the mangrove patches between 1986 and 2020, with the rest still experiencing a continuous decline. This study's findings can be used as the basis for policy development, sustainability planning, and restoration activities for the mangrove forest cover in the county.

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