Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2018, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (5): 477-483.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.05.004

• Land Resources and Land Use • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Risk Assessment of Vegetation Degradation Using Geographic Information System: A Case Study of Qareh Aghaj Basin, Iran

Masoud MASOUDI*, Parviz JOKAR   

  1. Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shirza 7144165186, Iran
  • Received:2017-11-10 Revised:2018-05-10 Online:2018-09-30 Published:2018-09-30
  • Contact: * Masoud MASOUDI, E-mail: masoudi@shirazu.ac.ir
  • Supported by:
    The authors are thankful to the Government Offices of Iran for providing the data, maps and reports for this risk assessment work.

Abstract: The entire land of Southern Iran faces problems arising out of various types of land degradation of which vegetation degradation forms one of the major types. The Qareh Aghaj basin (1 265 000 ha), which covers the upper reaches of Mond River, has been chosen for a test risk assessment of this type. The different kinds of data for indicators of vegetation degradation were gathered from the records and published reports of the governmental offices of Iran. A new model has been developed for assessing the risk of vegetation degradation. Taking into consideration nine indicators of vegetation degradation the model identifies areas with “Potential Risk” (risky zones) and areas of “Actual Risk” as well as projects the probability of the worse degradation in future. The preparation of risk maps based on the GIS analysis of these indicators will be helpful for prioritizing the areas to initiate remedial measures. By fixing the thresholds of severity classes of the nine indicators a hazard map for each indicator was first prepared in GIS. The risk classes were defined on the basis of risk scores arrived at by assigning the appropriate attributes to the indicators and the risk map was prepared by overlaying nine hazard maps in the GIS. Areas under actual risk have been found to be widespread (78%) in the basin and when the risk map classified into subclasses of potential risk with different probability levels the model projects a statistical picture of the risk of vegetation degradation.

Key words: actual risk, GIS, indicator, potential risk, vegetation degradation