Title: Environmental conditions and human drivers for changes to north Ethiopian mountain landscapes over 145 years
Authors: Nyssen, Jan ×
Frankl, Amaury
Haile, Mitiku
Hurni, Hans
Descheemaeker, Katrien
Crummey, Donald
Ritler, Alfons
Portner, Brigitte
Nievergelt, Bernhard
Moeyersons, Jan
Munro, Neil
Deckers, Seppe
Billi, Paolo
Poesen, Jean #
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Elsevier Pub. Co.
Series Title: Science of the Total Environment vol:485-486 pages:164-179
Abstract: As quantitative or spatially distributed studies of environmental change over truly long-term periods of more
than 100 years are extremely rare, we re-photographed 361 landscapes that appear on historical photographs (1868–1994) within a 40,000 km2 study area in northern Ethiopia. Visible evidence of environmental changes
apparent from the paired photographs was analyzed using an expert rating system. The conditions of the woody vegetation, soil and water conservation structures and land management were worse in the earlier periods compared to their present conditions. The cover by indigenous trees is a notable exception: it peaked in the 1930s, declined afterwards and then achieved a second peak in the early 21st century. Particularly in areas with greater population densities, there has been a significant increase in woody vegetation and soil and water conservation structures over the course of the study period. We conclude that except for an apparent upward movement of the upper tree limit, the direct human impacts on the environment are overriding the effects of climate change in the north Ethiopian highlands and that the northern Ethiopian highlands are currently greener than at any other time in the last 145 years
ISSN: 0048-9697
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Geography & Tourism
Division Soil and Water Management
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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