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Revealing past and future land-cover transitions from 1985 to 2036 in the drylands of Central Iran
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  • Bibizahra Mazloum,
  • Saied Pourmanafi,
  • Alireza Soffianian,
  • Abdolrassoul Mahini,
  • Alexander Prishchepov
Bibizahra Mazloum
Isfahan University of Technology
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Saied Pourmanafi
Isfahan University of Technology
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Alireza Soffianian
Isfahan University of Technology
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Abdolrassoul Mahini
Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
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Alexander Prishchepov
University of Copenhagen
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Abstract

Land serves as a vital production resource, and therefore, land planning plays an important role in sustainable land-use design. Increasing the global population alters landscapes via land-use and land-cover change across different landscapes, including the drylands. Iran includes large areas of dryland, where the population increased by 60% from 1985 to 2016. Further population increase in Iran would require more land resources to be allocated for human needs. However, the pace and patterns of these changes remain unclear. The aim of this study was to map land-cover change from 1985 to 2016 and predict future land-cover change in the Zayandehrood ecologic sub-basins of Central Iran. By using multiseasonal Landsat imagery, nine thematic classes were mapped with a random forest classifier for 1985, 1998, and 2016 with an overall accuracy of 80% for each period. Classification results revealed that from 1985 to 2016 residential areas doubled and industrial areas increased at the expense of rangelands. Our study also revealed cropland expansion at the expense of rangelands, cropland abandonment and contraction of croplands due to residential and industrial development. Prediction of changes by 2036 with a multi-layer perceptron neural network and Markov chain analysis revealed further expansion of industries and residencies particularly nearby the protected areas such as Ghamashlu Wildlife Refuge. Predicted contraction of some degraded agricultural lands and concomitant agricultural expansion in the agricultural frontier by 2036, underscore the importance of sustainable land management in highly arid areas of Iran and improvement of the strategies for the protection of rangelands.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

28 Apr 2020Submitted to Land Degradation & Development
29 Apr 2020Submission Checks Completed
29 Apr 2020Assigned to Editor
03 May 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
27 Jul 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
30 Jul 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
24 Aug 20201st Revision Received
25 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed
25 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
26 Sep 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
26 Sep 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Major
25 Oct 20202nd Revision Received
26 Oct 2020Submission Checks Completed
26 Oct 2020Assigned to Editor
22 Nov 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
22 Nov 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
09 Dec 20203rd Revision Received
10 Dec 2020Submission Checks Completed
10 Dec 2020Assigned to Editor
13 Dec 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
13 Dec 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
13 Dec 20204th Revision Received
14 Dec 2020Submission Checks Completed
14 Dec 2020Assigned to Editor
14 Dec 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
14 Dec 2020Editorial Decision: Accept