Gregory M. Dowo

Last update: 2 December 2013

Title: Resource utilisation in the Great Limpopo TFCA and its effect on the provision of ecosystem services

Summary

Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems i.e. from their multitude of resources and processes. The periphery of the Gonarezhou National Park (GNP) is home to various communities, some who settled there as far back as the pre-Independence era. They engage in various forms of agricultural activities as well as depend on natural ecosystems for goods and other services. This human dependence on natural ecosystems as well as agricultural activity impacts on ecosystem service provision and there is a need to understand such interactions. The overall aim of this research project is to assess how resource utilisation and agricultural activities in different areas surrounding the GNP affect provision of ecosystem services. The ecosystem services to be focused on are: energy capture (primary production), disease (pest) regulation and maintenance of soil fertility (nutrient cycling). Hence, using a multi-disciplinary approach involving remote sensing and GIS, plant ecology, social ecology and ecosystem services modelling, the study aims to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the land use patterns, vegetation cover types, and ecosystem boundaries in the study areas?
  2. What plant biodiversity is present in the study areas and how does it compare?
  3. What are the interactions between biodiversity and ecosystem service provision?
  4. What are the economic activities carried out in the study areas?
  5. Which institutions govern natural resource utilisation and how do they differ in the various study areas?
  6. How does ecosystem service provision compare in the different areas?
  7. Which socio-economic and biophysical factors affect ecosystem service provision?
  8. What are the likely impacts of postulated future decisions on ecosystem service provision?

The expected output of the study will be to provide a detailed inventory of plant biodiversity in the given areas and to link that biodiversity with ecosystem service provision, provide a detailed analysis of human socio-economic activities and institutions in the various areas and how they affect ecosystem service provision and an examination of future land use change scenarios through ecosystem services modelling.

Last update: 2 December 2013

Cookies de suivi acceptés