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Mapping Glitches of Juniper Forests in Lebanon under Natural Conditions and Anthropogenic Activities

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DOI: 10.4236/ojf.2019.92008    147 Downloads   288 Views


In 1965, the first forest map of Lebanon was produced. It is the oldest spatial distribution representation of junipers. Landcover maps of 2002 and 2010 are the most detailed spatial distribution that spatially shows forests. Juniper forests are found in Lebanon as mainly as clear to low density coverage. High-density juniper forests are rarely found and only on Mount-Lebanon. Juniper forests are also mixed with oaks on the Eastern flank of Mount-Lebanon. Mapping juniper forests have demonstrated high degree of complexity, especially because of their low density and being mixed. The spatial representation of juniper forests was compared between the 1965 forest map and the landcover maps of 2002 and 2010. GIS environment was used to extract juniper forests from all maps. The degree of matching between juniper forests was investigated regarding the total area and spatial overlapping. Juniper forests were examined to their spatial locations, comparing the three maps. Spatial changes and anthropogenic effect were obtained, using Google Earth facilities. Google earth had satellite images acquired since 2014. Landcover maps of 2002 and 2010 have spatially matched forest map of 1965 by about 90% and 50% respectively. Spatial coverage of juniper forests were about 12,000, 26,000 and 28,000 ha on the 1965 forest map, landcover maps of 2003 and 2010 respectively. Anti-Lebanon juniper forests were not well represented on both landcover maps. Anthropogenic activities were mainly agriculture that affected juniper forests. Cultivations have replaced about 2% of the spatial coverage of 1965 Juniper forests. Quarries and urban existed inside juniper forests but in very limited areas. Juniper forests delineation did not completely match neither between the available maps, nor to the ground. Some juniper forests were not spatially represented on all maps or existing maps represented only portion of juniper forests. Juniper forest mapping requires more consideration and field investigation. High spatial resolution satellite images are among the solutions but delimiting juniper would require extensive fieldwork and specific remote sensing treatments. Being centuries old forests and characterized by High Mountain elevations, these important conifer forests are needed to be mapped with higher accuracy for better statistics and conservation.

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Jomaa, I. and Khater, C. (2019) Mapping Glitches of Juniper Forests in Lebanon under Natural Conditions and Anthropogenic Activities. Open Journal of Forestry, 9, 168-181. doi: 10.4236/ojf.2019.92008.

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