The response of fragmented vegetation to human impact has been analysed in degraded and degrading areas in Tanzania (Lake Manyara). Phytosociology was integrated with GIS and remote sensing data as follows: (1) a land cover/land use map was obtained by analysing remote sensing data and conducting field verification; (2) phytosociological relevés were randomly sampled in woodland vegetation patches using the map; (3) the pattern of land cover/land use around the relevés was described; (4) gradients of land use intensity (human impact) were obtained based on the descriptions; (5) the response of vegetation types to impacts of gradients was calculated using fuzzy set theory.
Two complementary gradients of human impact were defined based on land cover/land use analysis of the remotely sensed data: one related to cultivation intensity and the other to grazing intensity. Response functions of vegetation types (defined by numerical classification) to these gradients demonstrated that the vegetation types are strongly related to the degree of human impact and that the corresponding vegetation patches show different degrees of permeability to the species of the surrounding landscape.
Nomenclature: Anon. 1954–.