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Rapid land use change, biodiversity and ecosystem services in miombo woodland: Assessing the challenges for land management in south-west Tanzania

Jew, Eleanor Katherine Kezia (2016) Rapid land use change, biodiversity and ecosystem services in miombo woodland: Assessing the challenges for land management in south-west Tanzania. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The miombo woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa contain valuable wildlife populations, support the livelihoods of millions of people and contribute vital ecosystem services across local, national and international scales. Rapid conversion of woodland to agriculture is common, but knowledge gaps exist regarding what drives this land use change, how biodiversity responds, and how these responses affect the availability and accessibility of resources to communities. Such information is needed to make appropriate land use management decisions. This thesis aims to advance understanding by addressing these gaps using a case study from the Mbeya Region of south-west Tanzania, a remote region undergoing rapid land use change. An interdisciplinary, mixed methods approach was used to collect ecological and social data from the Kipembawe Division. The thesis provides new contemporary insights on the context and nature of rapid change in this area, demonstrating that cultivation of the main cash crop tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is the significant driver of land use change. The thesis examines the impact that land cover change has on the availability of goods, services and biodiversity, providing new data on the interdependencies between local communities and woodland resources. The availability of crucial services such as firewood and water is perceived to be decreasing due to agricultural expansion and increased demand. Tree and butterfly species richness, abundance and diversity also decrease with increasing woodland utilisation; although an intermediate disturbance effect was identified, indicating that moderate levels of disturbance can be tolerated. Finally, the thesis draws together empirical insights and related studies to outline five contemporary challenges for the sustainable management of the miombo woodland landscape. These include the lack of knowledge about where the ecological ‘tipping point’ lies in relation to utilisation of miombo woodland, a lack of alternative livelihoods and products, high immigration rates, the remoteness of the area, and weak governance. To develop and implement sustainable land use management strategies an integrated landscape approach is suggested. Due to the ecological and social challenges identified land use management would need to be adaptive and encourage participation at differing governance levels, for which an adaptive co-management approach is appropriate.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Related URLs:
Keywords: Miombo woodland; biodiversity indicators; governance; tobacco; deforestation
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Biological Sciences (Leeds) > School of Biology (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds) > Sustainability Research Institute (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.682282
Depositing User: Dr Eleanor Katherine Kezia Jew
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2016 08:28
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2017 10:57
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12380

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