The Junipers phoenicea, which covers 70 % of the Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain) in Cyrene on the northeast coast of Libya, has deteriorated over large scales. To deal with this problem, the images of the Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) in conjunction with the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM) were used to map factors controlling the J. phoenicea mortality using a set of automated algorithms and tools. These factors include altitude, slope, aspect, curvature, drainage pattern, seawater intrusion, and land cover. As a first step, changes of J. phoenicea and land cover during the period from the year 2000 to 2015 were mapped. The results showed a sharp decline in J. phoenicea covering an area of 396 km2 (22 %) of the total area. The result also showed that areas at a lower elevation with steep slope and faced to the south and southeast directions have a higher probability of J. phoenicea distribution. The spatial analysis showed a positive correlation between wetness and the intensity of J. phoenicea mortality. The results also show that altitude and slope have the most influencing power on the J. phoenicea morality. This study is of great help for decision makers and agriculture engineers and permits a better understanding of ecological and biomass changes in the Jabal Al Akhdar, Libya, over a regional scale.
- Jabal Al Akhdar
- Juniperus phoenicea
- Landsat 8
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Environmental Science
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences