Land Suitability Assessment for Afforestation with Elaeagnus Angustifolia L. in Degraded Agricultural Areas of the Lower Amudarya River Basin

Olena Dubovyk, Gunter Menz, Asia Khamzina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Degradation of irrigated croplands in arid regions is of great environmental concern worldwide. Based on a series of field trials, afforestation with well-adapted tree species was evaluated as a viable option for the cropland rehabilitation in the lower reaches of the Amudarya River basin in Uzbekistan. Our aim was to extend available site-specific information for the entire regional landscape and provide spatially explicit guidance in support of afforestation land rehabilitation efforts. To this end, a geographic information system—based multicriteria decision-making approach has been developed for assessing the suitability of degraded irrigated cropland for introducing plantations of Elaeagnus angustifolia L. This approach utilized expert knowledge, fuzzy logic, and a weighted linear combination to produce an afforestation land suitability map. Overall, 75 287 ha of degraded croplands (18% of the irrigated cropland area) was identified as suitable for introduction of E. angustifolia. We also conclude that irrigation water supply and groundwater table depth are the critical factors determining the suitability of degraded irrigated land. These findings improve an understanding of the spatial variability of areas suitable for the initiation of agroforests and support better informed decisions on cropland rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1831-1839
Number of pages9
JournalLand Degradation and Development
Volume27
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • agroforestry
  • Central Asia
  • fuzzy logic
  • GIS
  • land degradation
  • land evaluation
  • multicriteria evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Development
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Soil Science

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