The effects of land use and land cover change on freshwater snail distribution in Katana region, Democratic Republic of Congo
By: M. Bagalwa, N. Zirirane, C. Batumike, B. Baluku, M. Majaliwa, N. Mushagalusa, K. Karume
Key Words: Land use and land cover change, Freshwater snail, Katana region, Congo
J. Bio. Env. Sci. 9(6), 1-12, December 2016.
Land use and land cover change is a factor that significantly affects the loss of biodiversity and distribution of species. Remote sensing through satellite imagery and land use and land cover classifications systems can identify certain locations where freshwater snails have colonized in ecosystems that have changed over time. The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of land use and land cover change on freshwater snail distribution and diversity in Katana region, Democratic Republic of Congo. Land sat images of 1987, 2001 and 2010 (30 m spatial resolution) were used to determine the magnitude and trends of land use and land cover changes in the region. Samplings of individual snails were identified at genus and species levels through the use of the extensive malacological literature. The continuous environmental variables considered in the correlation analyses were land use and land cover classes, different years, species richness, and snail distribution. The results obtained in this study shown clearly that land use and land cover changes affect the distribution of snails in the Katana region. The changes observed in land use and land cover are altering the distribution of snail in the region. There is an increase in taxa richness during different years in the micro-catchment. There is a positive correlation between snail richness and built-up area class and a negative correlation between snail richness and forest, wetland. This study shows a wide distribution of snails in the region shifting at high altitude.