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The integrated transect method as a tool for land use characterisation, with special reference to inland valley agro-ecosystems in West Africa.

  • van Duivenbooden, N.
  • Windmeijer, P.N.
  • Andriesse, W.
  • Fresco, L.O.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1996
Wageningen University and Researchcenter Publications
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This article contributes to the development of a general applicable method to characterise landscapes by presenting a technique to obtain data on actual land use by means of transect surveys and farmer interviews. This technique is developed as an alternative to existing ones which generate data on land use mainly as a by-product. As part of a multiscale agro-ecological characterisation methodology, the Integrated Transect Method (ITM) generates data at the semi-detailed level, and bridges gaps between disciplines, scales, and agro-ecological zones. The method is illustrated using bio-physical results from inland valley agro-ecosystems in two agro-ecological zones in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa. So-called ‘agro-ecosystem diagrams’ offered scope for easy presentation of collected information. Additionally, various quantified land and land use characteristics were used to scale up data from the level of the transect, via inland valleys and valley systems to the level of the agro-ecological subunit. Application of ITM showed that this technique can be used effectively as a tool to analyse bio-physical differences in land use within landscapes and compare differences between them under different agro-ecological conditions. The required integration of bio-physical and socio-economic parameters, however, is the subject of further study

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