ASSESSMENT OF THE STATUS OF RIVERíS RIPARIAN ZONE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ANTHROPOGENIC ACTIVITIESP.T. Santhanakrishnan and Carolin Arul
Riparian zone refers to the region that is abutting the waterbodies, which is usually enriched with green ribbons of grasses, shrubs, trees and other vegetation. These riparian zones are sensitive regions which provide a lot of benefits to both human and the surrounding environment because of their unique location between land and water. This study was carried out with the aim of understanding how human activities have impacted the riparian zone. To assess the status of riparian zone a along selected reach of the river, the land has been classified along the left and right banks of the river ata time interval of about 14 years with the aid of ERDAS IMAGINE 14 software. The observations from the study revealed that riparian areas once covered with native species of trees and other vegetation is currently were dominated by agricultural practices on both banks. The results depict that agricultural practices and human habitation contributed to an increase of about 40% and 16% respectively and a reduction in riparian forest and other landis about 55% and 1% respectively, this shows that the ecological conditions of the river is disturbed due to excessive human interventions. Fieldwork which is carried out along the riparian zone also substantiate that these alterations were mainly due to expanding agricultural activities and urbanization that results in loss of ecology.
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