Human beings strongly depend on the sustainable availability of resources, such as food, water and energy. The continued supply of these resources can only be assured by sustainable land uses but these are easily threatened by inappropriate human activities. Human behavior is intermingled with hydrological, biogeochemical, atmospheric and ecological processes through land use and land cover change (LULCC). LULCC is a locally pervasive and globally significant environmental trend and has become a process of paramount importance to the study of global environmental change.
This thesis investigates LULCC and its links with soil hydrology, soil degradation and climate variability through combining results from fieldwork, laboratory work and Remote Sensing. Seasonal, inter-annual and broad timescale land transitions are analyzed for a robust identification of biophysical change. The determinants of LULCC are determined using spatially explicit statistical modelling of most systematic land transitions. This thesis explores soil hydrological impacts of LULCC for a better soil water management. The thesis further explores the climatic factors leading to the observed trends in vegetated land cover for improved understanding of the link between climate and carbon fixation and water use by vegetation.
1. Introduction 2. Study Area 3. Understanding recent land use and land cover dynamics: spatially explicit statistical modelling of systematic transitions 4. Spatio-temporal analysis of changes in landscape patterns 5. Satellite-based monitoring of wetland changes and their ecohydrological characterisation 6. Effects of land use and land cover on selected soil quality indictors 7. Monitoring of soil moisture in responses to land use and land cover changes using Remote Sensing and in-situ observations 8. Predicting soil water retention characteristics in high altitude tropical soils 9. Inter-annual and seasonal trends of vegetation conditions in the Upper Blue Nile (Abay) basin: Dual scale time series Analysis 10. Climatic controls of net primary production and water-use efficiency in the Upper Blue Nile (Abay) basin 11. General Conclusions
Ermias Teferi Demessie was born on the 13th of March 1979 in Wolieso, central Ethiopia. Although he was born in Wolieso, he grew up in Butajira, Ethiopia, since the age of two. He received his BSc degree in Soil and Water Conservation from Mekelle University, Ethiopia, in July 2002. He joined the then College of Agricultural Technical Vocational and Educational Training in September 2002 and served as a junior instructor for the courses related to 'Agricultural Water Harvesting Technologies'. In March 2004, he joined the then Ministry of Water Resources as Soil and Water Conservation specialist and worked there for four years. He obtained his MSc degree in Earth Sciences (Remote Sensing and GIS) from the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, in July 2007. The topic of his Master thesis was soil erosion modelling and land use and land cover change in the source region of the Upper Blue Nile river. After receiving his MSc degree, he served at Mekelle University for one year as a lecturer with teaching and research responsibilities. Since 2009, he has been a lecturer with teaching and research responsibilities at the Center for Environmental and Developmental Studies, Addis Ababa University. His research interests focus on soil and water management, land surface hydrology, and geospatial technology applications. Besides, he is a reviewer of the journals Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Environmental Management, Land degradation and development, and Mountain Sciences and Applied Remote Sensing.