Prediction of Prosopis species invasion in Kenya using geographical information system techniques

G.M. Muturi, G.M.J. Mohren, J.N. Kimani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Tree species from Prosopis genus were widely planted for rehabilitation of degraded drylands of Kenya. However, they have invaded riverine ecosystems where they cause negative socio-economic and ecological impacts. GIS was used to estimate the reverine area threatened by Prosopis invasion in Kenya. Landsat satellite images, field surveys and past studies were also used to assess the resulting potential ecological impacts in the Turkwel ecosystem in Kenya. The study revealed that 3.0 to 27.7¿million hectares are threatened by invasion, based on documented riverine forests width of 0.5-3¿km. Image analysis showed that 34% of the sites under positive change were invaded, with most invasions occurring in natural forests and abandoned farms. Prosopis had overall occurrence of 39% in all the sampled sites in 2007, in contrast to 0% in 1990 that was reported in an earlier study. In these areas, Acacia tortilis occurrence dropped from 81% in 1990 to 43% in 2007, suggesting that Prosopis could be displacing it. Utilization of Prosopis for fodder, fuel wood and pods for animal feeds is recommended as a management tool to reverse the trend. The methods used in this study are also recommended for invasion prediction and management in other similar ecosystems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-636
JournalAfrican Journal of Ecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • turkwel riverine forest
  • juliflora
  • impacts
  • tree

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