Changes in rainfall distribution promote woody foliage production in the Sahel
Tucker, Compton J
Diouf, Abdoul Aziz
Herrmann, Stefanie M
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Agr & Biosyst Engn
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
CitationBrandt, M., Hiernaux, P., Rasmussen, K., Tucker, C. J., Wigneron, J. P., Diouf, A. A., ... & Abel, C. (2019). Changes in rainfall distribution promote woody foliage production in the Sahel. Communications biology, 2(1), 133.
RightsCopyright © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractDryland ecosystems comprise a balance between woody and herbaceous vegetation. Climate change impacts rainfall timing, which may alter the respective contributions of woody and herbaceous plants on the total vegetation production. Here, we apply 30 years of field-measured woody foliage and herbaceous mass from Senegal and document a faster increase in woody foliage mass (+17 kg ha-1 yr-1) as compared to herbaceous mass (+3 kg ha-1 yr-1). Annual rainfall trends were partitioned into core wet-season rains (+0.7 mm yr-1), supporting a weak but periodic (5-year cycles) increase in herbaceous mass, and early/late rains (+2.1 mm yr-1), explaining the strongly increased woody foliage mass. Satellite observations confirm these findings for the majority of the Sahel, with total herbaceous/woody foliage mass increases by 6%/20%. We conclude that the rainfall recovery in the Sahel does not benefit herbaceous vegetation to the same extent as woody vegetation, presumably favoured by increased early/late rains.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsAXA research grant; Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF) [DFF - 6111-00258]; CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales)
- Ground- and satellite-based evidence of the biophysical mechanisms behind the greening Sahel.
- Authors: Brandt M, Mbow C, Diouf AA, Verger A, Samimi C, Fensholt R
- Issue date: 2015 Apr
- Climatological determinants of woody cover in Africa.
- Authors: Good SP, Caylor KK
- Issue date: 2011 Mar 22
- Probabilistic model predicts dynamics of vegetation biomass in a desert ecosystem in NW China.
- Authors: Wang XP, Schaffer BE, Yang Z, Rodriguez-Iturbe I
- Issue date: 2017 Jun 20
- On regreening and degradation in Sahelian watersheds.
- Authors: Kaptué AT, Prihodko L, Hanan NP
- Issue date: 2015 Sep 29
- Mapping gains and losses in woody vegetation across global tropical drylands.
- Authors: Tian F, Brandt M, Liu YY, Rasmussen K, Fensholt R
- Issue date: 2017 Apr