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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(7), 9122-9148; doi:10.3390/rs70709122

Fodder Biomass Monitoring in Sahelian Rangelands Using Phenological Metrics from FAPAR Time Series

Centre de Suivi Ecologique, Rue Aimé Césaire x Leon Gontran Damas, BP 15532 Fann-Dakar, Senegal
Water, Environment and Development Unit, University of Liege, Avenue de Longwy B6700, Arlon, Belgium
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark
CREAF, Cerdanyola del Vallès 08193, Catalonia, Spain
Centre Regional AGRHYMET, BP 11011 Niamey, Niger
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alfredo R. Huete and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 6 May 2015 / Revised: 4 July 2015 / Accepted: 10 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1565 KB, uploaded 22 July 2015]   |  


Timely monitoring of plant biomass is critical for the management of forage resources in Sahelian rangelands. The estimation of annual biomass production in the Sahel is based on a simple relationship between satellite annual Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and in situ biomass data. This study proposes a new methodology using multi-linear models between phenological metrics from the SPOT-VEGETATION time series of Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) and in situ biomass. A model with three variables—large seasonal integral (LINTG), length of growing season, and end of season decreasing rate—performed best (MAE = 605 kg·DM/ha; R2 = 0.68) across Sahelian ecosystems in Senegal (data for the period 1999–2013). A model with annual maximum (PEAK) and start date of season showed similar performances (MAE = 625 kg·DM/ha; R2 = 0.64), allowing a timely estimation of forage availability. The subdivision of the study area in ecoregions increased overall accuracy (MAE = 489.21 kg·DM/ha; R2 = 0.77), indicating that a relation between metrics and ecosystem properties exists. LINTG was the main explanatory variable for woody rangelands with high leaf biomass, whereas for areas dominated by herbaceous vegetation, it was the PEAK metric. The proposed approach outperformed the established biomass NDVI-based product (MAE = 818 kg·DM/ha and R2 = 0.51) and should improve the operational monitoring of forage resources in Sahelian rangelands. View Full-Text
Keywords: fodder biomass; FAPAR; phenological metrics; ecoregion; food security; models; Sahel fodder biomass; FAPAR; phenological metrics; ecoregion; food security; models; Sahel

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Diouf, A.A.; Brandt, M.; Verger, A.; Jarroudi, M.E.; Djaby, B.; Fensholt, R.; Ndione, J.A.; Tychon, B. Fodder Biomass Monitoring in Sahelian Rangelands Using Phenological Metrics from FAPAR Time Series. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 9122-9148.

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