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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(1), 66; doi:10.3390/rs8010066

Rainfall Intra-Seasonal Variability and Vegetation Growth in the Ferlo Basin (Senegal)

1
Laboratoire Physique de l’Atmosphère et de l’Océan, ESP (École Supérieure Polytechnique), Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Dakar-Fann BP 5085, Senegal
2
Laboratoire d’Océanographie et du Climat Expérimentation et Approches Numériques, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, 4 Place Jussieu 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France
3
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Unité Mixte CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex 91191, France
4
Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE), Dakar-Fann BP 15532, Senegal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Richard Gloaguen and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 27 September 2015 / Revised: 5 January 2016 / Accepted: 10 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
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Abstract

During the monsoon season, the spatiotemporal variability of rainfall impacts the growth of vegetation in the Sahel. This study evaluates this effect for the Ferlo basin in central northern Senegal. Relationships between rainfall, soil moisture (SM), and vegetation are assessed using remote sensing data (TRMM3B42 and RFE 2.0 for rainfall, ESA-CCI.SM for soil moisture and MODIS Leaf Area Index (LAI)). The principal objective was to analyze the response of vegetation growth to water availability during the rainy season using statistical criteria at the scale of homogeneous vegetation-soil zones. The study covers the period from June to September for the years 2000 to 2010. The surface SM is well correlated with both rainfall products. On ferruginous soils, better correlation of intra-seasonal variations and stronger sensitivity of the vegetation to rainfall are found compared to lithosols soils. LAI responds, on average, two to three weeks after a rainfall anomaly. Moreover, dry spells (negative anomalies) of seven days’ length (three days for SM anomaly) significantly affect vegetation growth (maximum LAI within the season). A strong and significant link is also found between total precipitation and the number of dry spells. These datasets proved to be sufficiently reliable to assess the impacts of rainfall variability on vegetation dynamics. View Full-Text
Keywords: sahel; rainfall; TRMM; RFE; soil moisture; MODIS LAI sahel; rainfall; TRMM; RFE; soil moisture; MODIS LAI
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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

Cissé, S.; Eymard, L.; Ottlé, C.; Ndione, J.A.; Gaye, A.T.; Pinsard, F. Rainfall Intra-Seasonal Variability and Vegetation Growth in the Ferlo Basin (Senegal). Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 66.

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