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Land 2013, 2(4), 637-655; doi:10.3390/land2040637
Article

Integrating Dendrochronology, Climate and Satellite Remote Sensing to Better Understand Savanna Landscape Dynamics in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

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Received: 19 September 2013; in revised form: 16 October 2013 / Accepted: 6 November 2013 / Published: 20 November 2013
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Abstract: This research examines the integration and potential uses of linkages between climate dynamics, savanna vegetation and landscape level processes within a highly vulnerable region, both in terms of climate variability and social systems. We explore the combined applications of two time-series methodologies: (1) climate signals detected in tree ring growth, from published literature, chronologies from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank, and minimal preliminary field data; and (2) new primary production (NPP) data of vegetation cover over time derived from remotely sensed analyses. Both time-series are related to the regional patterns of precipitation, the principle driver of plant growth in the area. The approach is temporally and spatially multiscalar and examines the relationships between vegetation cover, type and amount, and precipitation shifts. We review literature linking dendrochronology, climate, and remotely sensed imagery, and, in addition, provide unique preliminary analyses from a dry study site located on the outer limit of the Okavango Delta. The work demonstrates integration across the different data sources, to provide a more holistic view of landscape level processes occurring in the last 30-50 years. These results corroborate the water-limited nature of the region and the dominance of precipitation in controlling vegetation growth. We present this integrative analysis of vegetation and climate change, as a prospective approach to facilitate the development of long-term climate/vegetation change records across multiple scales.
Keywords: dendrochronology; time-series analysis; NPP; precipitation; savanna dendrochronology; time-series analysis; NPP; precipitation; savanna
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.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Southworth, J.; Rigg, L.; Gibbes, C.; Waylen, P.; Zhu, L.; McCarragher, S.; Cassidy, L. Integrating Dendrochronology, Climate and Satellite Remote Sensing to Better Understand Savanna Landscape Dynamics in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Land 2013, 2, 637-655.

AMA Style

Southworth J, Rigg L, Gibbes C, Waylen P, Zhu L, McCarragher S, Cassidy L. Integrating Dendrochronology, Climate and Satellite Remote Sensing to Better Understand Savanna Landscape Dynamics in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Land. 2013; 2(4):637-655.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Southworth, Jane; Rigg, Lesley; Gibbes, Cerian; Waylen, Peter; Zhu, Likai; McCarragher, Shannon; Cassidy, Lin. 2013. "Integrating Dendrochronology, Climate and Satellite Remote Sensing to Better Understand Savanna Landscape Dynamics in the Okavango Delta, Botswana." Land 2, no. 4: 637-655.

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