This study aimed to delineate the geographic hotspots of negative trends in biomass productivity in the Lower Mekong Basin countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand) and identify correlated regional environmental and anthropogenic factors. A long-term time-series (1982–2015) of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index at a resolution of approximately 9.16 km × 9.16 km was used to specify the areas with significant decline or increase in productivity. The relationships between vegetation changes and land attributes, such as climate, population density, soil/terrain conditions, and land-cover types, were examined. Rainfall time-series maps were used to identify areas that might have been affected by land degradation from those correlated with rainfall. Most of the detected potentially degraded areas were found in Cambodia, the Northwest and the Highland of Vietnam, the Northern Mountains of Thailand and Laos, and the mountainous border between Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. About 15% of the total land area of these four countries experienced a reduction in biomass productivity during the 34-year study period. The map of hotspots of changes in productivity can be used to direct further studies, including those at finer spatial resolution that may support policy makers and researchers in targeting the strategies for combating land degradation.
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