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Open AccessArticle

A Healthy Park Needs Healthy Vegetation: The Story of Gorongosa National Park in the 21st Century

Department of Geography, University of Tennessee, 1000 Philip Fulmer Way, Room 315, Knoxville, TN 37996-0925, USA
Department of Geography, University of Florida, 3141 Turlington Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Mt. Natural Heritage Program, University of Montana, 1515 E. 6th Ave, Helena, MT 59620, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(3), 476;
Received: 6 December 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2020 / Accepted: 29 January 2020 / Published: 3 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Savannas and Woodlands)
Understanding trends or changes in biomass and biodiversity around conservation areas in Africa is important and has economic and societal impacts on the surrounding communities. Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique was established under unique conditions due to its complex history. In this study, we used a time-series of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to explore seasonal trends in biomass between 2000 and 2016. In addition, vegetation directional persistence was created. This product is derived from the seasonal NDVI time series-based analysis and represents the accumulation of directional change in NDVI relative to a fixed benchmark (2000–2004). Trends in precipitation from Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS) was explored from 2000–2016. Different vegetation covers are also considered across various landscapes, including a comparison between the Lower Gorongosa (savanna), Mount Gorongosa (rainforest), and surrounding buffer zones. Important findings include a decline in precipitation over the time of study, which most likely drives the observed decrease in NDVI. In terms of vegetation persistence, Lower Gorongosa had stronger positive trends than the buffer zone, and Mount Gorongosa had higher negative persistence overall. Directional persistence also varied by vegetation type. These are valuable findings for park managers and conservationists across the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; vegetation dynamics; vegetation persistence; conservation; savannas; Africa remote sensing; vegetation dynamics; vegetation persistence; conservation; savannas; Africa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Herrero, H.; Waylen, P.; Southworth, J.; Khatami, R.; Yang, D.; Child, B. A Healthy Park Needs Healthy Vegetation: The Story of Gorongosa National Park in the 21st Century. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 476.

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