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Article

Assessment of Vegetation Dynamics and Ecosystem Resilience in the Context of Climate Change and Drought in the Horn of Africa

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State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environment Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 11A, Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
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University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 19A, Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049, China
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Department of Land Resources and Environment, Hamelmalo Agricultural College, Keren 397, Eritrea
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School of Remote Sensing and Geomatics Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
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Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
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Earth Change Observation Laboratory, Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
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State Key Laboratory for Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
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Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
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Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, School of Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
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Key Laboratory for Water and Sediment Science, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Javier J. Cancela and Magaly Koch
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(9), 1668; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091668
Received: 10 February 2021 / Revised: 13 April 2021 / Accepted: 21 April 2021 / Published: 25 April 2021
Understanding the response of vegetation and ecosystem resilience to climate variability and drought conditions is essential for ecosystem planning and management. In this study, we assessed the vegetation changes and ecosystem resilience in the Horn of Africa (HOA) since 2000 and detected their drivers based mainly on analysis of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products. We found that the annual and seasonal trends of NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) generally increased during the last two decades over the Horn of Africa particularly in western parts of Ethiopia and Kenya. The weakest annual and seasonal NDVI trends were observed over the grassland cover and tropical arid agroecological zones. The NDVI variation negatively correlated with Land Surface Temperature (LST) and positively correlated with precipitation at a significant level (p < 0.05) account for 683,197 km2 and 533,385 km2 area, respectively. The ecosystem Water Use Efficiency (eWUE) showed overall increasing trends with larger values for the grassland biome. The precipitation had the most significant effect on eWUE variation compared to LST and annual SPEI (Standardized Evapotranspiration Index). There were about 54.9% of HOA resilient to drought disturbance, whereas 32.6% was completely not-resilient. The ecosystems in the humid agroecological zones, the cropland, and wetland were slightly not-resilient to severe drought conditions in the region. This study provides useful information for policy makers regarding ecosystem and dryland management in the context of climate change at both national and regional levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetation dynamics; ecosystem resilience; MODIS NDVI; water use efficiency; climate change; climate variability; drought; precipitation; LST; SPEI vegetation dynamics; ecosystem resilience; MODIS NDVI; water use efficiency; climate change; climate variability; drought; precipitation; LST; SPEI
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MDPI and ACS Style

Measho, S.; Chen, B.; Pellikka, P.; Guo, L.; Zhang, H.; Cai, D.; Sun, S.; Kayiranga, A.; Sun, X.; Ge, M. Assessment of Vegetation Dynamics and Ecosystem Resilience in the Context of Climate Change and Drought in the Horn of Africa. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 1668. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091668

AMA Style

Measho S, Chen B, Pellikka P, Guo L, Zhang H, Cai D, Sun S, Kayiranga A, Sun X, Ge M. Assessment of Vegetation Dynamics and Ecosystem Resilience in the Context of Climate Change and Drought in the Horn of Africa. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(9):1668. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091668

Chicago/Turabian Style

Measho, Simon, Baozhang Chen, Petri Pellikka, Lifeng Guo, Huifang Zhang, Diwen Cai, Shaobo Sun, Alphonse Kayiranga, Xiaohong Sun, and Mengyu Ge. 2021. "Assessment of Vegetation Dynamics and Ecosystem Resilience in the Context of Climate Change and Drought in the Horn of Africa" Remote Sensing 13, no. 9: 1668. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13091668

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