Special Issue "Global Vegetation and Land Surface Dynamics in a Changing Climate"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2019) | Viewed by 14282

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Pinki Mondal
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
Interests: impacts of climate variability and change on ecosystems; land-cover land-use change; remote sensing; GIS
Dr. Sonali Shukla McDermid
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Studies, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA
Interests: climate change and variability; global climate models, process-based crop models; global and regional climate–land surface interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Changes in vegetation biomass have multiple drivers, including natural ecosystem variability, climate changes, and anthropogenic activities. Historically, clearing of native ecosystems for agriculture has dominated vegetation transitions, but there is growing evidence of ecosystem change in response to altered rainfall and climate regimes, seasonality, CO2 fertilization effects, and infrastructure development related to urbanization. Many ecosystems and environments around the globe are currently also “coupled natural–human systems”, displaying responses to both biophysical and socio-economic drivers simultaneously. Future climate changes and intensifying land management will bring additional, interactive changes to natural and managed ecosystems. Managing these systems requires improved understanding of the multi-scale drivers of regional and global vegetation dynamics, the mechanisms by which they operate, and how they have and will change over time and under various scenarios of future change.

Land announces a Special Issue dedicated to studies from diverse perspectives, including observed, empirical, and process-based modeling approaches. Research papers are expected to examine vegetation trends and identify the critical scales, mechanisms, and feedbacks driving vegetation and land surface dynamics in a changing climate. The Special Issue will emphasize emerging trends, vegetation responses to ecosystem change, and outstanding uncertainties to direct future data collection efforts and model development. 

       High-quality contributions covering the topic areas listed below are solicited for the Special Issue:

  • Remotely sensed indicators (derived from multi-scale satellite data and/or UAV) for elucidating vegetation dynamics in natural or managed landscapes
  • Methods using modeling tools (using dynamic ecosystem models, Earth System Models, global climate models, etc.) to understand ecosystem dynamics and responses to climate forcings and global environmental change
  • Interactions between human and natural ecosystems in a changing climate
  • Regionally-focused assessments of ecosystem functionality, “health” (e.g., resilience), and their teleconnections and remote effects
Dr. Pinki Mondal
Dr. Sonali Shukla McDermid
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • vegetation-climate interactions
  • human-environment interactions
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • vegetation health
  • climate forcings
  • teleconnections
  • remote sensing
  • process-based models

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Editorial for Special Issue: “Global Vegetation and Land Surface Dynamics in a Changing Climate”
Land 2021, 10(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010045 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 657
Abstract
Global ecosystem changes have multiple drivers, including both natural variability and anthropogenic climate and environmental change [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Vegetation and Land Surface Dynamics in a Changing Climate)

Research

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Article
Hydrological Control of Vegetation Greenness Dynamics in Africa: A Multivariate Analysis Using Satellite Observed Soil Moisture, Terrestrial Water Storage and Precipitation
Land 2020, 9(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9010015 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1954
Abstract
Vegetation activity in many parts of Africa is constrained by dynamics in the hydrologic cycle. Using satellite products, the relative importance of soil moisture, rainfall, and terrestrial water storage (TWS) on vegetation greenness seasonality and anomaly over Africa were assessed for the period [...] Read more.
Vegetation activity in many parts of Africa is constrained by dynamics in the hydrologic cycle. Using satellite products, the relative importance of soil moisture, rainfall, and terrestrial water storage (TWS) on vegetation greenness seasonality and anomaly over Africa were assessed for the period between 2003 and 2015. The possible delayed response of vegetation to water availability was considered by including 0–6 and 12 months of the hydrological variables lagged in time prior to the vegetation greenness observations. Except in the drylands, the relationship between vegetation greenness seasonality and the hydrological measures was generally strong across Africa. Contrarily, anomalies in vegetation greenness were generally less coupled to anomalies in water availability, except in some parts of eastern and southern Africa where a moderate relationship was evident. Soil moisture was the most important variable driving vegetation greenness in more than 50% of the areas studied, followed by rainfall when seasonality was considered, and by TWS when the monthly anomalies were used. Soil moisture and TWS were generally concurrent or lagged vegetation by 1 month, whereas precipitation lagged vegetation by 1–2 months. Overall, the results underscore the pre-eminence of soil moisture as an indicator of vegetation greenness among satellite measured hydrological variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Vegetation and Land Surface Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
An Assessment of Multiple Drivers Determining Woody Species Composition and Structure: A Case Study from the Kalahari, Botswana
Land 2019, 8(8), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8080122 - 05 Aug 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1974
Abstract
Savannas are extremely important socio-economic landscapes, with pastoralist societies relying on these ecosystems to sustain their livelihoods and economy. Globally, there is an increase of woody vegetation in these ecosystems, degrading the potential of these multi-functional landscapes to sustain societies and wildlife. Several [...] Read more.
Savannas are extremely important socio-economic landscapes, with pastoralist societies relying on these ecosystems to sustain their livelihoods and economy. Globally, there is an increase of woody vegetation in these ecosystems, degrading the potential of these multi-functional landscapes to sustain societies and wildlife. Several mechanisms have been invoked to explain the processes responsible for woody vegetation composition; however, these are often investigated separately at scales not best suited to land-managers, thereby impeding the evaluation of their relative importance. We ran six transects at 15 sites along the Kalahari transect, collecting data on species identity, diversity, and abundance. We used Poisson and Tobit regression models to investigate the relationship among woody vegetation, precipitation, grazing, borehole density, and fire. We identified 44 species across 78 transects, with the highest species richness and abundance occurring at Kuke (middle of the rainfall gradient). Precipitation was the most important environmental variable across all species and various morphological groups, while increased borehole density and livestock resulted in lower bipinnate species abundance, contradicting the consensus that these managed features increase the presence of such species. Rotating cattle between boreholes subsequently reduces the impact of trampling and grazing on the soil and maintains and/or reduces woody vegetation abundance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Vegetation and Land Surface Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
Habitat Climate Change Vulnerability Index Applied to Major Vegetation Types of the Western Interior United States
Land 2019, 8(7), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8070108 - 06 Jul 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3091
Abstract
We applied a framework to assess climate change vulnerability of 52 major vegetation types in the Western United States to provide a spatially explicit input to adaptive management decisions. The framework addressed climate exposure and ecosystem resilience; the latter derived from analyses of [...] Read more.
We applied a framework to assess climate change vulnerability of 52 major vegetation types in the Western United States to provide a spatially explicit input to adaptive management decisions. The framework addressed climate exposure and ecosystem resilience; the latter derived from analyses of ecosystem sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Measures of climate change exposure used observed climate change (1981–2014) and then climate projections for the mid-21st century (2040–2069 RCP 4.5). Measures of resilience included (under ecosystem sensitivity) landscape intactness, invasive species, fire regime alteration, and forest insect and disease risk, and (under adaptive capacity), measures for topo-climate variability, diversity within functional species groups, and vulnerability of any keystone species. Outputs are generated per 100 km2 hexagonal area for each type. As of 2014, moderate climate change vulnerability was indicated for >50% of the area of 50 of 52 types. By the mid-21st century, all but 19 types face high or very high vulnerability with >50% of the area scoring in these categories. Measures for resilience explain most components of vulnerability as of 2014, with most targeted vegetation scoring low in adaptive capacity measures and variably for specific sensitivity measures. Elevated climate exposure explains increases in vulnerability between the current and mid-century time periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Vegetation and Land Surface Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
Assessing the Role of the Perceived Impact of Climate Change on National Adaptation Policy: The Case of Rice Farming in Indonesia
Land 2019, 8(5), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8050081 - 10 May 2019
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3853
Abstract
Climate change (CC) is one of the primary threats to the agricultural sector in developing countries. Several empirical studies have shown that the implementation of adaptation practices can reduce the adverse effects of CC. The likelihood of farmers performing adaptation practices is mostly [...] Read more.
Climate change (CC) is one of the primary threats to the agricultural sector in developing countries. Several empirical studies have shown that the implementation of adaptation practices can reduce the adverse effects of CC. The likelihood of farmers performing adaptation practices is mostly influenced by the degree of CC impact that they perceive. Thus, we identified the characteristics of farmers that affect the degree of the CC impact that they perceive. We used data from the Indonesian Rice Farm Household survey consisting of 87,330 farmers. An ordered probit regression model was used to estimate the effect of each variable on the degree of the perceived impact of CC. The results of this study confirm those of previous empirical studies. Several variables that have been identified as having a positive effect on farmer adaptation practices, such as farmer education, land tenure, irrigation infrastructure, cropping system, chemical fertilizer application, access to extension services, and participation in farmer groups, negatively affect the degree of the perceived impact of CC. However, a different result was found in the estimation of the gender variable. We found that female farmers have a higher CC resilience and ability to withstand climatic shocks and risks than male farmers. Female farmers have a more positive perception of future farming conditions than male farmers. We recommend the implementation of a national adaptation policy that use and expand the channel of agricultural extension services to deliver the planned adaptation policy, and prioritizes farmers with insecure land tenure. Additionally, we encourage the increasing of female involvement in the CC adaptation practices and decision-making processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Vegetation and Land Surface Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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Article
Ecosystem Productivity and Water Stress in Tropical East Africa: A Case Study of the 2010–2011 Drought
Land 2019, 8(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8030052 - 22 Mar 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2193
Abstract
Characterizing the spatiotemporal patterns of ecosystem responses to drought is important in understanding the impact of water stress on tropical ecosystems and projecting future land cover transitions in the East African tropics. Through the analysis of satellite measurements of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) [...] Read more.
Characterizing the spatiotemporal patterns of ecosystem responses to drought is important in understanding the impact of water stress on tropical ecosystems and projecting future land cover transitions in the East African tropics. Through the analysis of satellite measurements of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), soil moisture, rainfall, and reanalysis data, here we characterize the 2010–2011 drought in tropical East Africa. The 2010–2011 drought included the consecutive failure of rainy seasons in October–November–December 2010 and March–April–May 2011 and extended further east and south compared with previous regional droughts. During 2010–2011, SIF, a proxy of ecosystem productivity, showed a concomitant decline (~32% lower gross primary productivity, or GPP, based on an empirical SIF–GPP relationship, as compared to the long-term average) with water stress, expressed by lower precipitation and soil moisture. Both SIF and NDVI showed a negative response to drought, and SIF captured the response to soil moisture with a lag of 16 days, even if it had lower spatial resolution and much smaller energy compared with NDVI, suggesting that SIF can also serve as an early indicator of drought in the future. This work demonstrates the unique characteristics of the 2010–2011 East African drought and the ability of SIF and NDVI to track the levels of water stress during the drought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Global Vegetation and Land Surface Dynamics in a Changing Climate)
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