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A systematic review of vegetation phenology in Africa

A systematic review of vegetation phenology in Africa
A systematic review of vegetation phenology in Africa
The study of vegetation phenology is important because it is a sensitive indicator of climate changes and it regulates carbon, energy and water fluxes between the land and atmosphere. Africa, which has 17% of the global forest cover, contributes significantly to the global carbon budget and has been identified as potentially highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. In spite of this, very little is known about vegetation phenology across Africa and the factors regulating vegetation growth and dynamics. Hence, this review aimed to provide a synthesis of studies of related Africa’s vegetation phenology and classify them based on the methods and techniques used in order to identify major research gaps. Significant increases in the number of phenological studies in the last decade were observed, with over 70% of studies adopting a satellite-based remote sensing approach to monitor vegetation phenology. Whereas ground based studies that provides detailed characterisation of vegetation phenological development, occurred rarely in the continent. Similarly, less than 14% of satellite-based remote sensing studies evaluated vegetation phenology at the continental scale using coarse spatial resolution datasets. Even more evident was the lack of research focusing on the impacts of climate change on vegetation phenology. Consequently, given the importance and the uniqueness of both methods of phenological assessment, there is need for more ground-based studies to enable greater understanding of phenology at the species level. Likewise, finer spatial resolution satellite sensor data for regional phenological assessment is required, with a greater focus on the relationship between climate change and vegetation phenological changes. This would contribute greatly to debates over climate change impacts and, most importantly, climate change mitigation strategies.
1574-9541
117-128
Adole, Tracy
04bef52d-cf35-4494-b229-dbe41c6f8e4d
Dash, Jadu
51468afb-3d56-4d3a-aace-736b63e9fac8
Atkinson, Peter
96e96579-56fe-424d-a21c-17b6eed13b0b
Adole, Tracy
04bef52d-cf35-4494-b229-dbe41c6f8e4d
Dash, Jadu
51468afb-3d56-4d3a-aace-736b63e9fac8
Atkinson, Peter
96e96579-56fe-424d-a21c-17b6eed13b0b

Adole, Tracy, Dash, Jadu and Atkinson, Peter (2016) A systematic review of vegetation phenology in Africa. Ecological Informatics, 34, 117-128. (doi:10.1016/j.ecoinf.2016.05.004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The study of vegetation phenology is important because it is a sensitive indicator of climate changes and it regulates carbon, energy and water fluxes between the land and atmosphere. Africa, which has 17% of the global forest cover, contributes significantly to the global carbon budget and has been identified as potentially highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. In spite of this, very little is known about vegetation phenology across Africa and the factors regulating vegetation growth and dynamics. Hence, this review aimed to provide a synthesis of studies of related Africa’s vegetation phenology and classify them based on the methods and techniques used in order to identify major research gaps. Significant increases in the number of phenological studies in the last decade were observed, with over 70% of studies adopting a satellite-based remote sensing approach to monitor vegetation phenology. Whereas ground based studies that provides detailed characterisation of vegetation phenological development, occurred rarely in the continent. Similarly, less than 14% of satellite-based remote sensing studies evaluated vegetation phenology at the continental scale using coarse spatial resolution datasets. Even more evident was the lack of research focusing on the impacts of climate change on vegetation phenology. Consequently, given the importance and the uniqueness of both methods of phenological assessment, there is need for more ground-based studies to enable greater understanding of phenology at the species level. Likewise, finer spatial resolution satellite sensor data for regional phenological assessment is required, with a greater focus on the relationship between climate change and vegetation phenological changes. This would contribute greatly to debates over climate change impacts and, most importantly, climate change mitigation strategies.

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Submitted date: 2 March 2016
Accepted/In Press date: 25 May 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 May 2016
Published date: July 2016
Organisations: Geography & Environment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 396671
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/396671
ISSN: 1574-9541
PURE UUID: 47ebdb47-47d3-4b67-90f8-4e1ee80a0184
ORCID for Jadu Dash: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5444-2109
ORCID for Peter Atkinson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5489-6880

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Jun 2016 14:30
Last modified: 18 May 2019 00:38

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Contributors

Author: Tracy Adole
Author: Jadu Dash ORCID iD
Author: Peter Atkinson ORCID iD

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