Vegetation Persistence and Change in Ethiopia as a Function of Climate

Authors: Carly Muir*, Geography Dept., Jane Southworth, University of Florida, Reza Khamati, University of Florida, Alemayehu Ayana, Ethiopia Environment and Forestry Research Institute
Topics: Africa, Remote Sensing, Environment
Keywords: Ethiopia, Climate, Vegetation change
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Gallier A, Sheraton, 4th Floor

Ethiopia has registered the greatest number and area of large scale land transactions. Land transactions represent change in the landscape with inherently complex and coupled agricultural and natural ecosystem, and therefore merit consideration of impacts they have on vegetation. This is particularly true in developing countries where livelihood is largely dependent on the landscape. Vegetation characteristics are analyzed using the vegetation persistence metric, which was developed with AVHRR and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 4-8 km Normalized Difference Vegetation Index data. The temporal scale is divided into seasons 1) December, January, February 2) March, April, May 3) June, July August 4) September, October, November. Annual values are totaled from 1982-1986 and labelled as the baseline, and then from 1987-2010 we determine the persistence or change in vegetation, and detect the change over time in the greenness of vegetation and its statistical significance at a pixel level. Preliminary results exhibit a declining trend in vegetation persistence over time in southeastern Ethiopia, particularly in the summer months. In the northwest near the Gambella region, where many of the land transactions have occurred, a positive trend indicates higher vegetation persistence throughout the year.

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