Publication Abstracts

Huang et al. 2021

Huang, N., P. Mondal, B.I. Cook, and S. McDermid, 2021: Moisture and temperature influences on nonlinear vegetation trends in Serengeti National Park. Environ. Res. Lett., 16, no. 9, 094049, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac1a37.

While long-term vegetation greening trends have appeared across large land areas over the late 20th century, uncertainty remains in identifying and attributing finer-scale vegetation changes and trends, particularly across protected areas. Serengeti National Park (SNP) is a critical East African protected area where seasonal vegetation cycles support vast populations of grazing herbivores and a host of ecosystem dynamics. Previous work has shown how non-climate drivers (e.g. land use) shape the SNP ecosystem, but it is still unclear to what extent changing climate conditions influence SNP vegetation, particularly at finer spatial and temporal scales. We fill this research gap by evaluating long-term (1982-2016) changes in SNP leaf area index (LAI) in relation to both temperature and moisture availability using Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition and Principal Component Analysis with regression techniques. We find that SNP LAI trends are nonlinear, display high sub-seasonal variation, and are influenced by lagged changes in both moisture and temperature variables and their interactions. LAI during the long rains (e.g., March) exhibits a greening- to-browning trend reversal starting in the early 2000s, partly due to antecedent precipitation declines. In contrast, LAI during the short rains (e.g., November, December) displays browning-to-greening alongside increasing moisture availability. Rising temperature trends also have important, secondary interactions with moisture variables to shape these SNP vegetation trends. Our findings show complex vegetation- climate interactions occurring at important temporal and spatial scales of the SNP, and our rigorous statistical approaches detect these complex climate-vegetation trends and interactions, while guarding against spurious vegetation signals.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Huang, N. and Mondal, P. and Cook, B. I. and McDermid, S.},
  title={Moisture and temperature influences on nonlinear vegetation trends in Serengeti National Park},
  journal={Environ. Res. Lett.},

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RIS Citation

ID  - hu06200a
AU  - Huang, N.
AU  - Mondal, P.
AU  - Cook, B. I.
AU  - McDermid, S.
PY  - 2021
TI  - Moisture and temperature influences on nonlinear vegetation trends in Serengeti National Park
JA  - Environ. Res. Lett.
VL  - 16
IS  - 9
SP  - 094049
DO  - 10.1088/1748-9326/ac1a37
ER  -

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