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Modeling Soil and Woody Vegetation in the Senegalese Sahel in the Context of Environmental Change

Title data

Brandt, Martin ; Grau, Tobias ; Mbow, Cheikh ; Samimi, Cyrus:
Modeling Soil and Woody Vegetation in the Senegalese Sahel in the Context of Environmental Change.
In: Land. Vol. 3 (2014) Issue 3 . - pp. 770-792.
ISSN 2073-445X
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/land3030770

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project financing: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung

Abstract in another language

Climatic stress and anthropogenic disturbances have caused significant environmental changes in the Sahel. In this context, the importance of soil is often underrepresented. Thus, we analyze and discuss the interdependency of soil and vegetation by classifying soil types and its woody cover for a region in the Senegalese Ferlo. Clustering of 28 soil parameters led to four soil types which correspond with local Wolof denotations: Dek, Bowel, Dior and Bardial. The soil types were confirmed by a Non-metric Multidimensional-Scaling (NMDS) ordination and extrapolated via a Random Forest classifier using six significant variables derived from Landsat imagery and a digital elevation model (out-of-bag error rate: 7.3%). In addition, canopy cover was modeled using Landsat and a Reduced-Major-Axis (RMA) regression (R2 = 0.81). A woody vegetation survey showed that every soil type has its own species composition. However, 29% of Bowel regions are deforested (i.e., degraded) and interviews revealed extensive environmental changes and a strong decline and local extinction of woody species. The differences between the soil types are significant, showing that vegetation changes (i.e., degradation and greening), resilience to climatic stress and human activities largely depend on soil properties. We highlight that spatial heterogeneity is an important aspect when dealing with environmental changes in the Sahel, and local knowledge can be well used to classify spatial units by means of public Earth observation data.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Africa; Sahel; Senegal; degradation; environmental change; soil; NMDS; Random Forest
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Climatology > Professorship Climatology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Cyrus Samimi
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > African Studies
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Ecology and the Environmental Sciences
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Institute of African Studies - IAS
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Climatology
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 500 Natural sciences
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2014 15:43
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2015 11:32
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/4427