Browsing by Subject "VEGETATION DYNAMICS"

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  • Firozjaei, Mohammad Karimi; Sedighi, Amir; Firozjaei, Hamzeh Karimi; Kiavarz, Majid; Homaee, Mehdi; Arsanjani, Jamal Jokar; Makki, Mohsen; Naimi, Babak; Alavipanah, Seyed Kazem (2021)
    Mining activities and associated actions cause land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes across the world. The objective of this study were to evaluate the historical impacts of mining activities on surface biophysical characteristics, and for the first time, to predict the future changes in pattern of vegetation cover and land surface temperature (LST). In terms of the utilized data, satellite images of Landsat, and meteorological data of Sungun mine in Iran, Athabasca oil sands in Canada, Singrauli coalfield in India and Hambach mine in Germany, were used over the period of 1989-2019. In the first step, the spectral bands of Landsat images were employed to extract historical LULC changes in the study areas based on the homogeneity distance classification algorithm (HDCA). Thereafter, a CA-Markov model was used to predict the future of LULC changes based on the historical changes. In addition, LST and vegetation cover maps were calculated using the single channel algorithm, and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), respectively. In the second step, the trends of LST and NDVI variations in different LULC change types and over different time periods were investigated. Finally, a CA-Markov model was used to predict the LST and NDVI maps and the trend of their variations in future. The results indicated that the forest and green space cover was reduced from 9.95 in 1989 to 5.9 Km(2) in 2019 for Sungun mine, from 42.14 in 1999 to 33.09 Km(2) in 2019 for Athabasca oil sands, from 231.46 in 1996 to 263.95 Km(2) in 2016 for Singrauli coalfield, and from 180.38 in 1989 to 133.99 Km(2) in 2017 for Hambach mine, as a result of expansion and development of of mineral activities. Our findings about Sungun revealed that the areal coverage of forest and green space will decrease to 15% of the total study area by 2039, resulting in reduction of the mean NDVI by almost 0.06 and increase of mean standardized LST from 0.52 in 2019 to 0.61 in 2039. our results further indicate that for Athabasca oil sands (Singrauli coalfield, Hambach mine), the mean values of standardized LST and NDVI will change from 0.5 (0.44 and 0.4) and 0.38 (0.38, 0.35) in 2019 (2016, 2017) to 0.57 (0.5, 0.47) and 0.33 (0.32, 0.28), in 2039 (2036, 2035), respectively. This can be mainly attributed to the increasing mining activities in the past as well as future years. The discussion and conclusions presented in this study can be of interest to local planners, policy makers, and environmentalists in order to observe the damages brought to the environment and the society in a larger picture.
  • Gedefaw, Melakeneh G.; Geli, Hatim M. E.; Abera, Temesgen (2021)
    Rangelands provide significant socioeconomic and environmental benefits to humans. However, climate variability and anthropogenic drivers can negatively impact rangeland productivity. The main goal of this study was to investigate structural and productivity changes in rangeland ecosystems in New Mexico (NM), in the southwestern United States of America during the 1984-2015 period. This goal was achieved by applying the time series segmented residual trend analysis (TSS-RESTREND) method, using datasets of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from the Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies and precipitation from Parameter elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM), and developing an assessment framework. The results indicated that about 17.6% and 12.8% of NM experienced a decrease and an increase in productivity, respectively. More than half of the state (55.6%) had insignificant change productivity, 10.8% was classified as indeterminant, and 3.2% was considered as agriculture. A decrease in productivity was observed in 2.2%, 4.5%, and 1.7% of NM's grassland, shrubland, and ever green forest land cover classes, respectively. Significant decrease in productivity was observed in the northeastern and southeastern quadrants of NM while significant increase was observed in northwestern, southwestern, and a small portion of the southeastern quadrants. The timing of detected breakpoints coincided with some of NM's drought events as indicated by the self-calibrated Palmar Drought Severity Index as their number increased since 2000s following a similar increase in drought severity. Some breakpoints were concurrent with some fire events. The combination of these two types of disturbances can partly explain the emergence of breakpoints with degradation in productivity. Using the breakpoint assessment framework developed in this study, the observed degradation based on the TSS-RESTREND showed only 55% agreement with the Rangeland Productivity Monitoring Service (RPMS) data. There was an agreement between the TSS-RESTREND and RPMS on the occurrence of significant degradation in productivity over the grasslands and shrublands within the Arizona/NM Tablelands and in the Chihuahua Desert ecoregions, respectively. This assessment of NM's vegetation productivity is critical to support the decision-making process for rangeland management; address challenges related to the sustainability of forage supply and livestock production; conserve the biodiversity of rangelands ecosystems; and increase their resilience. Future analysis should consider the effects of rising temperatures and drought on rangeland degradation and productivity.
  • Montaldo, Nicola; Oren, Ram (2018)
    Over the past century, climate change has been reflected in altered precipitation regimes worldwide. Because evapotranspiration is sensitive to both water availability and atmospheric demand for water vapor, it is essential to assess the likely consequences of future changes of these climate variables to evapotranspiration and, thus, runoff. We propose a simplified approach for annual evapotranspiration predictions, based on seasonal evapotranspiration estimates, accounting for the strong seasonality of meteorological conditions typical of Mediterranean climate, still holding the steady state assumption of basin water balance at mean annual scale. Sardinian runoff decreased over the 1975-2010 period by more than 40% compared to the preceding 1922-1974 period. Most of annual runoff in Sardinian basins is produced by winter precipitation, a wet season with relatively high evaporation rates. We derived linear seasonal evapotranspiration responses to seasonal precipitation, and, in turn, a relationship between the parameters of the linear functions and the seasonal vapor pressure deficit (D), accounting for residuals with basin properties. We then used these relationships to predict evapotranspiration and runoff using future Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change climate scenarios, considering changing precipitation and D seasonality. We show that evapotranspiration is insensitive to D scenario changes. Although both evapotranspiration and runoff are sensitive to precipitation seasonality, future changes in runoff are related only to changes of winter precipitation, while evapotranspiration changes are related to those of spring and summer precipitation. Future scenario predicting further runoff decline is particularly alarming for the Sardinian water resources system, requiring new strategies and designs in water resources planning and management.
  • Strandberg, G.; Kjellstrom, E.; Poska, A.; Wagner, S.; Gaillard, M.-J.; Trondman, A.-K.; Mauri, A.; Davis, B. A. S.; Kaplan, J. O.; Birks, H. J. B.; Bjune, A. E.; Fyfe, R.; Giesecke, T.; Kalnina, L.; Kangur, M.; van der Knaap, W. O.; Kokfelt, U.; Kunes, P.; Latalowa, M.; Marquer, L.; Mazier, F.; Nielsen, A. B.; Smith, B.; Seppa, H.; Sugita, S. (2014)