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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376847

Research Project: Improvement of Soil Management Practices and Manure Treatment/Handling Systems of the Southern Coastal Plain

Location: Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research

Title: Global pattern of vegetation cover and land water mass changes in relation with climate variability

item Sohoulande, Clement

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/5/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Changes in the terrestrial climate and the rapid growth of the world population have caused pressures on water resources and natural vegetation covers. In many regions of the globe, natural vegetations have disappeared and water resources are becoming more and more scarce. This situation is a threat for the survival of human communities and the terrestrial ecosystems. Hence, it is critical to envision strategies for preserving vegetations and freshwater resources. Yet, these strategies could only be effective if they consider the full extends of water resources and vegetation covers alterations. Therefore, research is continuously needed to enhance the understanding of the ongoing changes affecting the terrestrial system. To contribute to the understanding of these changes, this study elucidates actual patterns in the terrestrial land water masses and vegetation covers in relation with the climate diversity across the globe. Especially, climate aridity indices were calculated and used to highlight climate classes across the globe. Analyses of 15 years monthly remote sensed leaf area index and land water masses anomalies show various patterns of vegetation covers and water masses within the earth latitude bands. For instance, results show that 27% of the continental lands experienced a deceasing water resources and these areas do not necessarily encompassed regions with decreasing trends of vegetation covers. However, statistics indicated significant connection between climate classes and vegetation cover trends on one side, climate classes and land water mass trends on the other side. The results suggest complex connections between vegetation cover and land water resources, but their overall patterns are marginally regulated by the earth’s climate gradients. Therefore, climate variability should be at the forefront of strategies to preserve vegetation covers and freshwater resources.