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Title: Relationship between vegetation growth rates at the onset of the wet season and soil type in the sahel of Burkina Faso: Implications for resource utilisation at large scales
Contributor(s): Kumar, L  (author)orcid ; Rietkerk, M (author); van Langevelde, F (author); va de Koppel, J (author); van Andel, J (author); Hearne, J (author); de Riddeer, N (author); Stroosnijder, L (author); Skidmore, A (author); Prins, H (author)
Publication Date: 2002
DOI: 10.1016/S0304-3800(01)00520-8
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Abstract: In the Sahel, poor soil quality and rainfall levels have a great influence on pasture production and hence on secondary output. In areas where rainfall is the limiting factor for primary production, recovery of primary and secondary production after the dry season depends on soil type. On sandy soils a large fraction of rainfall infiltrates and becomes available for plant growth, stimulating fast herbage growth, while on clayey and loamy soils low infiltration rates generate runoff, leading to slower herbage growth rates. The very different moisture retention characteristic of sands and clays is another possible cause for the observed differences in growth rates. In this paper we investigate the herbage growth rate from the onset of the rainy season. We hypothesise that, in areas where rainfall is the limiting factor for primary production, the vegetation growth rate on clayey soils is lower than that on sandy soils. We will test this hypothesis using long-term rainfall, soil types and satellite derived normalised difference vegetation index data. This research shows that the growth rates on sandy soil are significantly greater than that on clayey soils during the early part of the rainy season. We also show that these differences can be detected at large scales using satellite imagery. We also conclude that, at this scale, movement strategies of pastoralists would be intrinsically linked to not only rainfall patterns and distribution, but also to the underlying soil types in the region as this affects the quality and quantity of fodder available.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Ecological Modelling, 149(1-2), p. 143-152
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 1872-7026
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 050207 Environmental Rehabilitation (excl Bioremediation)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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