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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/1787

Title: Desertification in the Sahel: a reinterpretation of a reinterpretation
Authors: Prince, SD
Wessels, KJ
Tucker, CJ
Nicholson, SE
Keywords: Desertification
Sahel
Rainfall
Rain-use efficiency
Net primary production
Degradation
Issue Date: Jul-2007
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Citation: Prince, SD et al. 2007. Desertification in the Sahel: a reinterpretation of a reinterpretation. Global Change Biology, Vol. 13(7), pp 1308-1313
Abstract: In semiarid regions the ratio of annual net primary production to precipitation, rain-use efficiency (RUE), has been used as an index of desertification. In a recent publication (Hein & de Ridder, 2006) it was proposed that an incorrect understanding of the relationship between RUE and rainfall has led to a misinterpretation of the satellite record of desertification in the African Sahel. Here, the authors examine this suggestion and show that, contrary to Hein and de Ridder’s statement, satellite studies of Sahelian RUE have reported increases, decreases, and constant values since 1981. Furthermore, the authors found that data do not support their proposal that RUE increases with rainfall, even in nondegraded areas. Hence the authors reject their corollary, that constant RUE is prima facie evidence of desertification. The fundamental difficulty with the use of RUE for detection of desertification remains that is the difficulty of estimation of the RUE for nondegraded land at a regional scale.
Description: Copyright: 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/1787
ISSN: 1354-1013
Appears in Collections:Remote Sensing
General science, engineering & technology

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