Article (Scientific journals)
Vegetation structure and greenness in Central Africa from Modis multi-temporal data
Gond, Valéry; Fayolle, Adeline; Pennec, Alexandre et al.
2013In Philosophical Transactions. Biological Sciences, (368)
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Keywords :
Remote sensing; Tropical rainforest; Central Africa
Abstract :
[en] African forests within the Congo Basin are generally mapped at a regional scale as broad-leaved evergreen forests, with the main distinction being between terra-firme and swamp forest types. At the same time, commercial forest inventories, as well as national maps, have highlighted a strong spatial heterogeneity of forest types. A detailed vegetation map generated using consistent methods is needed to inform decision makers about spatial forest organization and their relationships with environmental drivers in the context of global change. We propose a multi-temporal remotely sensed data approach to characterize vegetation types using vegetation index annual profiles. The classifications identified 22 vegetation types (six savannas, two swamp forests, 14 forest types) improving existing vegetation maps. Among forest types, we showed strong variations in stand structure and deciduousness, identifying (i)two blocks of dense evergreen forests located in the western part of the study area and in the central part on sandy soil; (ii) semi-deciduous forests are located in the Sangha River interval which has experienced past fragmentation and human activities. For all vegetation types enhanced vegetation index profiles were highly seasonal and strongly correlated to rainfall and to a lesser extent, to light regimes. These results are of importance to predict spatial variations of carbon stocks and fluxes, because evergreen/deciduous forests (i) have contrasted annual dynamics of photosynthetic activity and foliar water content and (ii) differ in community dynamics and ecosystem processes.
Research Center/Unit :
CIRAD, BSEF, 34098 Montpellier, France
Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Université de Liège, 5030 Gembloux, Belgium
SIRS, 59650 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
IES-JRC, European Commision, 2120 Ispra, Italy
CRC, Biogéosciences, UMR 6282 CNRS/Université de Bourgogne, 21000 Dijon, France
Disciplines :
Environmental sciences & ecology
Author, co-author :
Gond, Valéry
Fayolle, Adeline  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
Pennec, Alexandre
Cornu, Guillaume
Mayaux, Philippe
Camberlin, Pierre
Doumenge, Charles
Fauvet, Nicolas
Gourlet-Fleury, Sylvie
Language :
Title :
Vegetation structure and greenness in Central Africa from Modis multi-temporal data
Publication date :
Journal title :
Philosophical Transactions. Biological Sciences
Publisher :
Royal Society, United Kingdom
Special issue title :
Change in African rainforests: past, present and future
Issue :
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Name of the research project :
ErA Net BiodivERsA 2008 CoForChange project
Funders :
National Research Agency
NERC - Natural Environment Research Council [GB]
Available on ORBi :
since 29 July 2013


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