Estimating the Supply and Demand of Aboveground Net Primary Production in the Semi-Arid Sahel Region of Africa
Abdi, Abdulhakim; Ardö, Jonas; Seaquist, Jonathan; Eklundh, Lars; Tenenbaum, David
Lund University, SWEDEN
Net primary productivity (NPP) represents rate of formation of new plant biomass and carbon uptake and is an important component in the global carbon cycle. It is an essential ecological variable that measures energy input into the biosphere by determining the rate of absorption of atmospheric carbon by vegetation. Low-resource, semi-arid regions such as the Sahel are particularly sensitive to fluctuations in the supply of, and demand for, NPP, and therefore understanding dynamics of this important variable aids in identifying human vulnerability to persistent ecosystem change. This is recognized as an important issue and has been broadly explored in recent years. But the complex dynamics between NPP supply and demand in the face of increasing population in the Sahel has not been sufficiently investigated. In this paper we outline a remote sensing-based methodology for the quantification of NPP supply in the Sahel that is linked to regional consumption patterns and population dynamics. This used calculate human appropriation of NPP by mapping regional demand to identify areas that exhibit shortages in NPP. The results of this process will then be projected into the future under different climate and population expansion scenarios.