Articles | Volume 13, issue 11
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-3343-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-3343-2016
Research article
 | 
08 Jun 2016
Research article |  | 08 Jun 2016

The climatic imprint of bimodal distributions in vegetation cover for western Africa

Zun Yin, Stefan C. Dekker, Bart J. J. M. van den Hurk, and Henk A. Dijkstra

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Cited articles

Archibald, S., Roy, D. P., Wilgen, V., Brian, W., and Scholes, R. J.: What limits fire? An examination of drivers of burnt area in Southern Africa, Glob. Change Biol., 15, 613–630, 2009.
Baccini, A., Laporte, N., Goetz, S. J., Sun, M., and Dong, H.: A first map of tropical Africa's above-ground biomass derived from satellite imagery, Environ. Res. Lett., 3, 045011, https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/3/4/045011, 2008.
Baudena, M. and Provenzale, A.: Rainfall intermittency and vegetation feedbacks in drylands, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 12, 679–689, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-12-679-2008, 2008.
Baudena, M., D'Andrea, F., and Provenzale, A.: An idealized model for tree–grass coexistence in savannas: the role of life stage structure and fire disturbances, J. Ecol., 98, 74–80, 2010.
Baudena, M., Dekker, S. C., van Bodegom, P. M., Cuesta, B., Higgins, S. I., Lehsten, V., Reick, C. H., Rietkerk, M., Scheiter, S., Yin, Z., Zavala, M. A., and Brovkin, V.: Forests, savannas, and grasslands: bridging the knowledge gap between ecology and Dynamic Global Vegetation Models, Biogeosciences, 12, 1833–1848, https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-1833-2015, 2015.
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Short summary
Bimodality is found in aboveground biomass and mean annual shortwave radiation in West Africa, which is a strong evidence of alternative stable states. The condition with low biomass and low radiation is demonstrated under which ecosystem state can shift between savanna and forest states. Moreover, climatic indicators have different prediction confidences to different land cover types. A new method is proposed to predict potential land cover change with a combination of climatic indicators.
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