Trends in Vegetation Response to Drought in Sudano-Sahelian Part of Northern Nigeria


This study was carried out to evaluate the drought occurrence and its implication on vegetation cover over the Sudano-Sahelian zone of the Northern part of Nigeria. Monthly mean Rainfall data for the period 40 years (1971-2010) were obtained from Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) for each of the meteorological stations present and functioning in this region for climatic analysis. Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was used to analyze drought occurrence on a time scale of five (5) months that cover the period of raining season over the study area. Also Satellite data over the selected part of the study area for three different epochs, 1986, 2000 and 2005 were used for vegetation response analysis. The SPI values were interpolated using Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) interpolation technique in ArcGIS 9.3 to generate Drought Spatial Pattern Map for each selected modeled years. The vegetation response indicators used are land cover maps and Greenness Index (GI) maps. Land cover categories were classified into five levels: Dense Vegetation, less dense Vegetation, Settlement/built up, Bare Surface and Water body. The results based on the ground truth (rainfall) data show that many years of drought episode were experienced over the study area. On the other hand, the prime indicators (Land cover and GI maps) used in this study also depicts the changes that took place over the study area in response to this climatic anomaly (drought) and it could be noted that there was dramatic reduction in the occurrence towards the end of the last two decade, 1990-1999, which simply indicated improvement in rainfall even in 2000 and the later years.

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Fabeku, B. and Okogbue, E. (2014) Trends in Vegetation Response to Drought in Sudano-Sahelian Part of Northern Nigeria. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 4, 569-588. doi: 10.4236/acs.2014.44052.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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