Sensitivity of global pasturelands to climate variation

Stanimirova, Radost ORCID: and Arévalo, Paulo and Kaufmann, Robert K. and Wegner Maus, Victor ORCID: and Lesiv, Myroslava and Havlík, Petr and Friedl, Mark A. ORCID: (2019) Sensitivity of global pasturelands to climate variation. Earth's Future. pp. 1-32. ISSN 2328-4277

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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Pasturelands are globally extensive, sensitive to climate, and support livestock production systems that provide an essential source of food in many parts of the world. In this paper, we integrate information from remote sensing, global climate, and land use databases to improve understanding of the resilience and resistance of this ecologically vulnerable and societallycritical land use. To characterize the effect of climate on pastureland productivity at global scale, we analyze the relationship between satellite-derived Enhanced Vegetation Index data from MODIS and gridded precipitation data from CHIRPS at 3- and 6-month time lags. To account for the effects of different production systems, we stratify our analysis by agroecological zones and by rangeland versus mixed crop-livestock systems. Results show that 14.5% of global pasturelands experienced statistically significant greening or browning trends over the 15-year study period, with the majority of these locations showing greening. In arid ecosystems, precipitation and lagged vegetation index anomalies explain up to 69% of variation in vegetation productivity in both crop-livestock and rangeland-based production systems. Livestock production systems in Australia are least resistant to contemporaneous and shortterm precipitation anomalies, while arid livestock production systems in Latin America are least resilient to short-term vegetation greenness anomalies. Because many arid regions of the world are projected to experience decreased total precipitation and increased precipitation variability in the coming decades, improved understanding regarding the sensitivity of pasturelands to the joint effects of climate change and livestock production systems is required to support sustainable land management in global pasturelands.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1029/2019EF001316. This work was supported by NASA Headquarters under the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship Program - Grant 80NSSC17K0378.
Keywords: arid ecosystems, climate variation, livestock production Systems, pasturelands, remote sensing, sensitivity
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Ecological Economics
Version of the Document: Accepted for Publication
Variance from Published Version: Typographical
Depositing User: Victor Wegner Maus
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2019 07:34
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2019 07:34
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