Bashir, B; Cao, CX; Naeem, S; Joharestani, MZ; Bo, X; Afzal, H; Jamal, K; Mumtaz, F (2020). Spatio-Temporal Vegetation Dynamic and Persistence under Climatic and Anthropogenic Factors. REMOTE SENSING, 12(16), 2612.

Land degradation reflected by vegetation is a commonly used practice to monitor desertification. To retrieve important information for ecosystem management accurate assessment of desertification is necessary. The major factors that drive vegetation dynamics in arid and semi-arid regions are climate and anthropogenic activities. Progression of desertification is expected to exacerbate under future climate change scenarios, through precipitation variability, increased drought frequency and persistence of dry conditions. This study examined spatiotemporal vegetation dynamics in arid regions of Sindh, Pakistan, using annual and growing season Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data from 2000 to 2017, and explored the climatic and anthropogenic effects on vegetation. Results showed an overall upward trend (annual 86.71% and growing season 82.7%) and partial downward trend (annual 13.28% and growing season 17.3%) in the study area. NDVI showed the highest significant increase in cropland region during annual, whereas during growing season the highest significant increase was observed in savannas. Overall high consistency in future vegetation trends in arid regions of Sindh province is observed. Stable and steady development region (annual 48.45% and growing 42.80%) dominates the future vegetation trends. Based on the Hurst exponent and vegetation dynamics of the past, improvement in vegetation cover is predicted for a large area (annual 44.49% and growing 30.77%), and a small area is predicted to have decline in vegetation activity (annual 0.09% and growing 3.04%). Results revealed that vegetation growth in the study area is a combined result of climatic and anthropogenic factors; however, in the future multi-controls are expected to have a slightly larger impact on annual positive development than climate whereas positive development in growing season is more likely to continue in future under the control of climate variability.