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Anomalies for Leaf Area Index (LAI)

Evapotranspiration and carbon fluxes between the biosphere and the atmosphere are routinely expressed in terms of the Leaf Area Index (LAI) of the canopy. Monitoring the change of LAI is essential for assessing the evolution of the vegetation over Africa. LAI anomalies relative to the average values between 2003 and 2010 show apparent variations of vegetation cover over Africa. Increase of temperature and precipitation deficits are the main drivers for the negative anomalies. Human or animals may also locally impact the state of leaves. This record shows the anomalies of LAI every 10-days reflecting its large variations over Africa.

Pinty B., Andredakis I., Clerici M., Kaminski T., Taberner M., Verstraete M. M., Gobron N., Plummer S., and Widlowski J.-L. Exploiting the MODIS albedos with the Two-stream Inversion Package (JRC-TIP): 1. Effective leaf area index, vegetation, and soil properties. Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, 2011, 116 (D09105), p. 1-20. DOI: 10.1029/2010JD015372

Last full 10-day period

This indicator shows variations in the vegetation health and / or cover which may be due to other stress factors than rainfall or soil moisture deficits, such as plant diseases. Therefore this indicator must be used jointly with other indicators giving information on the deficit of rainfall and / or soil moisture, in order to determine if the variation in the vegetation response (LAI) is linked with a drought event or not.

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