A high-resolution spatial assessment of the impacts of drought variability on vegetation activity in Spain from 1981 to 2015

Sergio M. Vicente-Serrano*, Cesar Azorin-Molina, Marina Peña-Gallardo, Miquel Tomas-Burguera, Fernando Domínguez-Castro, Natalia Martín-Hernández, Santiago Beguería, Ahmed El Kenawy, Iván Noguera, Mónica García

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Drought is a major driver of vegetation activity in Spain, with significant impacts on crop yield, forest growth, and the occurrence of forest fires. Nonetheless, the sensitivity of vegetation to drought conditions differs largely amongst vegetation types and climates. We used a high-resolution (1.1km) spatial dataset of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for the whole of Spain spanning the period from 1981 to 2015, combined with a dataset of the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) to assess the sensitivity of vegetation types to drought across Spain. Specifically, this study explores the drought timescales at which vegetation activity shows its highest response to drought severity at different moments of the year. Results demonstrate that - over large areas of Spain - vegetation activity is controlled largely by the interannual variability of drought. More than 90% of the land areas exhibited statistically significant positive correlations between the NDVI and the SPEI during dry summers (JJA). Nevertheless, there are some considerable spatiooral variations, which can be linked to differences in land cover and aridity conditions. In comparison to other climatic regions across Spain, results indicate that vegetation types located in arid regions showed the strongest response to drought. Importantly, this study stresses that the timescale at which drought is assessed is a dominant factor in understanding the different responses of vegetation activity to drought.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Volume19
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1189-1213
ISSN1561-8633
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Cite this

Vicente-Serrano, S. M., Azorin-Molina, C., Peña-Gallardo, M., Tomas-Burguera, M., Domínguez-Castro, F., Martín-Hernández, N., ... García, M. (2019). A high-resolution spatial assessment of the impacts of drought variability on vegetation activity in Spain from 1981 to 2015. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 19(6), 1189-1213. https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-19-1189-2019
Vicente-Serrano, Sergio M. ; Azorin-Molina, Cesar ; Peña-Gallardo, Marina ; Tomas-Burguera, Miquel ; Domínguez-Castro, Fernando ; Martín-Hernández, Natalia ; Beguería, Santiago ; El Kenawy, Ahmed ; Noguera, Iván ; García, Mónica. / A high-resolution spatial assessment of the impacts of drought variability on vegetation activity in Spain from 1981 to 2015. In: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 2019 ; Vol. 19, No. 6. pp. 1189-1213.
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title = "A high-resolution spatial assessment of the impacts of drought variability on vegetation activity in Spain from 1981 to 2015",
abstract = "Drought is a major driver of vegetation activity in Spain, with significant impacts on crop yield, forest growth, and the occurrence of forest fires. Nonetheless, the sensitivity of vegetation to drought conditions differs largely amongst vegetation types and climates. We used a high-resolution (1.1km) spatial dataset of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for the whole of Spain spanning the period from 1981 to 2015, combined with a dataset of the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) to assess the sensitivity of vegetation types to drought across Spain. Specifically, this study explores the drought timescales at which vegetation activity shows its highest response to drought severity at different moments of the year. Results demonstrate that - over large areas of Spain - vegetation activity is controlled largely by the interannual variability of drought. More than 90{\%} of the land areas exhibited statistically significant positive correlations between the NDVI and the SPEI during dry summers (JJA). Nevertheless, there are some considerable spatiooral variations, which can be linked to differences in land cover and aridity conditions. In comparison to other climatic regions across Spain, results indicate that vegetation types located in arid regions showed the strongest response to drought. Importantly, this study stresses that the timescale at which drought is assessed is a dominant factor in understanding the different responses of vegetation activity to drought.",
author = "Vicente-Serrano, {Sergio M.} and Cesar Azorin-Molina and Marina Pe{\~n}a-Gallardo and Miquel Tomas-Burguera and Fernando Dom{\'i}nguez-Castro and Natalia Mart{\'i}n-Hern{\'a}ndez and Santiago Beguer{\'i}a and {El Kenawy}, Ahmed and Iv{\'a}n Noguera and M{\'o}nica Garc{\'i}a",
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language = "English",
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Vicente-Serrano, SM, Azorin-Molina, C, Peña-Gallardo, M, Tomas-Burguera, M, Domínguez-Castro, F, Martín-Hernández, N, Beguería, S, El Kenawy, A, Noguera, I & García, M 2019, 'A high-resolution spatial assessment of the impacts of drought variability on vegetation activity in Spain from 1981 to 2015', Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 1189-1213. https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-19-1189-2019

A high-resolution spatial assessment of the impacts of drought variability on vegetation activity in Spain from 1981 to 2015. / Vicente-Serrano, Sergio M.; Azorin-Molina, Cesar; Peña-Gallardo, Marina; Tomas-Burguera, Miquel; Domínguez-Castro, Fernando; Martín-Hernández, Natalia; Beguería, Santiago; El Kenawy, Ahmed; Noguera, Iván; García, Mónica.

In: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Vol. 19, No. 6, 2019, p. 1189-1213.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - A high-resolution spatial assessment of the impacts of drought variability on vegetation activity in Spain from 1981 to 2015

AU - Vicente-Serrano, Sergio M.

AU - Azorin-Molina, Cesar

AU - Peña-Gallardo, Marina

AU - Tomas-Burguera, Miquel

AU - Domínguez-Castro, Fernando

AU - Martín-Hernández, Natalia

AU - Beguería, Santiago

AU - El Kenawy, Ahmed

AU - Noguera, Iván

AU - García, Mónica

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Drought is a major driver of vegetation activity in Spain, with significant impacts on crop yield, forest growth, and the occurrence of forest fires. Nonetheless, the sensitivity of vegetation to drought conditions differs largely amongst vegetation types and climates. We used a high-resolution (1.1km) spatial dataset of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for the whole of Spain spanning the period from 1981 to 2015, combined with a dataset of the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) to assess the sensitivity of vegetation types to drought across Spain. Specifically, this study explores the drought timescales at which vegetation activity shows its highest response to drought severity at different moments of the year. Results demonstrate that - over large areas of Spain - vegetation activity is controlled largely by the interannual variability of drought. More than 90% of the land areas exhibited statistically significant positive correlations between the NDVI and the SPEI during dry summers (JJA). Nevertheless, there are some considerable spatiooral variations, which can be linked to differences in land cover and aridity conditions. In comparison to other climatic regions across Spain, results indicate that vegetation types located in arid regions showed the strongest response to drought. Importantly, this study stresses that the timescale at which drought is assessed is a dominant factor in understanding the different responses of vegetation activity to drought.

AB - Drought is a major driver of vegetation activity in Spain, with significant impacts on crop yield, forest growth, and the occurrence of forest fires. Nonetheless, the sensitivity of vegetation to drought conditions differs largely amongst vegetation types and climates. We used a high-resolution (1.1km) spatial dataset of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for the whole of Spain spanning the period from 1981 to 2015, combined with a dataset of the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) to assess the sensitivity of vegetation types to drought across Spain. Specifically, this study explores the drought timescales at which vegetation activity shows its highest response to drought severity at different moments of the year. Results demonstrate that - over large areas of Spain - vegetation activity is controlled largely by the interannual variability of drought. More than 90% of the land areas exhibited statistically significant positive correlations between the NDVI and the SPEI during dry summers (JJA). Nevertheless, there are some considerable spatiooral variations, which can be linked to differences in land cover and aridity conditions. In comparison to other climatic regions across Spain, results indicate that vegetation types located in arid regions showed the strongest response to drought. Importantly, this study stresses that the timescale at which drought is assessed is a dominant factor in understanding the different responses of vegetation activity to drought.

U2 - 10.5194/nhess-19-1189-2019

DO - 10.5194/nhess-19-1189-2019

M3 - Journal article

AN - SCOPUS:85067512180

VL - 19

SP - 1189

EP - 1213

JO - Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences

JF - Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences

SN - 1561-8633

IS - 6

ER -

Vicente-Serrano SM, Azorin-Molina C, Peña-Gallardo M, Tomas-Burguera M, Domínguez-Castro F, Martín-Hernández N et al. A high-resolution spatial assessment of the impacts of drought variability on vegetation activity in Spain from 1981 to 2015. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 2019;19(6):1189-1213. https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-19-1189-2019