Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Anthropogenic Factors Affecting the Vegetation Dynamics in the Arid Middle East

Version 1 : Received: 8 October 2020 / Approved: 9 October 2020 / Online: 9 October 2020 (14:43:29 CEST)

How to cite: Rousta, I.; Olafsson, H.; Zhang, H.; Moniruzzaman, M.; Krzyszczak, J.; Baranowski, P. Anthropogenic Factors Affecting the Vegetation Dynamics in the Arid Middle East. Preprints 2020, 2020100208 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0208.v1). Rousta, I.; Olafsson, H.; Zhang, H.; Moniruzzaman, M.; Krzyszczak, J.; Baranowski, P. Anthropogenic Factors Affecting the Vegetation Dynamics in the Arid Middle East. Preprints 2020, 2020100208 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0208.v1).

Abstract

The spatiotemporal variability of vegetation in the Middle East was investigated for the period 2001–2019 using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 16-day/500 m composites of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI; MOD13A1). The results reveal a strong increase in the NDVI coverage in the Middle East during the study period (R = 0.75, p-value = 0.05). In Egypt, the annual coverage exhibits the strongest positive trend (R = 0.99, p-value = 0.05). In Turkey, both the vegetation coverage and density increased from 2001 to 2019, which can be attributed to the construction of some of the biggest dams in the Middle East, such as the Atatürk and Ilisu dams. Significant increases in the annual coverage and maximum and average NDVI in Saudi Arabia are due to farming in the northern part of the country for which groundwater and desalinated seawater are used. The results of this study suggest that the main factors affecting the vegetation coverage in the Middle East are governmental policies. These policies can have a positive effect on the vegetation coverage in some countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, and Turkey.

Subject Areas

Middle East; moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer; normalized difference vegetation index; time series analysis; governmental policy

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