Assessment of rangelands biomass using Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) in Kordofan, Sudan
Keywords:AEZs, inaccessible grazing, regressing NDVI, shrubs/trees browse
This study was carried out in North and South Kordofan States, Sudan, during the period 2005-2009 with objective of assessing rangelands biomass with the aid of remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The States are within four agro-ecological zones (AEZs). These are “low rainfall savanna, Semi-desert”, “Arid” and “Semi-arid. using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and data obtained via land transect method. Results indicated that more than 30% of the forage produced is not consumed, thus decayed and lost. Average biomass production by different range types during the study period were estimated at 12.0 million tons/year. The analysis indicated that traditional methods used in biomass assessment tend to under-estimate forage production, while applying remote sensing and data collected from the field results in estimates closer to real forage production “The study recommended that biomass assessment be based on regressing NDVI values with biomass samples from the field, because these techniques are easy, cost-effective and more accurate. The study also recommended development of appropriate techniques for assessment of trees/shrubs browses and crop residues.