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The Sahel region south of the Sahara desert experienced devastating droughts in the 70s and 80s. These had disastrous consequences on the vegetation here. Research shows that the vegetation here has recovered recently. Surprisingly, the vegetation has become greener and dominant with the drought tolerant species, despite the higher rainfall here.

The expected pattern is that drought tolerant species thrive better in drier climatic conditions. And, shrubs and trees that require more rainfall survive well in wetter climates. But these species are displaying the opposite effect.

This study by the Stockholm University was published in the journal Land Use Policy. They have documented that their observation is the commencement of a fairly dramatic change in the conventional agro-forestry landscape of this region. The exact consequences of this change on the conservation and livelihood is yet unknown.

The research has concluded that not only rain, but also other factors like agriculture and human utilization of the landscape affects the plant recovery. Organizations involved in biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation, and local development at Sahel, require a comprehension of the interaction of climate and ecosystem with the human use of landscape, proposes the research.


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