Opendata, web and dolomites


Biophysical Changes in the Sahel: Ground and Satellite Based Evidence Across Scales and Disciplines

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 BICSA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the BICSA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "BICSA" about.

context    variables    data    climate    observation    human    services    mobility    purpose    underlying    technically    skills    basis    monitoring    decline    vegetation    greenness    resolution    ecosystem    trend    controversial    applicability    socializing    species    prevailing    series    narratives    object    combining    mechanisms    ground    enforcing    translated    beneficial    degradation    knowing    biodiversity    issue    vhr    investment    phenomenon    land    scientists    theory    situ    decades    contradicts    apparent    biomass    contradictions    again    paradigms    edge    1980s    interpreted    ecological    sahel    trees    resolve    made    regarding    earth    scientific    pixels    will    livelihoods    african    network    last    drylands    massive    records    time    eo    trained    re    satellite    cutting    herbs    linkages    food    imagery    mapping    suggests    scales    positive    opposing    outcome    greening    productivity    oppositions    subject    little    desertification    campaigns    host    biophysical    security   

Project "BICSA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: NORREGADE 10
postcode: 1165

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Denmark [DK]
 Project website
 Total cost 200˙194 €
 EC max contribution 200˙194 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-05-01   to  2017-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET DK (KOBENHAVN) coordinator 200˙194.00


 Project objective

Human and climate induced desertification has been a major issue for livelihoods and food security in drylands. In this context, the Sahel has been subject to various controversial studies. Earth Observation (EO) studies show a positive trend in vegetation greenness over the last decades, which has been interpreted as an increase in biomass and contradicts prevailing narratives of widespread degradation. However, new scientific outcome suggests a massive loss in biodiversity, which again contradicts the beneficial effects of the greening theory. These apparent oppositions result from little investment that has been made in studying long-term ground data. Thus, the overall purpose of this project is to assess the opposing trends of biomass increase and species decline in the Sahel. By combining a range of long-term in-situ field data records (1980s-today) with EO time series and Very High Resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, an improved understanding on the role of trees, herbs and species on the greening Sahel will be achieved. Trends will be translated in ecosystem services and beneficial effects on livelihoods. Knowing the underlying biophysical mechanisms of the Sahel greening will resolve contradictions regarding the greening/desertification paradigms and thus be basis for future studies. Furthermore, the scientific understanding of linkages between ground and satellite data and their applicability across scales will be improved. New monitoring methods of biophysical variables address challenges in land management and food security. To achieve this, I will be trained in cutting edge skills (EO time series; object based mapping; field monitoring of vegetation productivity/biodiversity; socializing pixels; ecological services). My major mobility activity will be to bring together technically advanced EO studies from the European host and field campaigns from African scientists enforcing a research network to advance our understanding of the re-greening phenomenon.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Martin Brandt, Kjeld Rasmussen, Pierre Hiernaux, Stefanie Herrmann, Compton J. Tucker, Xiaoye Tong, Feng Tian, Ole Mertz, Laurent Kergoat, Cheikh Mbow, John David, Katherine Melocik, Morgane Dendoncker, Caroline Vincke, Rasmus Fensholt
Farmlands Feature Greater Woody Cover than Savannas in Semi-Arid West Africa
published pages: , ISSN: 2310-287X, DOI: 10.20944/preprints201703.0173.v1
preprints 2019-07-23
2017 Martin Brandt, Kjeld Rasmussen, Josep Peñuelas, Feng Tian, Guy Schurgers, Aleixandre Verger, Ole Mertz, John R. B. Palmer, Rasmus Fensholt
Human population growth offsets climate-driven increase in woody vegetation in sub-Saharan Africa
published pages: 81, ISSN: 2397-334X, DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0081
Nature Ecology & Evolution 1/4 2019-07-23
2015 Abdoul Diouf, Martin Brandt, Aleixandre Verger, Moussa Jarroudi, Bakary Djaby, Rasmus Fensholt, Jacques Ndione, Bernard Tychon
Fodder Biomass Monitoring in Sahelian Rangelands Using Phenological Metrics from FAPAR Time Series
published pages: 9122-9148, ISSN: 2072-4292, DOI: 10.3390/rs70709122
Remote Sensing 7/7 2019-07-23
2017 Xiaoye Tong, Martin Brandt, Pierre Hiernaux, Stefanie M. Herrmann, Feng Tian, Alexander V. Prishchepov, Rasmus Fensholt
Revisiting the coupling between NDVI trends and cropland changes in the Sahel drylands: A case study in western Niger
published pages: 286-296, ISSN: 0034-4257, DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2017.01.030
Remote Sensing of Environment 191 2019-07-23
2017 Martin Brandt, Gray Tappan, Abdoul Diouf, Gora Beye, Cheikh Mbow, Rasmus Fensholt
Woody Vegetation Die off and Regeneration in Response to Rainfall Variability in the West African Sahel
published pages: 39, ISSN: 2072-4292, DOI: 10.3390/rs9010039
Remote Sensing 9/1 2019-07-23
2016 Feng Tian, Martin Brandt, Yi Y. Liu, Aleixandre Verger, Torbern Tagesson, Abdoul A. Diouf, Kjeld Rasmussen, Cheikh Mbow, Yunjia Wang, Rasmus Fensholt
Remote sensing of vegetation dynamics in drylands: Evaluating vegetation optical depth (VOD) using AVHRR NDVI and in situ green biomass data over West African Sahel
published pages: 265-276, ISSN: 0034-4257, DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2016.02.056
Remote Sensing of Environment 177 2019-07-23
2017 Wenmin Zhang, Martin Brandt, Francoise Guichard, Qingjiu Tian, Rasmus Fensholt
Using long-term daily satellite based rainfall data (1983?2015) to analyze spatio-temporal changes in the sahelian rainfall regime
published pages: 427-440, ISSN: 0022-1694, DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.05.033
Journal of Hydrology 550 2019-07-23
2016 Xiaowei Tong, Kelin Wang, Martin Brandt, Yuemin Yue, Chujie Liao, Rasmus Fensholt
Assessing Future Vegetation Trends and Restoration Prospects in the Karst Regions of Southwest China
published pages: 357, ISSN: 2072-4292, DOI: 10.3390/rs8050357
Remote Sensing 8/5 2019-07-23
2017 Feng Tian, Martin Brandt, Yi Y. Liu, Kjeld Rasmussen, Rasmus Fensholt
Mapping gains and losses in woody vegetation across global tropical drylands
published pages: 1748-1760, ISSN: 1354-1013, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13464
Global Change Biology 23/4 2019-07-23
2016 Martin Brandt, Pierre Hiernaux, Torbern Tagesson, Aleixandre Verger, Kjeld Rasmussen, Abdoul Aziz Diouf, Cheikh Mbow, Eric Mougin, Rasmus Fensholt
Woody plant cover estimation in drylands from Earth Observation based seasonal metrics
published pages: 28-38, ISSN: 0034-4257, DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2015.10.036
Remote Sensing of Environment 172 2019-07-23
2016 Martin Brandt, Pierre Hiernaux, Kjeld Rasmussen, Cheikh Mbow, Laurent Kergoat, Torbern Tagesson, Yahaya Z. Ibrahim, Abdoulaye Wélé, Compton J. Tucker, Rasmus Fensholt
Assessing woody vegetation trends in Sahelian drylands using MODIS based seasonal metrics
published pages: 215-225, ISSN: 0034-4257, DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2016.05.027
Remote Sensing of Environment 183 2019-07-23
2017 Lina Eklund, Michael Degerald, Martin Brandt, Alexander V Prishchepov, Petter Pilesjö
How conflict affects land use: agricultural activity in areas seized by the Islamic State
published pages: 54004, ISSN: 1748-9326, DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aa673a
Environmental Research Letters 12/5 2019-07-23
2017 Xiaowei Tong, Kelin Wang, Yuemin Yue, Martin Brandt, Bo Liu, Chunhua Zhang, Chujie Liao, Rasmus Fensholt
Quantifying the effectiveness of ecological restoration projects on long-term vegetation dynamics in the karst regions of Southwest China
published pages: 105-113, ISSN: 0303-2434, DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2016.09.013
International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 54 2019-07-23
2016 Abdoul Diouf, Pierre Hiernaux, Martin Brandt, Gayane Faye, Bakary Djaby, Mouhamadou Diop, Jacques Ndione, Bernard Tychon
Do Agrometeorological Data Improve Optical Satellite-Based Estimations of the Herbaceous Yield in Sahelian Semi-Arid Ecosystems?
published pages: 668, ISSN: 2072-4292, DOI: 10.3390/rs8080668
Remote Sensing 8/8 2019-07-23

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