Seasonal cropland trends and their nexus with agrometeorological parameters in the indus river plain

Qiming Zhou*, Ali Ismaeel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The fine-scale insights of existing cropland trends and their nexus with agrometeorological parameters are of paramount importance in assessing future food security risks and analyzing adaptation options under climate change. This study has analyzed the seasonal cropland trends in the Indus River Plain (IRP), using multi-year remote sensing data. A combination of Sen’s slope estimator and Mann–Kendall test was used to quantify the existing cropland trends. A correlation analysis between enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and 9 agrometeorological parameters, derived from reanalysis and remote sensing data, was conducted to study the region’s cropland-climate nexus. The seasonal trend analysis revealed that more than 50% of cropland in IRP improved significantly from the year 2003 to 2018. The lower reaches of the IRP had the highest fraction of cropland, showing a significant decreasing trend during the study period. The nexus analysis showed a strong correlation of EVI with the evaporative stress index (ESI) during the water-stressed crop season. Simultaneously, it exhibited substantial nexus of EVI with actual evapotranspiration (AET) during high soil moisture crop season. Temperature and solar radiation had a negative linkage with EVI response. In contrast, a positive correlation of rainfall with EVI trends was spatially limited to the IRP’s upstream areas. The relative humidity had a spatially broad positive correlation with EVI compare to other direct climatic parameters. The study concluded that positive and sustainable growth in IRP croplands could be achieved through effective agriculture policies to address spatiotemporal AET anomalies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Number of pages15
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number1
Early online date24 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Climate
  • Cropland
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Nexus
  • Remote sensing
  • Trend


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