As climate change is being brought be global warming, researchers look for plants and animals that could survive in harsh conditions. There are plants and animals that could be vital for survival, as they can be resilient in any given condition. This has led researchers to look at drought resistant plant species that could thrive even in times of rain.
Drought came to the Sahel region of the Sahara Desert in the 70s and 80s. Some plants did survive the drought. What has researchers interested is that after these drought resistant species of plants have thrived even after the drought, according to the Science Daily.
A study from Stockholm University shows that the drought resistant plants have been growing more even when rains have become more frequent. It has been thought that once the drought ends, plants that favor rains would flourish.
The change might have been brought by how people have interacted with the drought resistant plants during the time of drought, as the Stockholm University site says. When hit the Sahel region, people likely cultivated drought resistant plants, to the point that they have begun to dominate even after the drought has ended.
"What we see is the beginning of a fairly dramatic change in the traditional agroforestry landscape in the area," said Lowe Borjeson, an Associate Professor at the Department of Human Geography in Stockholm University. He said that examining how the people use the plants and shrubs can lead to understanding how land use, climate and ecosystems play their roles.
Such a study should lead to better use of the land as well as adaptation as the climate changes due to global warming. This can be critical for areas that would be most affected by climate change, so as to give communities better chances of surviving and adapting. A report has earlier stated that as many as 122 million people could be affected by climate change. The Sahel region could be key for communities to thrive, as it has been observed that it has become greener since the drought.