Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(2), 660-677; doi:10.3390/ijerph10020660
Article

The Long-Term Relationship between Population Growth and Vegetation Cover: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Panel Data of 21 Cities in Guangdong Province, China

1 Sustainable Development Research Center, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510640, China 2 Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510640, China 3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China 4 Guangdong Social Sciences Association, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510050, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 December 2012; in revised form: 25 January 2013 / Accepted: 28 January 2013 / Published: 7 February 2013
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Abstract: It is generally believed that there is an inverse relationship between population growth and vegetation cover. However, reports about vegetation protection and reforestation around the World have been continuously increasing in recent decades, which seems to indicate that this relationship may not be true. In this paper, we have taken 21 cities in Guangdong Province, China as the study area to test the long-term relationship between population growth and vegetation cover, using an AVHRR NDVI data set and the panel cointegrated regression method. The results show that there is a long-term inverted N-shaped curve relationship between population growth and vegetation cover in the region where there are frequent human activities and the influence of climate change on vegetation cover changes is relatively small. The two turning points of the inverted N-shaped curve for the case of Guangdong Province correspond to 2,200 persons·km−2 and 3,820 persons·km−2, and they can provide a reference range for similar regions of the World. It also states that the population urbanization may have a negative impact on the vegetation cover at the early stage, but have a positive impact at the later stage. In addition, the Panel Error Correction Model (PECM) is used to investigate the causality direction between population growth and vegetation cover. The results show that not only will the consuming destruction effect and planting construction effect induced by the population growth have a great impact on vegetation cover changes, but vegetation cover changes in turn will also affect the population growth in the long term.
Keywords: population growth; vegetation cover; inverted N-shaped curve; NDVI

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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, C.; Kuang, Y.; Huang, N.; Zhang, C. The Long-Term Relationship between Population Growth and Vegetation Cover: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Panel Data of 21 Cities in Guangdong Province, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 660-677.

AMA Style

Li C, Kuang Y, Huang N, Zhang C. The Long-Term Relationship between Population Growth and Vegetation Cover: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Panel Data of 21 Cities in Guangdong Province, China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(2):660-677.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Chao; Kuang, Yaoqiu; Huang, Ningsheng; Zhang, Chao. 2013. "The Long-Term Relationship between Population Growth and Vegetation Cover: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Panel Data of 21 Cities in Guangdong Province, China." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 2: 660-677.

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