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Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 308; doi:10.3390/su8040308

Spatio-Temporal Variations of Rain-Use Efficiency in the West of Songliao Plain, China

School of Geographical Sciences, Northeast Normal University, Renmin Street 5268, Changchun 130024, China
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Academic Editors: Jamal Jokar Arsanjani and Marc A. Rosen
Received: 31 January 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2016 / Accepted: 21 March 2016 / Published: 26 March 2016
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Abstract

Spatio-temporal patterns of rain-use efficiency (RUE) can explicitly present the steady-state of ecosystem water use and thus ecosystem functioning. The west of Songliao Plain, located along the east fringe of the agro-pasture transitional zone in northern China, is highly sensitive to global change. In this study, satellite-based RUE was calculated using time series SPOT VEGETATION (SPOT-VGT) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images and precipitation data for the study area from 1999 to 2011. Based on regression model by fitting simple linear regression through the pixel-based time series of RUE in the growing season and calculating the slopes, the change trend of RUE was determined. The grey relational analysis (GRA) method was extended to the spatial scale, and used to select sensitive climate and socio-economic factors that affected RUE variations. The result demonstrated that vegetation RUE increased slightly with an undulating trend, implying the ecosystem function tended to improve between 1999 and 2011. In total, 4.23% of the total area had experienced a significant increase in RUE, whereas 1.29% of the total area presented a significant decrease. Areas showing increased RUE trends mostly coincided with areas of land cover conversions from grassland to forest, shrub to forest and cropland to forest, which suggested a positive linkage with ecological protection policy and projects at national and local levels. Based on the obtained spatial Grey Relation Grade (GRG) values, the pattern of the impact factors clearly showed a spatial heterogeneity. Spatially, sunshine duration, temperature and population density were most closely related to RUE in the west of Songliao Plain between 1999 and 2011. View Full-Text
Keywords: rain-use efficiency; NDVI; grey relational analysis; SPOT VEGETATION; the west of Songliao Plain rain-use efficiency; NDVI; grey relational analysis; SPOT VEGETATION; the west of Songliao Plain
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Huang, F.; Xu, S. Spatio-Temporal Variations of Rain-Use Efficiency in the West of Songliao Plain, China. Sustainability 2016, 8, 308.

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