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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(9), 9130-9144; doi:10.3390/rs6099130

Changes in Spring Phenology in the Three-Rivers Headwater Region from 1999 to 2013

1
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
College of Resources Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3
College of Tourism and Environment, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710062, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 March 2014 / Revised: 1 September 2014 / Accepted: 15 September 2014 / Published: 24 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Land Degradation in Drylands)
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Abstract

Vegetation phenology is considered a sensitive indicator of terrestrial ecosystem response to global climate change. We used a satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation index to investigate the spatiotemporal changes in the green-up date over the Three-Rivers Headwater Region (TRHR) from 1999 to 2013 and characterized their driving forces using climatic data sets. A significant advancement trend was observed throughout the entire study area from 1999 to 2013 with a linear tendency of 6.3 days/decade (p < 0.01); the largest advancement trend was over the Yellow River source region (8.6 days/decade, p < 0.01). Spatially, the green-up date increased from the southeast to the northwest, and the green-up date of 87.4% of pixels fell between the 130th and 150th Julian day. Additionally, about 91.5% of the study area experienced advancement in the green-up date, of which 80.2%, mainly distributed in areas of vegetation coverage increase, experienced a significant advance. Moreover, it was found that the green-up date and its trend were significantly correlated with altitude. Statistical analyses showed that a 1-°C increase in spring temperature would induce an advancement in the green-up date of 4.2 days. We suggest that the advancement of the green-up date in the TRHR might be attributable principally to warmer and wetter springs. View Full-Text
Keywords: spring phenology; spatiotemporal change; climate change; Three-Rivers Headwater Region (TRHR); normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) spring phenology; spatiotemporal change; climate change; Three-Rivers Headwater Region (TRHR); normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Liu, X.; Zhu, X.; Zhu, W.; Pan, Y.; Zhang, C.; Zhang, D. Changes in Spring Phenology in the Three-Rivers Headwater Region from 1999 to 2013. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 9130-9144.

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