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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(11), 15517-15535; doi:10.3390/rs71115517

Changes in Growing Season Vegetation and Their Associated Driving Forces in China during 2001–2012

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
Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
4
College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100875, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Parth Sarathi Roy and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 28 August 2015 / Revised: 9 November 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [788 KB, uploaded 18 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

In recent decades, the monitoring of vegetation dynamics has become crucial because of its important role in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, a satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was combined with climate factors to explore the spatiotemporal patterns of vegetation change during the growing season, as well as their driving forces in China from 2001 to 2012. Our results showed that the growing season NDVI increased continuously during 2001–2012, with a linear trend of 1.4%/10 years (p < 0.01). The NDVI in north China mainly exhibited an increasing spatial trend, but this trend was generally decreasing in south China. The vegetation dynamics were mainly at a moderate intensity level in both the increasing and decreasing areas. The significantly increasing trend in the NDVI for arid and semi-arid areas of northwest China was attributed mainly to an increasing trend in the NDVI during the spring, whereas that for the north and northeast of China was due to an increasing trend in the NDVI during the summer and autumn. Different vegetation types exhibited great variation in their trends, where the grass-forb community had the highest linear trend of 2%/10 years (p < 0.05), followed by meadow, and needle-leaf forest with the lowest increasing trend, i.e., a linear trend of 0.3%/10 years. Our results also suggested that the cumulative precipitation during the growing season had a dominant effect on the vegetation dynamics compared with temperature for all six vegetation types. In addition, the response of different vegetation types to climate variability exhibited considerable differences. In terms of anthropological activity, our statistical analyses showed that there was a strong correlation between the cumulative afforestation area and NDVI during the study period, especially in a pilot region for ecological restoration, thereby suggesting the important role of ecological restoration programs in ecological recovery throughout China in the last decade. View Full-Text
Keywords: China; climate change; ecological restoration; normalized difference vegetation index; vegetation dynamics China; climate change; ecological restoration; normalized difference vegetation index; vegetation dynamics
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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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Liu, X.; Zhu, X.; Li, S.; Liu, Y.; Pan, Y. Changes in Growing Season Vegetation and Their Associated Driving Forces in China during 2001–2012. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 15517-15535.

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