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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(9), 11163-11182; doi:10.3390/rs70911163

NDVI-Based Analysis on the Influence of Climate Change and Human Activities on Vegetation Restoration in the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Region, Central China

1
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3
College of Resources Science & Technology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
4
Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yuei-An Liou, Chyi-Tyi Lee, Yaoming Ma, Takashi Oguchi, Indrajeet Chaubey, Clement Atzberger, Josef Kellndorfer and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 16 May 2015 / Revised: 9 August 2015 / Accepted: 25 August 2015 / Published: 31 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations for the Sustainable Development)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1906 KB, uploaded 31 August 2015]   |  

Abstract

In recent decades, climate change has affected vegetation growth in terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation cover on the Loess Plateau’s Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia region in central China using MODIS-NDVI data for 2000–2014. We examined the roles of regional climate change and human activities in vegetation restoration, particularly from 1999 when conversion of sloping farmland to forestland or grassland began under the national Grain-for-Green program. Our results indicated a general upward trend in average NDVI values in the study area. The region’s annual growth rate greatly exceeded those of the Three-North Shelter Forest, the upper reaches of the Yellow River, the Qinling–Daba Mountains, and the Three-River Headwater region. The green vegetation zone has been annually extending from the southeast toward the northwest, with about 97.4% of the region evidencing an upward trend in vegetation cover. The NDVI trend and fluctuation characteristics indicate the occurrence of vegetation restoration in the study region, with gradual vegetation stabilization associated with 15 years of ecological engineering projects. Under favorable climatic conditions, increasing local vegetation cover is primarily attributable to ecosystem reconstruction projects. However, our findings indicate a growing risk of vegetation degradation in the northern part of Shaanxi Province as a result of energy production facilities and chemical industry infrastructure, and increasing exploitation of mineral resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetation restoration; normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI); Grain-for-Green program; spatiotemporal pattern; Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia region vegetation restoration; normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI); Grain-for-Green program; spatiotemporal pattern; Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia region
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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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Li, S.; Yang, S.; Liu, X.; Liu, Y.; Shi, M. NDVI-Based Analysis on the Influence of Climate Change and Human Activities on Vegetation Restoration in the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Region, Central China. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 11163-11182.

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