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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(2), 121; doi:10.3390/rs8020121

The Greenness of Major Shrublands in China Increased from 2001 to 2013

1
,
1,* , 1,†
,
1,†
and
2,†
1
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
Department of Environmental Science, University of Puerto Rico—Rio Piedras, San Juan 00936, WA, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alfredo R. Huete and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 14 November 2015 / Revised: 30 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 January 2016 / Published: 5 February 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1460 KB, uploaded 5 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

Shrubs have been reported to expand into grassland and polar regions in the world, which causes complex changes in ecosystem carbon, nutrients, and resilience. Given the projected global drying trend, shrubs with their superior drought resistance and tolerance may play more important roles in global ecosystem function. Shrubland exists in all of the climate zones in China, from subtropical to temperate and high cold regions, and they occupy more than 20% of the land area. In this paper, we analyzed the spatiotemporal trend of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) EVI (Enhanced Vegetation Index) for six shrubland types in China from 2001 to 2013 and its relationship to intra- and inter-annual regional climate dynamics. Existing literature reported that the vegetation index did not change significantly in China during 2000–2012. However, we found that the shrubland EVI in China increased significantly at a rate of 1.01 × 10−3 EVI·a−1 from 2001 to 2013. Two major shrubland types (subtropical evergreen and temperate deciduous) and two desert types (high-cold desert and temperate desert) increased significantly, whereas subalpine evergreen shrubland decreased at a rate of −0.64 × 10−3 EVI·a−1. We also detected a significantly lengthened growing season of temperate deciduous shrubland. The growing season length contributed significantly to the annual averaged EVI for temperate deciduous, subalpine deciduous and subtropical evergreen shrublands. Furthermore, the precipitation variation contributed more to the annual averaged EVI than the temperature. The year-round decrease in rainfall and the increase in temperature led to a significant reduction in the subalpine evergreen shrubland EVI. The enhancement of countrywide shrubland EVI may promote its contribution to the regional ecosystem function and its potential to invade grasslands. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetation growth; MODIS-EVI; climate change; China; ecosystem stability vegetation growth; MODIS-EVI; climate change; China; ecosystem stability
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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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Wang, Y.; Gao, Q.; Liu, T.; Tian, Y.; Yu, M. The Greenness of Major Shrublands in China Increased from 2001 to 2013. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 121.

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