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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(4), 332; doi:10.3390/rs9040332

The Observed Impacts of Wind Farms on Local Vegetation Growth in Northern China

1
The State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Beijing Engineering Research Center for Global Land Remote Sensing, College of Remote Sensing Science and Engineering, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, No. 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Haidian District, Beijing 100875, China
2
Joint Center for Global Change Studies (JCGCS), Beijing 100875, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, No. 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Haidian District, Beijing 100875, China
4
Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Disaster, Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, No. 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Haidian District, Beijing 100875, China
5
Shaanxi Jinkong Compass Information Service Co., Ltd., Xi’an 710077, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jose Moreno and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 31 March 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [7940 KB, uploaded 1 April 2017]   |  

Abstract

Wind farms (WFs) can affect the local climate, and local climate change may influence underlying vegetation. Some studies have shown that WFs affect certain aspects of the regional climate, such as temperature and rainfall. However, there is still no evidence to demonstrate whether WFs can affect local vegetation growth, a significant part of the overall assessment of WF effects. In this research, based on the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation index, productivity and other remote-sensing data from 2003 to 2014, the effects of WFs in the Bashang area of Northern China on vegetation growth and productivity in the summer (June–August) were analyzed. The results showed that: (1) WFs had a significant inhibiting effect on vegetation growth, as demonstrated by decreases in the leaf area index (LAI), the enhanced vegetation index (EVI), and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) of approximately 14.5%, 14.8%, and 8.9%, respectively, in the 2003–2014 summers. There was also an inhibiting effect of 8.9% on summer gross primary production (GPP) and 4.0% on annual net primary production (NPP) coupled with WFs; and (2) the major impact factors might be the changes in temperature and soil moisture: WFs suppressed soil moisture and enhanced water stress in the study area. This research provides significant observational evidence that WFs can inhibit the growth and productivity of the underlying vegetation. View Full-Text
Keywords: wind farm impact; vegetation growth; vegetation index; satellite observations; GPP; land surface temperature; land use change wind farm impact; vegetation growth; vegetation index; satellite observations; GPP; land surface temperature; land use change
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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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Tang, B.; Wu, D.; Zhao, X.; Zhou, T.; Zhao, W.; Wei, H. The Observed Impacts of Wind Farms on Local Vegetation Growth in Northern China. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 332.

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