Environmental Change in the Agro-Pastoral Transitional Zone, Northern China: Patterns, Drivers, and Implications
2. Data and Methods
2.1. Overview of the Research Area
2.2. Data and Processing
|Data Types||Dataset Name and Specific Information||Source|
|Basic geographic information||Administrative map (1:4 million-scale)||The National Geomatics Center of China |
|The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) digital elevation model (DEM) (resolution:90 m)||Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research-Consortium for Spatial Information (CGIAR-CSI) |
|River and lake system atlas (1:1 million-scale)||The National Geomatics Center of China |
|Hydrological and meteorological data||Annual water discharge and sediment load in six hydrological stations from late 1950s to 2002||[21,22]|
|Daily meteorological data in twelve meteorological stations during 1956–2011||National Meteorological Data Sharing Service System |
|Remote sensing image||GIMMS NDVI3g dataset from NOAA’s AVHRR sensors during 1982 to 2012 (resolution: 8 km × 8 km)||National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) |
|Land use maps in 1985, 2000, and 2010 (1:0.1 million-scale)||Data Center for Resources and Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (RESDC) (http://www.resdc.cn) |
|Environmental monitoring data||Monthly water quality record of 17 monitoring stations from late 1980s to early 2000s Annual air and water quality records of Chengde city and Hebei Province during 2000–2012|||
|The social and economic data||Statistical yearbook for Chengde city||Bureau of Statistics in Hebei Province, China|
2.3.1. Indicator System for Environmental Change Assessment
|Assessment Projects||Indicators||Unit||Assessment Method|
|Water resources||Streamflow||m3||Observational record|
|Water environment||Sediment load||104 t||Observational record|
|Pollutant concentration: COD, NH3-H, MnO4−, volatile phenol||mg/L|
|Pollutant emission: COD, NH3-H||t/km2|
|Other indicators: BOD, total hardness||mg/L|
|Vegetation activity||NDVI||Dimensionless||GIMMS NDVI3g dataset|
|Atmospheric environment||Pollutant concentration: PM2.5||μg/m3||Observational record|
|Pollutant emission: SO2, NOx||mg/L|
2.3.2. Mann–Kendall Trend Detection
2.3.3. Mann–Kendall Change-Point Analysis
2.3.4. Evapotranspiration Estimation with the FAO Penman–Monteith Equation
2.3.5. Estimating the Impact of Climate Variability on Streamflow
2.3.6. Vegetation Growth Change and Trend Estimation
2.3.7. Correlation Analysis between Vegetation Cover and Climatic Factor
3.1. Climatic Change
3.2. Land Use/Land Cover Change
|Types||Percent of Area and Change (%)|
|Water bodies and wetland||1.1||1.4||1.3||0.3||0.0||0.2|
3.3. Water Resources Change and Attribution
3.3.1. Trend and Change Point in Annual Streamflow
3.3.2. Attribution of Water Resources Change
3.4. Water Environment Change and Attribution
3.4.1. Water Environment Change
|Basin||Station||Total Hardness||MnO4−||NH3-N||BOD||Volatile Phenol|
|Yixun River||Miaogong Reservoir||↑||↑||↑||↓||—|
3.4.2. Attribution of Water Environment Change
3.4.3. Soil Loss (Sediment Load) Change and Attribution
3.5. Atmospheric Environment Change and Attribution
3.5.1. Atmospheric Environment Change
3.5.2. Attribution of Atmospheric Environment Change
3.6. Changes in Vegetation Growth and Attribution
3.6.1. Changes in Vegetation Growth Status
3.6.2. Attribution of Vegetation Growth Status Change
|Change Trends of NDVI||Annual Mean Temperature||Annual Precipitation||Annual Mean Wind Speed||Annual Sunshine Hours|
|Significantly positive trend||0.125||0.396||−0.165||0.196|
|Significantly negative trend||−0.499 **||−0.633 **||−0.201||0.253|
4.1. Uncertainty in the Water Resources Change Attribution
4.2. Consistency between Local and Regional Vegetation Growth Change
5. Implications of Environmental Change and Ecological Construction
- In Chengde, the annual mean temperature increased significantly from 1956 to 2011, and the annual precipitation fluctuated severely. The most humid period, 1970–1980, was followed by the driest period in 1980–1990.
- The land cover change in 2000–2010 was not obvious. In comparison with 1985 and 2010, the main changes occurred in woodland, farmland, and residential areas, which were caused jointly by ecological projects, urbanization, and population growth.
- The streamflow in Chengde presented a downward trend from the late 1950s to 2002, with an abrupt change occurring in 1979. Streamflow reduction was induced jointly by climate variability and human activities, with contributions of 33.2% and 66.8%, respectively.
- In the period 2001–2012, clear upward trends were shown in the days of levels I and II air quality. Moreover, the air pollutant concentrations and emissions in Chengde showed relatively low levels compared with those in the adjacent areas and countries or provincial mean levels. That is, the air quality improvement was significantly greater than that in the adjacent areas. The air quality changes were closely related to pollutant emissions induced by anthropogenic activities.
- During 1993–2000, the pollutant of MnO4− and volatile phenols at most stations maintained stability. Hardness and NH3-N at more than 50% stations showed upward trends, and the BOD at 70.6% stations showed downward trends, which is a sign of water quality deterioration. The water quality began to improve after 2002, and the water quality above level III at monitoring stations increased significantly. The water quality changes were closely related to pollutant emissions induced by anthropogenic activities.
- The changes in vegetation growth in Chengde during 1982–2012 showed obvious spatial heterogeneity. At the annual scale, vegetation in the southeastern and central regions presented restoration trends, and the vegetation in the northwestern area showed a degradation trend. The pixels with obvious degradation trends correlated significantly with the annual mean temperature and annual precipitation. Ecological engineering also played a positive role in the vegetation restoration.
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Jiang, C.; Wang, F. Environmental Change in the Agro-Pastoral Transitional Zone, Northern China: Patterns, Drivers, and Implications. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 165. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13020165
Jiang C, Wang F. Environmental Change in the Agro-Pastoral Transitional Zone, Northern China: Patterns, Drivers, and Implications. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2016; 13(2):165. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13020165Chicago/Turabian Style
Jiang, Chong, and Fei Wang. 2016. "Environmental Change in the Agro-Pastoral Transitional Zone, Northern China: Patterns, Drivers, and Implications" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13, no. 2: 165. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13020165