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Open AccessArticle

Analysis of the Driving Forces in Vegetation Variation in the Grain for Green Program Region, China

Department of Geography, School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Nanjing 210042, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1853;
Received: 24 August 2017 / Revised: 11 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Restoration for Sustainable Forest Management)
The Chinese government introduced six ecological restoration programs to improve its natural environment. Although these programs have proven successful in improving local environmental conditions, some studies have questioned their effectiveness when regions suffer from extreme weather conditions. Using the Grain for Green Program (GGP) region as a study area, we estimated vegetation activities in the GGP region from 2000 to 2010 to clarify the trends in vegetation growth and their driving forces. The results showed that: (1) vegetation activities improved in the GGP region during 2000-2010, with 58.94% of the area showing an increased trend in the NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index); (2) 26.33% of the increased vegetation was caused by human interference, and 11.61% by climate variation, human activity was the dominant cause, and resulted in 54.68% of the degradation compared to 4.74% from climate change; and, (3) the contribution of different land use types to the NDVI interannual variations showed that high contribution regions were focused in the arid and semiarid areas, where the vegetation growth is associated with variations in recipitation and temperature. However, conversions between farmland and grassland or forest had a significant effect on the change in the NDVI trend. Therefore, although climate conditions can affect vegetation growth, human activities are more important in vegetation changes, and appropriate human activities would contribute to its continual improvement. Hence, we recommend establishing an assessment and scientific management mechanism for eco-risks in the design and management of ecosystem restoration programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: grain for green program; NDVI; climate fluctuation; human activity grain for green program; NDVI; climate fluctuation; human activity
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Wang, H.; Liu, G.; Li, Z.; Ye, X.; Fu, B.; Lü, Y. Analysis of the Driving Forces in Vegetation Variation in the Grain for Green Program Region, China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1853.

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