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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(3), 271;

Human Activity Influences on Vegetation Cover Changes in Beijing, China, from 2000 to 2015

School of Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Conghe Song, Junxiang Li, Weiqi Zhou, Sangram Ganguly and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 6 December 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Urban Ecology)
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For centuries, the rapid development of human society has already made human activity the dominant factor in the terrestrial ecosystem. As the city of greatest importance in China, the capital Beijing has experienced eco-environmental changes with unprecedented economic and population growth during the past few decades. To better understand the ecological transition and its correlations in Beijing, Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and Operational Land Imager (OLI) images were used to investigate vegetation coverage changes using a dimidiate pixel model. Piecewise linear regression, bivariate-partial correlation analysis, and factor analysis were applied to the probing of the relationship between vegetation coverage changes and climatic/human-induced factors. The results showed that from 2000 to 2005, 2005 to 2010, and 2010 to 2015, Beijing experienced both restoration (6.33%, 10.08%, and 12.81%, respectively) and degradation (13.62%, 9.35%, and 9.49%, respectively). The correlation analysis results between climate and vegetation changes demonstrated that from 2000 to 2015, both the multi-year annual mean temperature (r = −0.819, p < 0.01) and the multi-year annual mean precipitation (r = 0.653, p < 0.05) had a significantly correlated relationship with vegetation change. The Beijing-Tianjin Sandstorm Source Control Project (BTSSCP) has shown beneficial spatial effects on vegetation restoration; the total effectiveness in conservation areas (84.94 in 2000–2010) was much better than non-BTSSCP areas (34.34 in 2000–2010). The most contributory socioeconomic factors were the population (contribution = 54.356%) and gross domestic product (GDP) (contribution = 30.677%). The population showed a significantly negative correlation with the overall vegetation coverage (r = −0.684, p < 0.05). The GDP was significantly negatively correlated with vegetation in Tongzhou, Daxing, Central city, Fangshan, Shunyi, and Changping (r = −0.601, p < 0.01), while positively related in Huairou, Miyun, Pinggu, Mentougou and Yanqing (r = 0.614, p < 0.01). These findings confirm that human activity is a very significant factor in impacting and explaining vegetation changes, and that some socioeconomic influences on vegetation coverage are highly spatially heterogeneous, based on the context of different areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: population; urban expansion; ecological transition; FVC; remote sensing monitoring; Beijing-Tianjin Sandstorm Source Control Project population; urban expansion; ecological transition; FVC; remote sensing monitoring; Beijing-Tianjin Sandstorm Source Control Project

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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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Jiang, M.; Tian, S.; Zheng, Z.; Zhan, Q.; He, Y. Human Activity Influences on Vegetation Cover Changes in Beijing, China, from 2000 to 2015. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 271.

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