Response of Vegetation to Climatic and Anthropogenic Drivers in the Plateau

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land–Atmosphere Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2024 | Viewed by 4457

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Geographical Science, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Hohhot 010022, China
Interests: SWAT model; climate change; hydrological modeling; water balance; landuse and cover change; ecohydrological changes in arid and semi-arid zones
Inner Mongolia Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Hohhot 010022, China
Interests: climate change; hydrology and water resources; flood monitoring and simulation; drought; soil moisture; ecological response to extreme climate change

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Guest Editor
College of Resources and Environment Economy, Inner Mongolia University of Finance and Economics, Hohhot 010070, China
Interests: vegetation dynamic monitoring; ecosystem services; landuse and cover change; climate change; soil erosion; urbanization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Vegetation is a natural link connecting various circles and the main body of the terrestrial ecosystem, moreover, it is an indicator of regional climate change and human activities, and plays an important role in regulating carbon, water, and energy cycles. With diverse vegetation types and complex geographical environment, the vegetation growth in the plateau region is more sensitive to climate change and human activities, and is a sensitive and vulnerable zone for global climate change and ecological environment changes. Since the beginning of the Anthropocene, the vegetation ecosystem has been significantly changed by both climate warming and human activities, mainly in the form of glacial retreat, land desertification, and grassland degradation. If humans continue to develop and use the earth's resources unreasonably in the future, it will lead to the gradual depletion of natural resources and further degradation of the ecosystem, which will threaten the ecosystem and ecological security of the plateau region. Therefore, it is of great scientific and practical significance to investigate the dynamic changes of plateau vegetation and the interrelationship between vegetation, climate change, and human activities, in order to grasp the current situation of global plateau ecosystem, restore the balance of ecosystem and promote the sustainable development of ecosystem.

This Special Issue focuses on papers that contribute to a better understanding of the characteristics of synergistic vegetation–water–soil changes in plateau regions in the context of climate change and increased human activities. Examples of particularly interesting topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Response of vegetation (growth, health, phenology, etc.) to climate change and human activities in plateau regions;
  • Relationship between extreme weather changes such as droughts and floods and vegetation biomass;
  • Effects of land use/cover change or ecological engineering on regional vegetation (cover, leaf area index, etc.);
  • Differences in vegetation response to climate change and human activities for different substrate conditions (elevation, slope, etc.);
  • Relationship between environmental factors, such as glacier, snow, permafrost, etc., and vegetation changes in the context of climate warming;
  • Impacts of excessive logging and grazing activities on vegetation;
  • Characteristics of vegetation response to urbanization process;
  • Response of vegetation ecosystem quality to coupled atmosphere–water changes;
  • Climate–vegetation–soil–water–ecosystem feedback mechanisms.

This call solicits process-level studies based on both observations and model simulations. This includes intensive observational field campaign studies, long-term in situ observatories, satellite observations, and simulations from plot-scale process-oriented models or regional/global Earth system models.

Dr. Fanhao Meng
Dr. Min Luo
Dr. Wenfeng Chi
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • vegetation degradation
  • landuse and cover change
  • climate change impact
  • grazing
  • deforestation
  • extreme climate factors
  • droughts and floods
  • plateau vegetation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 2147 KiB  
Article
Temporal and Spatial Variation Characteristics of the Ecosystem in the Inner Mongolia Section of the Yellow River Basin
by Junjie Yang, Laigen Jia, Jun Hao, Qiancheng Luo, Wenfeng Chi, Yuetian Wang, He Zheng, Ruiqiang Yuan and Ya Na
Atmosphere 2024, 15(7), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15070827 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 176
Abstract
As one of the most vital ecological regions in China, the well-being of the Inner Mongolia section of the Yellow River Basin directly hinges upon comprehending the variations in its ecosystem. The current research puts emphasis on the analysis of single-factor ecological indicators [...] Read more.
As one of the most vital ecological regions in China, the well-being of the Inner Mongolia section of the Yellow River Basin directly hinges upon comprehending the variations in its ecosystem. The current research puts emphasis on the analysis of single-factor ecological indicators within the Mongolian section of the Yellow River and lacks summarization and analysis regarding the overall state of the ecosystem within the Mongolian section of the Yellow River. This study, using methods such as remote sensing interpretation and model simulation, combined with ground surveys, analyzes the macrostructure, quality status, service functions, and driving factors of the ecosystem in the Inner Mongolia section of the Yellow River Basin from 2000 to 2020. The results indicate that (1) in 2020, the ecosystem structure in the Inner Mongolia section of the Yellow River Basin was predominantly composed of forest, grassland, and other types of systems. (2) From 2000 to 2020, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Fractional Vegetation Cover (FVC), and net primary productivity (NPP) all showed increasing trends in the Inner Mongolia section of the Yellow River Basin, with NPP showing a slightly greater increase compared to the NDVI and FVC. (3) Over the past two decades, the overall rate of decrease in the wind erosion modulus per unit area was 1.675 t hm−2. (4) An analysis of the drivers of ecosystem changes revealed that while climate change has exerted an influence, human activities have likewise had a substantial effect on the ecosystem over the past 20 years. This study contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the current status and changes in the ecosystem, providing a decision-making basis for subsequent ecological protection and management projects. Full article
19 pages, 16259 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Spatial and Temporal Changes in FVC and Their Driving Forces in the Inner Mongolia Section of the Yellow River Basin
by Danni He, Yong Wang, Dengji Wang, Yahui Yang, Wenya Fang and Yu Wang
Atmosphere 2024, 15(6), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15060736 - 20 Jun 2024
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Abstract
To investigate the spatial and temporal changes in fractional vegetation coverage (FVC) and their driving forces in different regions of the Inner Mongolia section of the Yellow River Basin, this paper observed the spatial trends and stability of FVC in these regions based [...] Read more.
To investigate the spatial and temporal changes in fractional vegetation coverage (FVC) and their driving forces in different regions of the Inner Mongolia section of the Yellow River Basin, this paper observed the spatial trends and stability of FVC in these regions based on the MOD13Q1 information regarding the 2000–2020 period as a data source. It used the dimidiate pixel model to invert FVC, and based on the centre of gravity migration model, the coefficient of variation and the Mann–Kendall and Sen’s slope estimator test, it studied the spatial variation trend and stability of FVC in the four relevant areas of the Inner Mongolia section; an attribution analysis using a geodetector was also conducted. The following results were found: (1) in terms of temporal FVC change in the relevant areas, from 2000 to 2020, the overall FVC showed an increasing trend, indicating an obvious hierarchy of change as per different seasonal scales (summer > growing season > fall > spring). There is a mutation point in FVC in different areas, and the FVC sequence is random. (2) Regarding spatial change, the overall FVC showed a trend of being high in the eastern regions and low in the western regions and low–high–low from the north to the south; the stability of the Hetao Irrigation District–Wuliangsuhai Area changed more significantly with the successive seasons, and the degraded areas of FVC were mainly distributed in the city centre of the Kundulun River–Daheihe River Area and in the Hetao Irrigation District in the summer. (3) In terms of driving factors, soil type had a relatively higher explanatory power regarding the Hetao Irrigation District–Wuliangsuhai Area, rainfall had a relatively higher explanatory power regarding the Morin River–Wuding River Area and the Kundulun River–Daheihe River Area, and land use had a relatively higher explanatory power regarding the Ten Kongtui–Heidaigou Area. Full article
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21 pages, 2905 KiB  
Article
Carbon Sequestration Potential of Agroforestry versus Adjoining Forests at Different Altitudes in the Garhwal Himalayas
by Naresh Singh, Manoj Kumar Riyal, Bhupendra Singh, Vinod Prasad Khanduri, Deepa Rawat, Chandramohan Singh, Marina M. S. Cabral Pinto and Munesh Kumar
Atmosphere 2024, 15(3), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15030313 - 1 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1333
Abstract
Forests face a variety of threats in the modern era. Agroforestry systems, both traditional and introduced, have a tremendous capacity for providing sustainable resources and combating the impact of global climate change. Indigenous agroforestry and forest land-use systems are important reservoirs for biodiversity [...] Read more.
Forests face a variety of threats in the modern era. Agroforestry systems, both traditional and introduced, have a tremendous capacity for providing sustainable resources and combating the impact of global climate change. Indigenous agroforestry and forest land-use systems are important reservoirs for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services, providing a potential contribution to livelihood security for rural communities. This study aimed to assess the tree diversity and carbon stock of agroforestry and adjoining forests along altitudinal gradients, ranging between 700 and 2200 masl (i.e., lower, middle, and upper altitudes) by laying sample plots randomly of a size of 20 × 20 m2. In the forest land-use system, the maximum Importance Value Index (IVI) included Dalbergia sissoo (71.10), Pyrus pashia (76.78), and Pinus roxburghii (79.69) at the upper, middle, and lower elevations, respectively, whereas, in the agroforestry land-use system, the IVI reported for Ficus semicordata was 43.05 at the upper, while for Grewia optiva it was at 53.82 at the middle and 59.33 at the lower altitudes. The below-ground biomass density (AGBD) was recorded as 1023.48 t ha−1 (lower), 242.92 t ha−1 (middle), and 1099.35 t ha−1(upper), while in the agroforestry land-use system, the AGBD was 353.48 t ha−1 (lower), 404.32 t ha−1 (middle), and 373.23 t ha−1 (upper). The total carbon density (TCD) values recorded were 630.57, 167.32, and 784.00 t ha−1 in forest land-use systems, and 227.46, 343.23, and 252.47 in agroforestry land-use systems for lower, middle, and upper altitudes, respectively. The Margalef’s Index values for agroforestry and forests ranged from 2.39 to 2.85 and 1.12 to 1.30, respectively. Soil organic carbon (SOC) stock recorded 45.32, 58.92, and 51.13 Mg C ha−1 for agroforestry and 61.73, 42.65, and 71.08 Mg C ha−1 for forest in lower, middle and upper elevations, respectively. The study suggests that selecting land use patterns can be an effective management system for tree species at different elevations for carbon storage, helping to mitigate climate change and aiding in sustainable management of ecosystems in the Garhwal Himalayas. Full article
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21 pages, 15621 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Ecosystem Service Balance in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region and Its Ecological Security Barrier with Inner Mongolia
by Yixin Fang, Richa Hu, Fanhao Meng, Min Luo, Chula Sa, Yuhai Bao, Jun Lei and Lu Chao
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010076 - 8 Jan 2024
Viewed by 912
Abstract
In the context of the global decline in the capacity of ecosystem services (ESs) to meet increasing human demands, assessing and quantifying ESs is crucial for ecological policy formulation. To address this, our study employs an adjusted land-use matrix method and the patch-generating [...] Read more.
In the context of the global decline in the capacity of ecosystem services (ESs) to meet increasing human demands, assessing and quantifying ESs is crucial for ecological policy formulation. To address this, our study employs an adjusted land-use matrix method and the patch-generating land-use simulation (PLUS) model for a quantitative analysis of the ES balance in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei–Inner Mongolia (JJJM) region from 2000 to 2020, projecting to 2040. Focusing on the JJJM region, a focal area for ecological policy exhibits significant socioeconomic disparities, revealing a synergistic interplay in the ESs balance. Areas with high vegetation cover, like forests and grasslands, demonstrate an elevated ESs balance, with Inner Mongolia having the highest total ESs balance at 71.40. Conversely, highly urbanized areas, such as Beijing and Tianjin, face deficits in the ESs balance, with Tianjin recording the lowest at 17.83. Our results show an upward trend in total ESs balance in the JJJM region (slope: 0.08 year−1). In particular, regulating services are declining (slope: −0.04 year−1), cultural services are increasing (slope: 0.08 year−1), and provisioning services remain relatively stable. Projecting to 2040, our analysis indicates a slight decline in ESs balance, attributed to Inner Mongolia’s urban expansion. This emphasizes the need for industrial transfers and proactive urbanization promotion to enhance ESs balance and support sustainable management and ecological civilization development in the JJJM region. Full article
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14 pages, 7481 KiB  
Article
Vulnerability Identification and Analysis of Contributors to Desertification in Inner Mongolia
by Yang Chen, Long Ma, Tingxi Liu, Xing Huang and Guohua Sun
Atmosphere 2023, 14(7), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14071170 - 19 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1114
Abstract
Desertification vulnerability and contributing factors are of global concern. This study analyzed the spatial and temporal distribution of net primary productivity (NPP), precipitation, and temperature from 1985 to 2015. The rain use efficiency (RUE) of vegetation was selected as an indicator; and desertification [...] Read more.
Desertification vulnerability and contributing factors are of global concern. This study analyzed the spatial and temporal distribution of net primary productivity (NPP), precipitation, and temperature from 1985 to 2015. The rain use efficiency (RUE) of vegetation was selected as an indicator; and desertification vulnerability and contributors were evaluated with the Mann–Kendall test (M–K test) and the Thornthwaite–Memorial model. The results showed that NPP was lower in that years that had lower precipitation and higher temperatures, and vice versa. NPP was spatially consistent with precipitation distribution and roughly opposite to the spatial distribution of the annual change rate of temperature. The desertification vulnerability decreased from west to east, among which both the western sub–region (WSR) and the central sub–region (CSR) had the largest proportion of regions with high desertification vulnerability. On the other hand, the eastern sub–region (ESR) mostly comprises areas with extremely low or low desertification vulnerability. The vulnerability contributors for desertification differed among each sub–region. The desertified regions in WSR and ESR were mainly influenced by human activity (HA), but primarily driven by the combined impact of Precipitation–Temperature (PT) and HA in CSR. The south–east part of the CSR was only affected by HA, whereas the lesser affected regions in the study area were affected by PT and HA simultaneously. The study provides recommendations for the improvement of regional ecological environments to prevent future disasters. Full article
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