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01.10.2011 | Original Article | Ausgabe 4/2011

Environmental Earth Sciences 4/2011

Assessing vegetation dynamics in the Three-North Shelter Forest region of China using AVHRR NDVI data

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 4/2011
Autoren:
Hanchen Duan, Changzhen Yan, Atsushi Tsunekawa, Xiang Song, Sen Li, Jiali Xie

Abstract

The Three-North Shelter Forest Programme (TNSFP) covers 551 Chinese counties and an area of 4,069,000 km2 mostly in arid and semi-arid regions. In this paper, we discuss the temporal and spatial changes in value of the normalized-difference vegetation index (NDVI) in this region, and the relationships between NDVI and climatic factors (temperature and precipitation) based on NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies NDVI data with 8-km resolution from 1982 to 2006. During the past 25 years, the vegetation cover has generally increased in eastern regions of China and the oasis in the north piedmont of Tianshan Mountains, but has decreased northwest of Xinjiang and in the Hulunbeier Plateau. The multi-year monthly average NDVI distribution map showed that NDVI increased from April to August, but in the western and northern plateau areas, the lower temperatures and high altitude created a shorter growing season (1 or 2 months). The vegetation of the study area has generally increased in the regions covered by the TNSFP. Linear regression analysis of the vegetation cover showed an increasing trend over large areas. The largest annual growth rate per pixel (the slope of the regression) was 0.009; the largest negative annual change was −0.004. The correlation between NDVI and precipitation was higher than that between NDVI and temperature, suggesting that precipitation is the most important factor that affects NDVI changes in the study area, especially for temperate desert vegetation in northwestern China.

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