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Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Monitoring the impact of climate change andhuman activities on grassland vegetation dynamics in the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China during 2000–2015

Authors

Qinli XIONG, 1 CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization & Ecological Restoration Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China;
Yang XIAO, 2 College of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Jishou University, Jishou 416000, China;Follow
Marwa Waseem A. HALMY, 3 Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21511, Egypt;
Mohammed A. DAKHIL, 1 CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization & Ecological Restoration Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China; 4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China; 5 Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, Cairo 11790, Egypt; 1 CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization & Ecological Restoration Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China; 2 College of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Jishou University, Jishou 416000, China; 3 Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21511, Egypt; 4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China; 5 Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, Cairo 11790, Egypt;
Pinghan LIANG, 6 School of Government, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
Chenggang LIU, 7 CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resources and Sustainable Use, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun 666303, China;
Lin ZHANG, 1 CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization & Ecological Restoration Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China;
Bikram PANDEY, 1 CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization & Ecological Restoration Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China; 4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China;
Kaiwen PAN, 1 CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization & Ecological Restoration Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China;
Sameh B EL KAFRAWAY, 8 National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, Cairo 11790, Egypt
Jun CHEN, 4 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China;

Abstract

Climate change and human activities can influence vegetation net primary productivity (NPP), a key component of natural ecosystems. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China, in spite of its significant natural and cultural values, is one of the most susceptible regions to climate change and human disturbances in the world. To assess the impact of climate change and human activities on vegetation dynamics in the grassland ecosystems of the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, we applied a time-series trend analysis to normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) datasets from 2000 to 2015 and compared these spatiotemporal variations with trends in climatic variables over the same time period. The constrained ordination approach (redundancy analysis) was used to determine which climatic variables or human-related factors mostly influenced the variation of NDVI. Furthermore, in order to determine whether current conservation measures and programs are effective in ecological protection and reconstruction, we divided the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau into two parts: the Three-River Headwater conservation area (TRH zone) in the south and the non-conservation area (NTRH zone) in the north. The resultsindicatedan overall (73.32%) increasing trend of vegetation NPP in grasslands throughout the study area. During the period 2000–2015, NDVI in the TRH and NTRH zones increased at the rates of 0.0015/a and 0.0020/a, respectively. Specifically, precipitation accounted for 9.2% of the total variation in NDVI, while temperature accounted for 13.4%. In addition, variation in vegetation NPP of grasslands responded not only to long- and short-term changes in climate, as conceptualized in non-equilibrium theory, but also to the impact of human activities and their associated perturbations. The redundancy analysis successfully separated the relative contributions of climate change and human activities, of whichvillage population and agricultural gross domestic product were the two most important contributors to the NDVI changes, explaining 17.8% and 17.1% of the total variation of NDVI (with the total contribution >30.0%), respectively. The total contribution percentages of climate change and human activities to the NDVI variation were 27.5% and 34.9%, respectively, in the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Finally, our study shows that the grassland restoration in the study area was enhanced by protection measures and programs in the TRH zone, which explained 7.6% of the total variation in NDVI.

Keywords

climate change; human activities; NDVI variation; Qinghai-Tibet Plateau; redundancy analysis; vegetation net primary productivity

First Page

637

Last Page

651

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