Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 337–350 | Cite as

Detecting and attributing vegetation changes in Taihang Mountain, China

  • Shi Hu
  • Fei-yu Wang
  • Che-sheng ZhanEmail author
  • Ru-xin Zhao
  • Xiong-guo Mo
  • Liang-mei-zi Liu


Attributing vegetation changes provide fundamental information for ecosystem management, especially in mountainous areas which has vulnerable ecosystems. Based on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data, the spatial-temporal change of vegetation was detected in Taihang Mountain (THM) from 2000 to 2014. The topographical factors were introduced to interpret the response of vegetation variation to climate change and human activities. Results showed that the avegaged NDVI during growing season showed a single-peak curve distribution, with the largest value (0.628) among 1600–1800 m. A significant greening trend was detected in THM, with the largest increasing rate (0.0078 yr-1) among the elevation of 1600–1800 m and slope gradient between 3~5°. The partial correlation and multiple correlation analyses indicated that vegetation variation in more than 81.8% pixels of the THM was mainly impacted by human activities. In the low elevation zones less than 1000 m, increasing precipitation is the principle factor promoting vegetation restoration, whereas in the high elevation zones of THM, temperature is the restricted factors impacting vegetation variation. Considering the dramatic climate change in the future, further studies should be conducted to explore inherent mechanism of vegetation growth to dynamic environment changes.


Normalized difference vegetation index Topography factors Climate change Taihang Mountain 


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The research was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No. 2015CB452701) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41571019).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material, approximately 259 KB.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Water Cycle & Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Geography and TourismShaanxi Normal UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.College of Water SciencesBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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