The response of vegetation dynamics of the different alpine grassland types to temperature and precipitation on the Tibetan Plateau
- 372 Downloads
The spatiotemporal variability of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) of three vegetation types (alpine steppe, alpine meadow, and alpine desert steppe) across the Tibetan Plateau was analyzed from 1982 to 2013. In addition, the annual mean temperature (MAT) and annual mean precipitation (MAP) trends were quantified to define the spatiotemporal climate patterns. Meanwhile, the relationships between climate factors and NDVI were analyzed in order to understand the impact of climate change on vegetation dynamics. The results indicate that the maximum of NDVI increased by 0.3 and 0.2 % per 10 years in the entire regions of alpine steppe and alpine meadow, respectively. However, no significant change in the NDVI of the alpine desert steppe has been observed since 1982. A negative relationship between NDVI and MAT was found in all these alpine grassland types, while MAP positively impacted the vegetation dynamics of all grasslands. Also, the effects of temperature and precipitation on different vegetation types differed, and the correlation coefficient for MAP and NDVI in alpine meadow is larger than that for other vegetation types. We also explored the percentages of precipitation and temperature influence on NDVI variation, using redundancy analysis at the observation point scale. The results show that precipitation is a primary limiting factor for alpine vegetation dynamic, rather than temperature. Most importantly, the results can serve as a tool for grassland ecosystem management.
KeywordsVegetation dynamics Alpine grassland Normalized difference vegetation index Precipitation Temperature Tibetan Plateau
We thank the China Meteorological Data Sharing Service System and the Western Data Center for providing meteorological data and the AVHRR GIMMS3g NDVI dataset, respectively. This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 41501057), West Light Foundation of The Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Open Fund of the Key Laboratory of Mountain Surface Processes and Eco-regulation.
- Liu, M., Liu, G. H., Gong, L., Wang, D. B., & Sun, J. (2014). Relationships of biomass with environmental factors in the grassland area of Hulunbuir, China. Plos One, 9.Google Scholar
- Nowak, A. S., & Nobis, M. (2012). Distribution patterns, floristic structure and habitat requirements of the alpine river plant community Stuckenietum amblyphyllae ass. nova (Potametea) in the Pamir Alai Mountains (Tajikistan). Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae, 81, 101–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schaphoff, S., Heyder, U., Ostberg, S., Gerten, D., Heinke, J., & Lucht, W. (2013). Contribution of permafrost soils to the global carbon budget. Environmental Research Letters, 8.Google Scholar
- Shen, C., Shen, C. M., Liu, K. B., Carrie, M., Overpeck, J. T., Peng, J. L., & Tang, L. Y. (2008). Ecotone shift and major droughts during the mid-late holocene in the central Tibetan Platenu. Remote Sensing, 89, 1079–1088.Google Scholar
- Sun, J., Wang, X. D., Cheng, G. W., Wu, J. B., Hong, J. T., & Niu, S. L. (2014). Effects of grazing regimes on plant traits and soil nutrients in an alpine steppe Northern Tibetan Plateau. Plos One, 9.Google Scholar
- Xu, X. K., CHEN, H., & LEVY, J. K. (2008). Spatiotemporal vegetation cover variations in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau under global climate change. Chinese Science Bulletin, 53, 915–922.Google Scholar
- Xu, W. X., Gu, S., Zhao, X. Q., Xiao, J. S., Tang, Y. H., Fang, J. Y., Zhang, J., & Jiang, S. (2011). High positive correlation between soil temperature and NDVI from 1982 to 2006 in alpine meadow of the Three-River Source Region on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 13, 528–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar