Comparative Assessment of Vegetation Dynamics under the Influence of Climate Change and Human Activities in Five Ecologically Vulnerable Regions of China from 2000 to 2015

Hao Wang, Guohua Liu, Zongshan Li, Pengtao Wang, Zhuangzhuang Wang
2019 Forests  
Ongoing climate change and human activities have a great effect on vegetation dynamics. Understanding the impact of climate change and human activities on vegetation dynamics in different ecologically vulnerable regions has great significance in ecosystem management. In this study, the predicted NPP (Net Primary Productivity) and the actual NPP based on different ecological process data and models were combined to estimate the vegetation dynamics and their driving forces in the Northern
more » ... d, Loess Plateau, Arid Desert, Tibetan Plateau, and Karst regions from 2000 to 2015. The results indicated that the NPP in all ecologically vulnerable regions showed a restoration trend, except for that in the Karst region, and the percentage of areas in which NPP increased were, in order, 78% for the Loess Plateau, 71% for the Northern Wind-sand, 69% for the Arid Desert, 54% for the Tibetan Plateau, and 31% for the Karst regions. Vegetation restorations in the Northern Wind-sand and Arid Desert regions were primarily attributable to human activities (86% and 61% of the restoration area, respectively), indicating the success of ecological restoration programs. The Loess Plateau had the largest proportion of vegetation restoration area (44%), which was driven by combined effects of climate and human factors. In the Tibetan Plateau, the vegetation changes due to climate factors were primarily distributed in the west, while those due to human factors were primarily distributed in the east. Human activities caused nearly 60% of the vegetation degradation in the Karst region. Based on these results, it is recognizable that regional climate conditions are the key factor that limits ecological restoration. Therefore, future policy-making should pay more attention to the local characteristics of different ecological vulnerable regions in regional ecosystem management to select reasonable restoration measures, improve restoration efficiency, and maximize the benefits of ecological restoration programs.
doi:10.3390/f10040317 fatcat:gnwk247ez5hiremlq4ffi64inu