Spatiotemporal Patterns of Light Pollution on the Tibetan Plateau over Three Decades at Multiple Scales: Implications for Conservation of Natural Habitats

Yihang Wang, Caifeng Lv, Xinhao Pan, Ziwen Liu, Pei Xia, Chunna Zhang, Zhifeng Liu
2022 Remote Sensing  
Light pollution (LP), induced by human activities, has become a crucial threat to biodiversity on the Tibetan plateau (TP), but few studies have explored its coverage and dynamics. In this study, we intended to measure the spatiotemporal patterns of LP on the TP from 1992 to 2018. First, we extracted the annual extent of LP from time-series nighttime light data. After that, we analyzed its spatiotemporal patterns at multiple scales and identified the natural habitats and the species habitats
more » ... ected by LP. Finally, we discussed the main influencing factors of LP expansion on the TP. We found that the LP area increased exponentially from 1.2 thousand km2 to 82.8 thousand km2, an increase of nearly 70 times. In 2018, LP accounted for 3.2% of the total area of the TP, mainly concentrated in the eastern and southern areas. Several national key ecological function zones (e.g., the Gannan Yellow river key water supply ecological function zone) and national nature reserves (e.g., the Lalu Wetland National Nature Reserve) had a large extent of LP. The proportion of LP area on natural habitats increased from 79.6% to 91.4%. The number of endangered species with habitats affected by LP increased from 89 to 228, and more than a quarter of the habitats of 18 endangered species were affected by LP. We also discovered that roadways as well as settlements in both urban and rural areas were the main sources of LP. Thus, to lessen LP's negative effects on biodiversity, effective measures should be taken during road construction and urbanization on the TP.
doi:10.3390/rs14225755 fatcat:dpvqh34j6bcodak3jioqs2hbfa