Journal of Geographical Sciences

, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 801–816 | Cite as

The response of vegetation growth to shifts in trend of temperature in China



Though many studies have focused on the causes of shifts in trend of temperature, whether the response of vegetation growth to temperature has changed is still not very clear. In this study, we analyzed the spatial features of the trend changes of temperature during the growing season and the response of vegetation growth in China based on observed climatic data and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from 1984 to 2011. An obvious warming to cooling shift during growing season from the period 1984–1997 to the period 1998–2011 was identified in the northern and northeastern regions of China, whereas a totally converse shift was observed in the southern and western regions, suggesting large spatial heterogeneity of changes of the trend of growing season temperature throughout China. China as a whole, a significant positive relationship between vegetation growth and temperature during 1984 to 1997 has been greatly weakened during 1998–2011. This change of response of vegetation growth to temperature has also been confirmed by Granger causality test. On regional scales, obvious shifts in relationship between vegetation growth and temperature were identified in temperate desert region and rainforest region. Furthermore, by comprehensively analyzing of the relationship between NDVI and climate variables, an overall reduction of impacts of climate factors on vegetation growth was identified over China during recent years, indicating enhanced influences from human associated activities.


vegetation growth temperature shift response NDVI China 


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Supporting Information (SI)


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Copyright information

© Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, College of Global Change and Earth System ScienceBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Regional Climate Group, Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  3. 3.Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency ManagementBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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