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Journal of Arid Land

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 23–35 | Cite as

Spatial patterns of ecosystem vulnerability changes during 2001–2011 in the three-river source region of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China

  • Bing Guo
  • Yi ZhouEmail author
  • Jinfeng Zhu
  • Wenliang Liu
  • Futao Wang
  • Litao Wang
  • Fuli Yan
  • Feng Wang
  • Guang Yang
  • Wei Luo
  • Lin Jiang
Article

Abstract

The three-river source region (TRSR, including Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers), located in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China, is a typical alpine zone with apparent ecosystem vulnerability and sensitivity. In this paper, we introduced many interdisciplinary factors, such as landscape pattern indices (Shannon diversity index and Shannon evenness index) and extreme climate factors (number of extreme high temperature days, number of extreme low temperature days, and number of extreme precipitation days), to establish a new model for evaluating the spatial patterns of ecosystem vulnerability changes in the TRSR. The change intensity (CI) of ecosystem vulnerability was also analyzed. The results showed that the established evaluation model was effective and the ecosystem vulnerability in the whole study area was intensive. During the study period of 2001–2011, there was a slight degradation in the eco-environmental quality. The Yellow River source region had the best eco-environmental quality, while the Yangtze River source region had the worst one. In addition, the zones dominated by deserts were the most severely deteriorated areas and the eco-environmental quality of the zones occupied by evergreen coniferous forests showed a better change. Furthermore, the larger the change rates of the climate factors (accumulative temperature of ≥10°C and annual average precipitation) are, the more intensive the CI of ecosystem vulnerability is. This study would provide a scientific basis for the eco-environmental protection and restoration in the TRSR.

Keywords

eco-environmental vulnerability climate factors spatial patterns three-river source region 

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Copyright information

© Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Springer - Verlag GmbH 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bing Guo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yi Zhou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jinfeng Zhu
    • 1
  • Wenliang Liu
    • 1
  • Futao Wang
    • 1
  • Litao Wang
    • 1
  • Fuli Yan
    • 1
  • Feng Wang
    • 1
  • Guang Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei Luo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lin Jiang
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital EarthChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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