Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 83–94 | Cite as

Spatio-temporal variation of spring phenology in Tibetan Plateau and its linkage to climate change from 1982 to 2012

  • Ming-jun Ding
  • Lan-hui Li
  • Yong Nie
  • Qian Chen
  • Yi-li ZhangEmail author


The influence of climate change on vegetation phenology is a heated issue in current climate change study. We used GIMMS-3g NDVI data to detect the spatio-temporal dynamics of the start of the growing season (SGS) over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) from 1982 to 2012 and to analyze its relationship with temperature and precipitation. No significant trend was observed in the SGS at the regional scale during the study period (R 2 = 0.03, P = 0.352). However, there were three time periods (1982-1999, 1999-2008 and 2008-2012) with identifiable, distinctly different trends. Regions with a significant advancing trend were mainly scattered throughout the humid and semi-humid areas, whereas the regions with a significant delaying trend were mostly distributed throughout the semi-arid areas. Statistical analysis showed that the response of the SGS to climate change varies spatially. The SGS was significantly correlated with the spring temperature and the start of the thermal growth season (STGS) in the relatively humid area. With increasing aridity, the importance of the spring temperature for the SGS gradually decreased. However, the influences of precipitation and winter temperature on the SGS were complicated across the plateau.


Spring phenology Spatial pattern Temporal variation Climate change Correlation Tibetan Plateau (TP) 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming-jun Ding
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lan-hui Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yong Nie
    • 4
  • Qian Chen
    • 1
  • Yi-li Zhang
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Wetland and Watershed Research, Ministry of Education and School of Geography and EnvironmentJiangxi Normal UniversityNanchangChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina

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