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Vegetation dynamics and its response to driving factors in typical karst regions, Guizhou Province, China

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Abstract

Analyzing the vegetation dynamics and its response to driving factors provides a vital reference for understanding regional ecological processes and ecosystem services. However, this issue has been poorly understood in karst areas. Taking Guizhou Province as a case study, based on the Normalized-Difference Vegetation Index of the Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies and on meteorological data sets during 1982–2015, we evaluated vegetation dynamics and its response to climatic factors and human activities. We used several methods: the Mann-Kendall test, rescaled range analysis, partial correlation analysis, and residual analysis. The results are as follows: 1) the mean annual Normalized-Difference Vegetation Index was 0.46 and exhibited a significant increasing trend with a variation rate of 0.01/10a during 1982–2015 in Guizhou Province. The vegetation cover showed was spatially heterogeneous: High vegetation cover was distributed mainly in the center and western margin of the study area, while the other parts of the study area mainly distributed with low vegetation cover, although the vegetation cover was higher in the nonkarst areas than in the karst areas; 2) in general, the climate was getting warmer and drier in Guizhou Province during 1982–2015. Vegetation cover was positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with precipitation. Compared to precipitation, temperature was the dominant climatic factor impacting vegetation dynamics; 3) large-scale ecological restoration projects have obviously increased vegetation cover in Guizhou Province in recent years. The contribution of human activities to vegetation changes was 76%, while the contribution of climatic factors was 24%. In summary, compared to natural forces such as climatic factors and geographic parameters, human activities were the main factor driving the vegetation dynamics in Guizhou Province.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41761003 and U1812401); the Guizhou Provincial Science and Technology Foundation (No. Qiankehe Jichu [2019]1433); the Project for National Top Discipline Construction of Guizhou Province: Geography in Guizhou Normal University (No. 85-01 2017 Qianjiao Keyan Fa); the Project of Innovation Program for Postgraduate Education of Guizhou Province: Xiong Kangning’s studio of postgraduate supervisors for the karst environment of Guizhou Province (04 2016 Qianjiao Yanhe GZS Zi)

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Correspondence to Qiuwen Zhou.

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Wei, X., Zhou, Q., Luo, Y. et al. Vegetation dynamics and its response to driving factors in typical karst regions, Guizhou Province, China. Front. Earth Sci. 15, 167–183 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11707-020-0842-0

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