Relative importance of climate factors and human activities in impacting vegetation dynamics during 2000–2015 in the Otindag Sandy Land, northern China

Abstract

In recent years, there has been increasing research interests in differentiating the relative importance of climate factors and human activities in impacting vegetation dynamics. In this study, based on residual trend method, we used MOD13A3 (MODIS vegetation index product), MCD12Q1 (MODIS land cover product) and meteorological datasets to differentiate the relative importance of climate factors and human activities in impacting vegetation dynamics during 2000–2015 in the Otindag Sandy Land, northern China. Results show that during the study period (2000–2015), the overall vegetation condition had improved in the Otindag Sandy Land. The driving forces of vegetation dynamics differed spatially in the whole study area over the study period. The area with vegetation degradation solely resulted from human activities accounted for 8.23% of the study area, while the area with vegetation degradation resulted from others (including climate factors and combination of climate factors and human activities) occupied 1.53%. The area with vegetation recovery benefitted from human activities occurred over 26.02% of the study area; the area benefitted from climate factors accounted for 23.69%; and the area benefitted from both climate factors and human activities occupied 37.74%. All in all, impacts of climate factors and human activities on vegetation dynamics varied at the county/city/banner scales and locality-specific measures should be adopted to protect the environments.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFA0601900) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41401006).

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Correspondence to Xunming Wang.

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Ma, W., Wang, X., Zhou, N. et al. Relative importance of climate factors and human activities in impacting vegetation dynamics during 2000–2015 in the Otindag Sandy Land, northern China. J. Arid Land 9, 558–567 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-017-0062-y

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Keywords

  • vegetation
  • NDVI
  • climate factors
  • human factors
  • Otindag Sandy Land