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Alpine cold vegetation response to climate change in the western Nyainqentanglha range in 1972-2009.

Wang X, Sun Z, Zhou AG - ScientificWorldJournal (2014)

Bottom Line: This may be the result of the mountain effect.The variation appears to be associated with an increase in mean temperature of 0.05 °C per year and an increase in precipitation of 1.83 mm per year in the growing season of the past four decades.The results provide further evidence of alpine ecosystem change due to climate change in the central Tibetan Plateau.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, 388 Lumo Road, Wuhan 430074, China ; Laboratory of Basin Hydrology and Wetland Eco-Restoration, China University of Geosciences, 388 Lumo Road, Wuhan 430074, China.

ABSTRACT
The Tibetan Plateau is regarded as one of the most climatic-sensitive regions all over the world. Long-term remote sensing data enable us to monitor spatial-temporal change in this area. The vegetation changes of the western Nyainqentanglha region were detected by using RS and GIS techniques. And the vegetation coverage was derived by the NDVI-SMA (spectral mixture analysis) methods. An incensement of vegetation was observed in the mountain areas during 1972-2009 with a mean vegetation coverage of 24.87%, 35.89%, and 42.88% in 30/09/1972, 14/09/1991, and 30/08/2009, respectively. The vegetation fraction increased by 18% in the period of 1972-2009. The bin with the elevation between 4400 and 5200 m had the highest vegetation coverage. This may be the result of the mountain effect. Alpine vegetation had a trend to increase and expand to higher altitudes with the climate change in the past 40 years. The variation appears to be associated with an increase in mean temperature of 0.05 °C per year and an increase in precipitation of 1.83 mm per year in the growing season of the past four decades. The results provide further evidence of alpine ecosystem change due to climate change in the central Tibetan Plateau.

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The mean vegetation cover fraction along the altitude gradient in 1972, 1991, and 2009.
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Related In: Results  -  Collection


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fig6: The mean vegetation cover fraction along the altitude gradient in 1972, 1991, and 2009.

Mentions: The study area was divided into ten bins (each 100 m elevation) from elevation 4200 to 6000 m by using the digital elevation model (DEM). The average vegetation coverage fraction of each bin was obtained in different periods from 1972 to 2009 (Table 1). It is apparent that the vegetation cover decreased gradually with the elevation rise in the areas from 5200 to 6000 m. However, the vegetation coverage is almost stable in 1972, 1991, and 2009 with the elevation from 4400 to 5200 m (Figure 6), suggesting that the precipitation may stabilize at these bins. These indicated that the vegetation distribution was affected by the mountain effect. The highest vegetation coverage zone is the elevation of 4200–4400 m, where it is at the foot of the mountain with gentle slope. There was no vegetation found in the areas with the elevation above 6000 m, suggesting that the elevation from 5800 to 6000 m may be the limit height of vegetation growth in WNR.


Alpine cold vegetation response to climate change in the western Nyainqentanglha range in 1972-2009.

Wang X, Sun Z, Zhou AG - ScientificWorldJournal (2014)

The mean vegetation cover fraction along the altitude gradient in 1972, 1991, and 2009.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4150475&req=5

fig6: The mean vegetation cover fraction along the altitude gradient in 1972, 1991, and 2009.
Mentions: The study area was divided into ten bins (each 100 m elevation) from elevation 4200 to 6000 m by using the digital elevation model (DEM). The average vegetation coverage fraction of each bin was obtained in different periods from 1972 to 2009 (Table 1). It is apparent that the vegetation cover decreased gradually with the elevation rise in the areas from 5200 to 6000 m. However, the vegetation coverage is almost stable in 1972, 1991, and 2009 with the elevation from 4400 to 5200 m (Figure 6), suggesting that the precipitation may stabilize at these bins. These indicated that the vegetation distribution was affected by the mountain effect. The highest vegetation coverage zone is the elevation of 4200–4400 m, where it is at the foot of the mountain with gentle slope. There was no vegetation found in the areas with the elevation above 6000 m, suggesting that the elevation from 5800 to 6000 m may be the limit height of vegetation growth in WNR.

Bottom Line: This may be the result of the mountain effect.The variation appears to be associated with an increase in mean temperature of 0.05 °C per year and an increase in precipitation of 1.83 mm per year in the growing season of the past four decades.The results provide further evidence of alpine ecosystem change due to climate change in the central Tibetan Plateau.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, 388 Lumo Road, Wuhan 430074, China ; Laboratory of Basin Hydrology and Wetland Eco-Restoration, China University of Geosciences, 388 Lumo Road, Wuhan 430074, China.

ABSTRACT
The Tibetan Plateau is regarded as one of the most climatic-sensitive regions all over the world. Long-term remote sensing data enable us to monitor spatial-temporal change in this area. The vegetation changes of the western Nyainqentanglha region were detected by using RS and GIS techniques. And the vegetation coverage was derived by the NDVI-SMA (spectral mixture analysis) methods. An incensement of vegetation was observed in the mountain areas during 1972-2009 with a mean vegetation coverage of 24.87%, 35.89%, and 42.88% in 30/09/1972, 14/09/1991, and 30/08/2009, respectively. The vegetation fraction increased by 18% in the period of 1972-2009. The bin with the elevation between 4400 and 5200 m had the highest vegetation coverage. This may be the result of the mountain effect. Alpine vegetation had a trend to increase and expand to higher altitudes with the climate change in the past 40 years. The variation appears to be associated with an increase in mean temperature of 0.05 °C per year and an increase in precipitation of 1.83 mm per year in the growing season of the past four decades. The results provide further evidence of alpine ecosystem change due to climate change in the central Tibetan Plateau.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus