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Assessing Vegetation Cover Dynamics Induced by Policy-Driven Ecological Restoration and Implication to Soil Erosion in Southern China.

Zhang J, Wang T, Ge J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: In the aftermath of the severe droughts and floods at the end of the 20th century, the Chinese government launched several ecological restoration projects, including the Natural Forest Protection Program in 1998 and the Grain-for-Green Program in 1999, to promote afforestation and reforestation to reduce surface runoff and consequent soil erosion nationwide.The conversions of croplands on steep slopes to forests resulting from national policies led to significant increases in EVI.Increase in the area of farmland-converted forestlands has reduced soil erosion based upon monitoring sediment yields at hydrologic stations in the Yangtze River.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology & College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, PR China; Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
In the aftermath of the severe droughts and floods at the end of the 20th century, the Chinese government launched several ecological restoration projects, including the Natural Forest Protection Program in 1998 and the Grain-for-Green Program in 1999, to promote afforestation and reforestation to reduce surface runoff and consequent soil erosion nationwide. However, it is still unclear how vegetation has changed in southern China since the launch of these programs. In this study, we used the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) to analyze the vegetation cover dynamics in southern China from 2000 to 2009 and evaluate the resulting effects of controlling soil erosion. Our observations indicate that 5.3% of the study area significantly increased and 0.98% significantly decreased in EVI value (p < 0.05). The spring EVI had largest increase in space. The conversions of croplands on steep slopes to forests resulting from national policies led to significant increases in EVI. The increase in EVI was not driven by annual average temperature and annual precipitation. By referencing ecological restoration statistical data and field observations, we showed that ecological restoration programs significantly improved vegetation cover in southern China. Increase in the area of farmland-converted forestlands has reduced soil erosion based upon monitoring sediment yields at hydrologic stations in the Yangtze River. This study displays the spatial patterns of trend in vegetation growth since the beginning of the 21st century in southern China and highlights the important role of China's afforestation program.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Trends of annual average temperature change (a) and annual precipitation change (b) for the period of 2000–2009 (p<0.05).
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pone.0131352.g004: Trends of annual average temperature change (a) and annual precipitation change (b) for the period of 2000–2009 (p<0.05).

Mentions: The Mann-Kendal test for the weather stations from 2000–2009 shows that 53 stations had significant increases in temperature (Fig 4A). Most stations with a significant increase in annual temperature were clustered in the Tibetan Plateau. The remaining weather stations with significant annual temperature changes do not show any spatial correspondence to the areas of significant EVI changes. We extracted the annual EVI from a 1-km buffer area around the sites with significant increases in temperature and conducted a correlation analysis between the EVI and annual average temperature. The results show that only 3 sites have significant correlations (p < 0.05).


Assessing Vegetation Cover Dynamics Induced by Policy-Driven Ecological Restoration and Implication to Soil Erosion in Southern China.

Zhang J, Wang T, Ge J - PLoS ONE (2015)

Trends of annual average temperature change (a) and annual precipitation change (b) for the period of 2000–2009 (p<0.05).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4482633&req=5

pone.0131352.g004: Trends of annual average temperature change (a) and annual precipitation change (b) for the period of 2000–2009 (p<0.05).
Mentions: The Mann-Kendal test for the weather stations from 2000–2009 shows that 53 stations had significant increases in temperature (Fig 4A). Most stations with a significant increase in annual temperature were clustered in the Tibetan Plateau. The remaining weather stations with significant annual temperature changes do not show any spatial correspondence to the areas of significant EVI changes. We extracted the annual EVI from a 1-km buffer area around the sites with significant increases in temperature and conducted a correlation analysis between the EVI and annual average temperature. The results show that only 3 sites have significant correlations (p < 0.05).

Bottom Line: In the aftermath of the severe droughts and floods at the end of the 20th century, the Chinese government launched several ecological restoration projects, including the Natural Forest Protection Program in 1998 and the Grain-for-Green Program in 1999, to promote afforestation and reforestation to reduce surface runoff and consequent soil erosion nationwide.The conversions of croplands on steep slopes to forests resulting from national policies led to significant increases in EVI.Increase in the area of farmland-converted forestlands has reduced soil erosion based upon monitoring sediment yields at hydrologic stations in the Yangtze River.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology & College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, PR China; Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
In the aftermath of the severe droughts and floods at the end of the 20th century, the Chinese government launched several ecological restoration projects, including the Natural Forest Protection Program in 1998 and the Grain-for-Green Program in 1999, to promote afforestation and reforestation to reduce surface runoff and consequent soil erosion nationwide. However, it is still unclear how vegetation has changed in southern China since the launch of these programs. In this study, we used the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) to analyze the vegetation cover dynamics in southern China from 2000 to 2009 and evaluate the resulting effects of controlling soil erosion. Our observations indicate that 5.3% of the study area significantly increased and 0.98% significantly decreased in EVI value (p < 0.05). The spring EVI had largest increase in space. The conversions of croplands on steep slopes to forests resulting from national policies led to significant increases in EVI. The increase in EVI was not driven by annual average temperature and annual precipitation. By referencing ecological restoration statistical data and field observations, we showed that ecological restoration programs significantly improved vegetation cover in southern China. Increase in the area of farmland-converted forestlands has reduced soil erosion based upon monitoring sediment yields at hydrologic stations in the Yangtze River. This study displays the spatial patterns of trend in vegetation growth since the beginning of the 21st century in southern China and highlights the important role of China's afforestation program.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus