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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

The land use and land cover in the area with significantly increased EVI in 2000 (a) and 2009 (b).
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pone.0131352.g005: The land use and land cover in the area with significantly increased EVI in 2000 (a) and 2009 (b).

Mentions: We extracted the land cover of 2000 and 2009 by overlapping the maps of significantly changed EVI (Fig 5). In both 2000 and 2009, cropland dominated Anhui, Jiangsu, northern Hubei, central Hunan and Jiangxi, which are the main grain-producing areas of China. Trends in agricultural practices, such as increased use of high-yield crops and chemical fertilizers use probably made a contribution to the greening trend in these regions. Furthermore, the area of forest in Zhejiang, Fujian, and Guangdong increased to some degree. The area of cropland decreased in southwest Guizhou, northeast Yunnan and southeast of Sichuan. These areas are the typical eco-fragile region in China with karst topography and thin soil layer. The areas of cropland that were converted to grassland, shrubland, and forest were 3.16×104 km2, 4.16×104 km2, and 5.29×104 km2, respectively (Table 2). The net decrease of cropland was 9.58×104 km2. The net increases of forest, shrubland, and grassland were 3.98×104 km2, 3.44×104 km2, and 1.53×104 km2.


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)

The land use and land cover in the area with significantly increased EVI in 2000 (a) and 2009 (b).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0131352.g005: The land use and land cover in the area with significantly increased EVI in 2000 (a) and 2009 (b).
Mentions: We extracted the land cover of 2000 and 2009 by overlapping the maps of significantly changed EVI (Fig 5). In both 2000 and 2009, cropland dominated Anhui, Jiangsu, northern Hubei, central Hunan and Jiangxi, which are the main grain-producing areas of China. Trends in agricultural practices, such as increased use of high-yield crops and chemical fertilizers use probably made a contribution to the greening trend in these regions. Furthermore, the area of forest in Zhejiang, Fujian, and Guangdong increased to some degree. The area of cropland decreased in southwest Guizhou, northeast Yunnan and southeast of Sichuan. These areas are the typical eco-fragile region in China with karst topography and thin soil layer. The areas of cropland that were converted to grassland, shrubland, and forest were 3.16×104 km2, 4.16×104 km2, and 5.29×104 km2, respectively (Table 2). The net decrease of cropland was 9.58×104 km2. The net increases of forest, shrubland, and grassland were 3.98×104 km2, 3.44×104 km2, and 1.53×104 km2.

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