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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 change of the typical area with the significant EVI increase in 2002 (a) and 2010 (b).It locates the boundary area among Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou.
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pone.0131352.g006: The land use change of the typical area with the significant EVI increase in 2002 (a) and 2010 (b).It locates the boundary area among Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou.

Mentions: We selected the transitional area among Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou as the typical zone of vegetation changes. Although cropland was still dominant in 2009, it was highly fragmented, indicating LULC was transforming to forest and other natural vegetation types (Fig 6). The LULC obtained from the Landsat TM/ETM+ images of this region for 2002–2010 show that the forest and natural vegetation increased by 2.3×103 km2 and 1.56×103 km2, while cropland decreased by 3.9×103 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 change of the typical area with the significant EVI increase in 2002 (a) and 2010 (b).It locates the boundary area among Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0131352.g006: The land use change of the typical area with the significant EVI increase in 2002 (a) and 2010 (b).It locates the boundary area among Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou.
Mentions: We selected the transitional area among Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou as the typical zone of vegetation changes. Although cropland was still dominant in 2009, it was highly fragmented, indicating LULC was transforming to forest and other natural vegetation types (Fig 6). The LULC obtained from the Landsat TM/ETM+ images of this region for 2002–2010 show that the forest and natural vegetation increased by 2.3×103 km2 and 1.56×103 km2, while cropland decreased by 3.9×103 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