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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 slope distributions in the area with significantly increased EVI 2000–2009.
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pone.0131352.g007: The slope distributions in the area with significantly increased EVI 2000–2009.

Mentions: The slope distribution for southern China is shown in Fig 1. Slopes of 0–15° account for 68.6% of the area with significantly increased EVI, and 31.4% of the area occurs on slopes above 15°. Significantly increased EVI on slopes of 0–15° occurs in the northeastern (i.e., Anhui, Jiangsu, and north of Hubei), central-eastern (i.e., north of Jiangxi and Hunan) and southern (i.e., south of Guangxi and Guangdong) parts of the study area; significantly increased EVI on slopes above 15° occurs in the central (i.e., northwest of Hubei, north of Chongqing, and central-west of Hunan), southwestern (i.e., southwest of Guizhou and northeast of Yunnan), and eastern (i.e., Zhejiang, southeast of Fujian, and southwest of Guangdong) parts of the study area (Fig 7).


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 slope distributions in the area with significantly increased EVI 2000–2009.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0131352.g007: The slope distributions in the area with significantly increased EVI 2000–2009.
Mentions: The slope distribution for southern China is shown in Fig 1. Slopes of 0–15° account for 68.6% of the area with significantly increased EVI, and 31.4% of the area occurs on slopes above 15°. Significantly increased EVI on slopes of 0–15° occurs in the northeastern (i.e., Anhui, Jiangsu, and north of Hubei), central-eastern (i.e., north of Jiangxi and Hunan) and southern (i.e., south of Guangxi and Guangdong) parts of the study area; significantly increased EVI on slopes above 15° occurs in the central (i.e., northwest of Hubei, north of Chongqing, and central-west of Hunan), southwestern (i.e., southwest of Guizhou and northeast of Yunnan), and eastern (i.e., Zhejiang, southeast of Fujian, and southwest of Guangdong) parts of the study area (Fig 7).

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