Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (1): 13-23.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0236

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Vegetation change and its response to climate change in Central Asia from 1982 to 2012

ZHANG Qi1,2, YUAN Xiu-Liang1,2, CHEN Xi1, LUO Ge-Ping1, LI Long-Hui1,*   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ürümqi 830011, China
    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Online:2016-01-28 Published:2016-01-31
  • Contact: Long-Hui LI
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors

Abstract: AimsCentral Asia is one of the most vulnerable and sensitive areas to the change in climate. To understand the response of Central Asia ecosystems to climate change, it is important to improve our understanding of vegetation change and its response to climatic variations. Our objective is to explore and analyze the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and its response to climate change in Central Asia during the period 1982-2012.MethodsThe linear regression, the empirical orthogonal function (EOF), the singular value decomposition (SVD) and the partial correlation analysis were used to analyze the NDVI change and its response to climate factors in Central Asia during the period of 1982-2012.Important findings 34% of vegetation in Central Asia showed a pronounced change in NDVI with a significant trend of increase (p < 0.05) and the rate of increase in NDVI exceeded 0.004 per year for mountainous regions. Both air temperature and precipitation showed significant effects on NDVI. Based on partial correlation analysis, 63% of vegetation was found to be significantly affected by precipitation (p < 0.05) while 32% vegetation was affected by air temperature (p < 0.05). The NDVI changes showed increasing trend from 1982 to 1994, fluctuations between 1994 and 2002, and increasing trend again from 2002 to 2012 in mountainous and northeastern areas. While the NDVI changes experienced increasing trend from 1982 to 1994 but decreasing trend from 1994 to 2012 in northwestern areas. Based on the analysis of SVD, the spatial patterns of NDVI variations were consistent with the spatial patterns of precipitation variations. However, the temperature responses of vegetation NDVI differed across the northeast and the mountainous regions in Central Asia.

Key words: Central Asia, climate change, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), empirical orthogonal function (EOF), singular value decomposition (SVD)

Fig. 1

The annual mean of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)(The gray line indicates contour line, the interval between lines is 1000 m) (A), annual precipitation (B), annual mean air temperature (C) in the period of 1982-2012; the spatial pattern of annual mean NDVI change (D) (p < 0.05), annual precipitation change (E) and annual mean air temperature change (F) (the point represents p < 0.05) in the period of 1982-2012; the temporal trends of the annual mean NDVI (G), the annual precipitation (H), the annual mean air temperature (I) in the period of 1982-2012."

Fig. 2

The partial correlation coefficients between annual mean normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and annual precipitation (A) and annual mean air temperature (B) in the period of 1982-2012 (p < 0.05)."

Fig. 3

The first two leading spatial modes (A, B) and their associated time coefficients (C, D) obtained from empirical orthogonal function of annual mean normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) over Central Asia in the period of 1982-2012."

Table 1

The variance contribution by the first three leading modes of annual mean normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), annual precipitation and annual mean air temperature in Central Asia from empirical orthogonal function."

模态
Mode
方差贡献率
Variance contribution (%)
归一化植被指数
Normalized difference
vegetation index
降水量
Precipitation
气温
Air temperature
1 22 35 74
2 17 15 10
3 9 8 6
累计方差
Cumulative variance
48 58 90

Fig. 4

The first two leading spatial patterns (A, B) and their associated time coefficients (C, D) obtained from empirical orthogonal function of annual precipitation over Central Asia in the period of 1982-2012."

Fig. 5

The first leading spatial patterns (A) and its associated time coefficients (B) obtained from empirical orthogonal function of annual mean air temperature over Central Asia in the period of 1982-2012."

Fig. 6

Spatial patterns of the first three leading modes obtained from singular value decomposition between normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (A, B, C) and annual precipitation (D, E, F) for the period of 1982 to 2012, and their corresponding time coefficients (G, H, I)."

Table 2

The variance contribution by the first three leading modes of singular value decomposition between annual mean normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and annual precipitation, and annual mean air temperature in Central Asia."

模态
Mode
NDVI与降水量 NDVI and precipitation NDVI与气温 NDVI and air temperature
方差贡献率
Variance contribution (%)
相关系数
Correlation coefficients
方差贡献率
Variance contribution (%)
相关系数
Correlation coefficients
1 49 0.73* 77 0.64*
2 19 0.81* 13 -0.38
3 8 0.75* 4 0.02

Fig. 7

Spatial patterns of the first leading modes obtained from singular value decomposition between normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (A) and annual mean air temperature (B) for the period of 1982 to 2012 and associated time coefficients (C)."

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