Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2022, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (1): 18-26.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2021.0163

Special Issue: 青藏高原植物生态学:生态系统生态学

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Temporal effects of climate factors on vegetation growth on the Qingzang Plateau, China

Ning LIU1,2, Shou-Zhang PENG3,*(), Yun-Ming CHEN3   

  1. 1Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; and 3 State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
  • Received:2021-04-28 Accepted:2021-08-19 Online:2022-01-20 Published:2022-04-13
  • Contact: Shou-Zhang PENG
  • Supported by:
    the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research (STEP) Program(2019QZKK0603);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(42077451)


Aims The relationships between temporal changes in vegetation growth and climate change tend to be asymmetric. Considering the temporal effects of climate factors on vegetation growth can provide important scientific basis for accurately understanding vegetation-climate relationships and predicting the dynamic responses of vegetation to global climate change. Methods Based on the MODIS normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), climate, and vegetation type data, this study investigated the temporal effects of climate factors on vegetation growth and the dominant factors influencing vegetation growth on the Qingzang Plateau through establishing four temporal effects equations between climate and vegetation NDVI. Important findings Among the four temporal effects, models considering both time lag and accumulation effects had the highest explanation degree (47%). Compared with model without considering temporal effect, the explanation power of the time lag and accumulation effects on vegetation would increase by 4%-18%. Vegetation dynamics on more than 43% of the Qingzang Plateau was dominated by the combined effects of time lag and accumulation, followed by the area only affected by time accumulation or lag effects, and the area without time effect. The partial correlation coefficient between NDVI and precipitation (0.25 ± 0.56) was overall higher than it between NDVI and temperature (0.08 ± 0.6). The areas dominated by the precipitation were mainly distributed on the northeast and southwest of the Qingzang Plateau with an area ratio of 40.1%, whereas the areas dominated by temperature were largely distributed on the center and southeast of the Qingzang Plateau with an area ratio of 29.7%. These research results can provide basic judgments for the relationships between vegetation growth and climate on the Qingzang Plateau.

Key words: climate factor, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), time lag effect, time accumulation effect, Qingzang Plateau