Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2023, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (1): 51-64.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2021.0500

Special Issue: 生态遥感及应用 青藏高原植物生态学:遥感生态学

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Changes of vegetation greenness and its response to drought-wet variation on the Qingzang Plateau

ZHU Yu-Ying1, ZHANG Hua-Min2, DING Ming-Jun1,3,*(), YU Zi-Ping1   

  1. 1School of Geography and Environment, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang 330022, China
    2Natural Resources Policy Investigation and Evaluation Center of Jiangxi Provincial, Nanchang 330025, China
    3Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Wetland and Watershed Research, Ministry of Education, Nanchang 330022, China
  • Received:2021-12-31 Accepted:2022-05-12 Online:2023-01-20 Published:2022-07-15
  • Contact: *DING Ming-Jun(
  • Supported by:
    Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research (STEP) Program(2019QZKK0603);Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20040201)


Aims The Qingzang Plateau is highly sensitive to global climate change. The unique natural conditions lead to extremely vulnerable vegetation and its ecosystem, making this region ideal for analyzing responses of vegetation to climate change. However, different types of vegetation may have different responses to seasonal variability. This study explores and analyzes vegetation changes on the Qingzang Plateau and the response characteristics of different vegetation types to moisture variations (i.e., dry and wet conditions) during the growing season.
Methods The standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were used here as indicators of dry humidity and vegetation greenness, respectively. Sen’s slope estimation, BFAST model and correlation analyses were used to quantify the spatiotemporal variability of vegetation greenness and its response to drought-wet variations on the Qingzang Plateau from 2000 to 2018.
Important findings Results show that vegetation greenness on the Qingzang Plateau generally increased over the time period analyzed. Additionally, the rate of spatial variation reveals striking regional differences. The breaks of vegetation greenness occurred in most regions during 2012-2015, after which there was general upward trend after the breaks, the various trend is most apparent in northern Qingzang Plateau. Positive correlations between NDVI and multi-time scale SPEI were observed in most regions during the growing season, and gradually increased in the middle and latter part of the growing season. The responses of each vegetation type to SPEI also showed a distinct periodicity during the year. Meadow and steppe areas were more sensitive to multi-time scale SPEI than forest and shrub areas, and this response differed significantly during different stages of the growing season and for different time scales of SPEI.

Key words: Qingzang Plateau, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI), vegetation type, response