Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2024, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (5): 561-576.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2023.0155

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Analysis of spatial and temporal variation in grassland vegetation cover in the Tianshan Mountains and the driving factors from 2001 to 2020

Yi-Heng Chen1,Yusupjan Rusul吾斯曼 阿卜杜热合曼3   

  • Received:2023-05-31 Revised:2023-12-26 Online:2024-05-20 Published:2024-06-13
  • Contact: Yusupjan Rusul

Abstract: Abstract Aims The primary aim of this study is to investigate the spatiotemporal evolution patterns of grassland vegetation coverage (FVC) in the Tianshan Mountainous Xinjiang region from 2001 to 2020. The study seeks to understand the influencing factors behind these patterns, with a specific focus on the role of vegetation types, livestock farming, precipitation, and average annual temperature. The overarching goal is to provide valuable reference information for informed decision-making related to the rational utilization and ecological security protection of grasslands in the Tianshan Mountainous region. Methods In order to elucidate the spatiotemporal evolution patterns of vegetation in the Tianshan Mountainous Xinjiang region and its influencing factors, this study utilized MODIS NDVI remote sensing images from 2001 to 2020. Various analytical methods, including the Sen + MK trend analysis, coefficient of variation, and land-use dynamics, were employed to analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of grassland vegetation coverage (FVC) in the Tianshan Mountainous Xinjiang region. Important Findings We found that FVC exhibits overall stability, with the multi-year average grassland FVC fluctuating between 0.33 and 0.42. Regions with a significant increase in FVC are distributed in the northeastern and southwestern low-altitude areas of the Tianshan Mountainous, accounting for 3.14% of the total area. Conversely, regions with a significant decrease in FVC are primarily located in the Ili River Valley, constituting 15.81% of the total area. Changes in grassland FVC are primarily influenced by vegetation types and the total output value of livestock farming, with both factors exerting an impact of over 29.85%. After the interaction between precipitation and average annual temperature with vegetation types, their respective influences increased to over 48.70%. During the study period, grassland FVC showed a positive correlation with annual precipitation and average annual temperature. Areas with a positive correlation to annual precipitation accounted for 80.84% of the total area, mainly distributed around the basins on both sides of the Tianshan Mountainous. Areas with a positive correlation to average annual temperature covered 71.69% of the total area, predominantly in higher-altitude mountainous regions. This study provides valuable reference information for the rational utilization and ecological security protection decisions regarding grasslands in the Tianshan Mountainous region.

Key words: Key words fractional vegetation cover, climate change, grassland, spatial and temporal variation, Xinjiang section of the Tianshan Mountain