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Assessing vegetation stability to climate variability in Central Asia.

Authors
  • Yuan, Ye1
  • Bao, Anming2
  • Liu, Tie3
  • Zheng, Guoxiong4
  • Jiang, Liangliang5
  • Guo, Hao6
  • Jiang, Ping7
  • Yu, Tao4
  • De Maeyer, Philippe8
  • 1 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, 830011, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China; Department of Geography, Ghent University, Ghent, 9000, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 2 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, 830011, China; Sino-Belgian Laboratory for Geo-Information, Urumqi, 83011, China; CAS Research Center for Ecology and Environment of Central Asia, Urumqi, 830011, China; China-Pakistan Joint Research Center on Earth Sciences, CAS-HEC, Islamabad, 45320, Pakistan. Electronic address: [email protected] , (China)
  • 3 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, 830011, China; Sino-Belgian Laboratory for Geo-Information, Urumqi, 83011, China. , (China)
  • 4 State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi, 830011, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China. , (China)
  • 5 School of Geography and Tourism, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing, 401331, China. , (China)
  • 6 School of Geography and Tourism, Qufu Normal University, Rizhao, 276800, China. , (China)
  • 7 School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China. , (China)
  • 8 Department of Geography, Ghent University, Ghent, 9000, Belgium; Sino-Belgian Laboratory for Geo-Information, Ghent, 9000, Belgium. , (Belgium)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Environmental Management
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Aug 06, 2021
Volume
298
Pages
113330–113330
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113330
PMID: 34371215
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The dramatic climate change has far-reaching impacts on vegetation in drylands such as Central Asia. Recent attempts to assess vegetation stability to short-term climate variability often account solely for vegetation sensitivity or resilience but ignore the composite effects of these two indicators. Meanwhile, our understanding of the vegetation stability at the seasonal scale remains insufficient. In this study, considering the cumulative effects of vegetation response to three key climate factors, we assessed the stability of vegetation in Central Asia using normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the meteorological data from 1982 to 2014 by integrating vegetation sensitivity and resilience, and further identified the critical regions and seasons of vegetation that experience high risks of pending change. The results show that the sensitivity of vegetation has a strong correlation (R2 = 0.83, p < 0.001) with the aridity index (AI), with the vegetation of drier areas having lower sensitivities to climate variability. At the temporal scale, the sensitivity of vegetation to climate variability varied among different seasons. The average vegetation sensitivity index (VSI) is 41.17, 33.32 and 28.63 in spring, summer and autumn, respectively. Spatially, a trade-off between vegetation sensitivity and resilience is found both for the growing season (R2 = 0.67) and seasonal scale (R2 = 0.71, 0.32 and 0.43 for spring, summer and autumn, respectively), regions with high vegetation sensitivity were always accompanied by strong resilience. Based on the relationship between vegetation sensitivity and resilience, we further identify the critical regions and periods of vegetation with high change risk in Central Asia. Results suggest that herbaceous plants in semi-arid areas present high instability, especially in summer. This study offers a comprehensive perspective to assess vegetation stability to climate variability and the results will facilitate the protection of ecosystems and the implementation of sustainable development goals in Central Asia. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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