Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2007, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (2): 152-164.doi: 10.1007/s11442-007-0152-4

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Vegetation change in the Mt. Qomolangma Nature Reserve from 1981 to 2001

ZHANG Wei1,2, ZHANG Yili1,3, WANG Zhaofeng1,2, DING Mingjun1,2, YANG Xuchao1,2, LIN Xuedong2,3, LIU Linshan1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China|
    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China|
    3. Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100085, China
  • Received:2006-11-22 Revised:2007-01-19 Online:2007-06-25 Published:2007-06-25
  • Supported by:

    Supported by the National Basic Research Program of China, No.2005CB422006; Social Commonweal Research Project of Ministry of Science and Technology of China, No.2005DIA3J106; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40331006


Based on the NOAA AVHRR-NDVI data from 1981 to 2001, the digitalized China Vegetation Map (1:1,000,000), DEM, temperature and precipitation data, and field investiga-tion, the spatial patterns and vertical characteristics of natural vegetation changes and their influencing factors in the Mt. Qomolangma Nature Reserve have been studied. The results show that: (1) There is remarkable spatial difference of natural vegetation changes in the Mt. Qomolangma Nature Reserve and stability is the most common status. There are 5.04% of the whole area being seriously degraded, 13.19% slightly degraded, 26.39% slightly im-proved, 0.97% significantly improved and 54.41% keeping stable. The seriously and slightly degraded areas, which mostly lie in the south of the reserve, are along the national bounda-ries. The areas of improved vegetation lie in the north of the reserve and the south side of the Yarlung Zangbo River. The stable areas lie between the improved and degraded areas. Degradation decreases with elevation. (2) Degeneration in the Mt. Qomolangma Nature Re-serve mostly affects shrubs, needle-leaved forests and mixed forests. (3) The temperature change affects the natural vegetation changes spatially while the integration of temperature changes, slopes and aspects affects the natural vegetation change along the altitude gradi-ents. (4) It is the overuse of resources that leads to the vegetation degeneration in some parts of the Mt. Qomolangma Nature Reserve.

Key words: Mt. Qomolangma (Everest), nature reserve, AVHRR, vegetation degradation, Himalayas