Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2008, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (1): 73-84.doi: 10.1007/s11442-008-0073-x

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial and temporal variations of vegetation in Qinghai Province based on satellite data

WANG Liwen1,2, WEI Yaxing3, NIU Zheng1   

  1. 1. The State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing Applications, CAS, Beijing 100101, China|
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China|
    3. Geography Department, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China
  • Received:2007-08-21 Revised:2007-10-12 Online:2008-02-25 Published:2008-02-25
  • Supported by:

    China’s Special Funds for Major State Basic Research Project, No.2007CB714406; Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KZCX2-YW-313; Foundation of the Chinese State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, No.KQ060006


This paper used five years (2001-2006) time series of MODIS NDVI images with a 1-km spatial resolution to produce a land cover map of Qinghai Province in China. A classi-fication approach for different land cover types with special emphasis on vegetation, espe-cially on sparse vegetation, was developed which synthesized Decision Tree Classification, Supervised Classification and Unsupervised Classification. The spatial distribution and dy-namic change of vegetation cover in Qinghai from 2001 to 2006 were analyzed based on the land cover classification map and five grade elevation belts derived from Qinghai DEM. The result shows that vegetation cover in Qinghai in recent five years has been some improved and the area of vegetation was increased from 370,047 km2 in 2001 to 374,576 km2 in 2006. Meanwhile, vegetation cover ratio was increased by 0.63%. Vegetation cover ratio in high mountain belt is the largest (67.92%) among the five grade elevation belts in Qinghai Prov-ince. The second largest vegetation cover ratio is in middle mountain belt (61.80%). Next, in the order of the decreasing vegetation cover ratio, the remaining grades are extreme high mountain belt (38.98%), low mountain belt (25.55%) and flat region belt (15.46%). The area of middle density grassland in high mountain belt is the biggest (94,003 km2), and vegetation cover ratio of dense grassland in middle mountain belt is the highest (32.62%), and the in-creased area of dense grassland in high mountain belt is the greatest (1280 km2). In recent five years the conversion from sparse grass to middle density grass in high mountain belt has been the largest vegetation cover variation and the converted area is 15931 km2.

Key words: Qinghai, vegetation, MODIS NDVI, DEM, spatial distribution