Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2008, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (3): 259-273.doi: 10.1007/s11442-008-0259-2

• Climate and Environmental Change •     Next Articles

Grassland degradation in the “Three-River Headwaters&rdquo|region, Qinghai Province

LIU Jiyuan, XU Xinliang, SHAO Quanqin   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2008-03-24 Revised:2008-05-22 Online:2008-09-25 Published:2008-09-25
  • Supported by:

    CAS Action-plan for West Development, No.KZCX2-XB2-06-03; National Key Project of Scientific and Technical Supporting Programs, No.2006BAC08B00


Supported by MSS images in the mid and late 1970s, TM images in the early 1990s and TM/ETM images in 2004, grassland degradation in the “Three-River Headwaters” region (TRH region) was interpreted through analysis on RS images in two time series, then the spatial and temporal characteristics of grassland degradation in the TRH region were ana-lyzed since the 1970s. The results showed that grassland degradation in the TRH region was a continuous change process which had large affected area and long time scale, and rapidly strengthen phenomenon did not exist in the 1990s as a whole. Grassland degradation pattern in the TRH region took shape initially in the mid and late 1970s. Since the 1970s, this deg-radation process has taken place continuously, obviously characterizing different rules in different regions. In humid and semi-humid meadow region, grassland firstly fragmentized, then vegetation coverage decreased continuously, and finally “black-soil-patch” degraded grassland was formed. But in semi-arid and arid steppe region, the vegetation coverage de-creased continuously, and finally desertification was formed. Because grassland degradation had obviously regional differences in the TRH region, it could be regionalized into 7 zones, and each zone had different characteristics in type, grade, scale and time process of grass-land degradation.

Key words: “Three-River Headwaters&rdquo, region, Qinghai, grassland degradation, remote sensing, spatial pattern, temporal process