Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (10): 1625-1636.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1667-1

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal distribution of vascular plant species abundance on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

FAN Zemeng1,2,3, BAI Ruyu1,2, YUE Tianxiang1,2,3   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environment Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2017-06-20 Accepted:2018-02-27 Online:2019-10-25 Published:2019-12-09
  • About author:Fan Zemeng, PhD, specialized in ecological modelling and system simulation. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China(No.2017YFA0603702);National Key R&D Program of China(No.2018YFC0507200);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41271406);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No. 91325204);Innovation Project of LREIS(O88RA600YA)


For quantitatively explaining the correlations between the vascular plant species abundance (VPSA) and habitat factors, a spatial simulation method has been developed to simulate the distribution of VPSA on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In this paper, the vascular plant type, land cover, mean annual biotemperature, average total annual precipitation, topographic relief, patch connectivity and ecological diversity index were selected to screen the best correlation equation between the VPSA and habitat factors on the basis of 37 national nature reserves on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The research results show that the coefficient of determination between VPSA and habitat factors is 0.94, and the mean error is 2.21 types per km2. The distribution of VPSA gradually decreases from southeast to northwest, and reduces with increasing altitude except the desert area of Qaidam Basin. Furthermore, the scenarios of VPSA on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau during the periods from 1981 to 2010 (T0), from 2011 to 2040 (T2), from 2041 to 2070 (T3) and from 2071 to 2100 (T4) were simulated by combining the land cover change and the climatic scenarios of CMIP5 RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. The simulated results show that the VPSA would generally decrease on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau from T0 to T4. The VPSA has the largest change ratio under RCP8.5 scenario, and the smallest change ratio under RCP2.6 scenario. In general, the dynamic change of habitat factors would directly affect the spatial distribution of VPSA on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in the future.

Key words: spatial simulation method, vascular plant species abundance, spatio-temporal distribution, scenario analysis, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau