Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2022, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (2): 291-316.doi: 10.1007/s11442-022-1948-y

• Special Issue: Climate Change and Its Regional Response • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of vegetation restoration on local microclimate on the Loess Plateau

WANG Chenxi1(), LIANG Wei2, YAN Jianwu2,*(), JIN Zhao3, ZHANG Weibin2, LI Xiaofei2   

  1. 1. School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2. School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    3. State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
  • Received:2021-06-03 Accepted:2021-10-20 Online:2022-02-25 Published:2022-04-25
  • Contact: YAN Jianwu;
  • About author:Wang Chenxi (1997-), Master Candidate, specialized in environmental ecology. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41771118);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071144);The Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(GK202003060)


With the implementation of the Grain for Green Project, vegetation cover has experienced great changes throughout the Loess Plateau (LP). These changes substantially influence the intensity of evapotranspiration (ET), thereby regulating the local microclimate. In this study, we estimated ET based on the Penman-Monteith (PM) method and Priestley-Taylor Jet Propulsion Laboratory (PT-JPL) model and quantitatively estimated the mass of water vapor and heat absorption on the LP. We analyzed the regulatory effect of vegetation restoration on local microclimate from 2000 to 2015 and found the following: (1) Both the leaf area index (LAI) value and actual ET increased significantly across the region during the study period, and there was a significant positive correlation between them in spatial patterns and temporal trends. (2) Vegetation regulated the local microclimate through ET, which increased the absolute humidity by 2.76-3.29 g m?3, increased the relative humidity by 15.43%-19.31% and reduced the temperature by 5.38-6.43°C per day from June to September. (3) The cooling and humidifying effects of vegetation were also affected by the temperature on the LP. (4) Correlation analysis showed that LAI was significantly correlated with temperature at the monthly scale, and the response of vegetation growth to temperature had no time-lag effect. This paper presents new insights into quantitatively assessing the regulatory effect of vegetation on the local microclimate through ET and helps to objectively evaluate the ecological effects of the Grain for Green Project on the LP.

Key words: vegetation restoration, evapotranspiration, cooling and humidifying effect, microclimate regulation