Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2018, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (5): 595-610.doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1493-x

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Analyzing vegetation dynamic trend on the Mongolian Plateau based on the Hurst exponent and influencing factors from 1982-2013

Siqin TONG1,2,3(), Jiquan ZHANG1,2(), Yuhai BAO3,4, Quan LAI1,3,4, Xiao LIAN5, Na LI1, Yongbin BAO1   

  1. 1. School of Environment, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
    2. Key Laboratory for Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Changchun 130024, China
    3. College of Geography, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Hohhot 010022, China
    4. Inner Mongolia Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Hohhot 010022, China
    5. Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Tsukuba University, Ibaraki 305, Japan
  • Received:2017-04-01 Accepted:2017-09-28 Online:2018-03-30 Published:2018-03-31
  • About author:

    Author: Tong Siqin (1991-), PhD, specialized in vegetation dynamic change, long-term climate change, remote sensing and GIS. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Zhang Jiquan (1965-), Professor, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Key Technology R&D Program of China, No.2013BAK05B01, No.2013BAK05B02;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571491, No.61631011;The Program of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities, No.B16011


This study analyzed the spatial and temporal variations in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) on the Mongolian Plateau from 1982-2013 using Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) NDVI3g data and explored the effects of climate factors and human activities on vegetation. The results indicate that NDVI has slight upward trend in the Mongolian Plateau over the last 32 years. The area in which NDVI increased was much larger than that in which it decreased. Increased NDVI was primarily distributed in the southern part of the plateau, especially in the agro-pastoral ecotone of Inner Mongolia. Improvement in the vegetative cover is predicted for a larger area compared to that in which degradation is predicted based on Hurst exponent analysis. The NDVI-indicated vegetation growth in the Mongolian Plateau is a combined result of climate variations and human activities. Specifically, the precipitation has been the dominant factor and the recent human effort in protecting the ecological environments has left readily detectable imprints in the NDVI data series.

Key words: remote sensing, GIMMS NDVI3g, vegetation dynamic trend, Hurst exponent, residual trend analysis, Mongolian Plateau