Physical Geography

Sensitivity analyses of different vegetations responding to climate change in inland river basin of China

  • 1. Satellite Environment Application Center, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Beijing 100029, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Radiometric Calibration and Validation for Environmental Satellites, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China;
    3. School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Hou Peng (1978-), Ph.D, specialized in environment remote sensing. E-mail:

Received date: 2011-06-27

  Revised date: 2011-11-30

  Online published: 2012-05-04

Supported by

Beijing Science and Technology New Star Program, No.2010B037; Environmental Commonweal Projects, No.2011467026; National Science and Technology Supporting Item, No.2008BAC34B06


Terrestrial ecosystem and climate system are closely related to each other. Faced with the unavoidable global climate change, it is important to investigate terrestrial ecosystem responding to climate change. In inland river basin of arid and semi-arid regions in China, sensitivity difference of vegetation responding to climate change from 1998 to 2007 was analyzed in this paper. (1) Differences in the global spatio-temporal distribution of vegetation and climate are obvious. The vegetation change shows a slight degradation in this whole region. Degradation is more obvious in densely vegetated areas. Temperature shows a general downward trend with a linear trend coefficient of -1.1467. Conversely, precipitation shows an increasing trend with a linear trend coefficient of 0.3896. (2) About the central tendency response, there are similar features in spatial distribution of both NDVI responding to precipitation (NDVI-P) and NDVI responding to AI (NDVI-AI), which are contrary to that of NDVI responding to air temperature (NDVI-T). Typical sensitivity region of NDVI-P and NDVI-AI mainly covers the northern temperate arid steppe and the northern temperate desert steppe. NDVI-T typical sensitivity region mainly covers the northern temperate desert steppe. (3) Regarding the fluctuation amplitude response, NDVI-T is dominated by the lower sensitivity, typical regions of the warm temperate shrubby, selui-shrubby, bare extreme dry desert, and northern temperate meadow steppe in the east and temperate semi-shrubby, dwarf arboreous desert in the north are high response. (4) Fluctuation amplitude responses between NDVI-P and NDVI-AI present a similar spatial distribution. The typical sensitivity region mainly covers the northern temperate desert steppe. There are various linear change trend responses of NDVI-T, NDVI-P and NDVI-AI. As to the NDVI-T and NDVI-AI, which are influenced by the boundary effect of semi-arid and semi-humid climate zones, there is less correlation of their linear change tendency along the border. There is stronger correlation in other regions, especially in the NDVI-T in the northern temperate desert steppe and NDVI-AI in the warm temperate shrubby, selui-shrubby, bare, extreme and dry desert.

Cite this article

HOU Peng, WANG Qiao, CAO Guangzhen, WANG Changzuo, ZHAN Zhiming, YANG Bingfeng . Sensitivity analyses of different vegetations responding to climate change in inland river basin of China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2012 , 22(3) : 387 -406 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-012-0934-1


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