Spatiotemporal analysis of vegetation variability and its relationship with climate change in China

Bingwen Qiu, Weijiao Li, Ming Zhong, Zhenghong Tang, Chongcheng Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper investigated spatiotemporal dynamic pattern of vegetation, climate factor, and their complex relationships from seasonal to inter-annual scale in China during the period 1982–1998 through wavelet transform method based on GIMMS data-sets. First, most vegetation canopies demonstrated obvious seasonality, increasing with latitudinal gradient. Second, obvious dynamic trends were observed in both vegetation and climate change, especially the positive trends. Over 70% areas were observed with obvious vegetation greening up, with vegetation degradation principally in the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta, and desert. Overall warming trend was observed across the whole country (>98% area), stronger in Northern China. Although over half of area (58.2%) obtained increasing rainfall trend, around a quarter of area (24.5%), especially the Central China and most northern portion of China, exhibited significantly negative rainfall trend. Third, significantly positive normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)–climate relationship was generally observed on the de-noised time series in most vegetated regions, corresponding to their synchronous stronger seasonal pattern. Finally, at inter-annual level, the NDVI–climate relationship differed with climatic regions and their long-term trends: in humid regions, positive coefficients were observed except in regions with vegetation degradation; in arid, semiarid, and semihumid regions, positive relationships would be examined on the condition that increasing rainfall could compensate the increasing water requirement along with increasing temperature. This study provided valuable insights into the long-term vegetation–climate relationship in China with consideration of their spatiotemporal variability and overall trend in the global change process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-180
Number of pages11
JournalGeo-Spatial Information Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014


  • climate change
  • non-stationary
  • normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)
  • vegetation variability
  • wavelet transform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Computers in Earth Sciences

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