Climate Change Research ›› 2017, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (5): 473-482.doi: 10.12006/j.issn.1673-1719.2016.242

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Characteristics of Phenology Changes and Its Relationship with Climatic Factors in Desert/Grassland Biome Transition Zone of Northern Hemisphere During 1982-2012

Hou Jing1,2, Du Lingtong1, Liu Ke1, Zhu Yuguo1, Hu Yue1, Yang Xinguo1, Zhang Xuejian3   

  1. 1 Breeding Base for State Key Laboratory of Land Degradation and Ecological Restoration in Northwest China/Key Lab of Restoration and Reconstruction of Degraded Ecosystem in Northwest China of Ministry of Education, Ningxia University, Yinchuan 750021, China;
    2 Shanxi Wocheng Institute of Ecological Environment, Taiyuan 030001, China;
    3 Institute of Agricultural Economy and Information Technology, Ningxia Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Yinchuan 750021, China
  • Received:2016-12-12 Revised:2017-03-06 Online:2017-09-30 Published:2017-09-30


The annual vegetation phenology in the desert/grassland biome transition zone of Northern Hemisphere was deduced from the GIMMS NDVI 3g dataset and the spatio-temporal changes of phenology during 1982-2012 were studied. At the same time, the climatic driving factors of phenology change were also analyzed by coupling global meteorological reanalysis data. The results show that the vegetation phenology in each desert/grassland biome transition zone during 1982-1997 had different characteristics. However, the regular phenomenon of vegetation phenology changed after 1998. The end of growth season (EOS) in almost all desert/grassland biome transition zones of Northern Hemisphere became earlier during 1998-2012, which the rate is 0.41 d/a. The length of growth season (LOS) shortened in each region except for the Sahel, which the average shorten rate is 0.88 d/a. The correlation analysis between vegetation phenology and climatic factors show that the phenology of desert/grassland biome transition zone is affected by climate significantly and the main driving factors are different in each region. In the middle and high latitudes, the temperature is the key factor to limit the vegetation activity and the temperature rising can promote the start of growth season earlier. However, the precipitation increasing could weaken the growth of vegetation in these regions. In contrast, the water deficit that caused by the high temperature could shorten the vegetation growing season, and that is the key impact factor in the low latitudes of Northern Hemisphere. Finally, the relationship between phenology and climatic factors in different time-lags were also analyzed. The results show that the phenology change of desert/grassland biome transition zone is responded obviously to temperature change. In addition, there has a time lag effect in the response of phenology change to evapotranspiration. Nevertheless, this rule does not exist between phenology change and precipitation.

Key words: phenology, climate change, desert/grassland biome transition zone, GIMMS NDVI 3g dataset

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