Conservation effectiveness assessment of Sanjiangyuan alpine grassland with MODIS-EVI approach

SONG Ruiling1 WANG Hao1 ZHANG Di1 LÜ Zhi1,2 ZHU Ziyun1,2 ZHANG Lu1 LIU Yanlin1,3 GONGBAO Caiwen2 WU Lan1

(1.Center for Nature and Society, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871)
(2.Shanshui Conservation Center, Beijing 100871)
(3.Institute of Forestry Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091)

【Abstract】The Sanjiangyuan Region is a prioritized area for ecosystem conservation in China. Since 2005, the Chinese government has contributed significant funding to the implementation of a series of measures and projects in the Sanjiangyuan Region to conserve and restore its grassland ecological system. Based on the MODIS enhanced vegetation index (EVI) data and field measured quadrats, we assessed the conservation effectiveness of the Sanjiangyuan Project from the perspective of grassland aboveground biomass (AGB) in order to provide reference for subsequent conservation measures. Using the aboveground biomass (AGB) data from 248 major quadrats scattered across the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau from 2000 to 2016 and EVI data during the corresponding period, we compared and contrasted various modeling approaches for assessing grassland AGB based on the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) data. And, we used the best-working power model to conduct inversion on the Sanjiangyuan alpine grassland AGB. We carried out trend analysis to make out the variation of biomass. The results showed that from 2000 to 2016 there was no significant change in the AGB of the alpine grassland in 62% of the area of Sanjiangyuan, significant increase in 22% of the area mainly distributed in the western and northern areas, and significant decrease in 16% of the areas sporadically located in the central and southern areas. Between 2000 and 2016, the AGB of the entire area showed no significant increase or decrease but high inter-annual fluctuations. However, there have been significant decreases in AGB since 2012. The AGB inside the Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve was lower than that outside. Using the matching method to compare the AGB of the nature reserve, we found that there was no significant increase in grassland AGB inside the Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve during the period 2005–2012 when the ecosystem conservation project was implemented.

【Keywords】 Sanjiangyuan Region; grassland degradation; effectiveness assessment; nature reserve; biomass; MODIS-EVI;


【Funds】 Biodiversity Fast Survey Program of Peking University

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(Translated by WEN JX)


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This Article



Vol 26, No. 02, Pages 149-157

February 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Materials and methods
  • 2 Results
  • 3 Discussion
  • References