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8 - Vegetation Dynamics, Land Use and Ecological Risk in Response to NDVI and Climate Change in Nepal

from Part II - Climate Risk to Human and Natural Systems

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 March 2022

Qiuhong Tang
Affiliation:
Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing
Guoyong Leng
Affiliation:
Oxford University Centre for the Environment
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Summary

Vegetation dynamics is a proxy indicator for environmental changes. The spatial and temporal evolution of the satellite derived normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is a useful tool to identify environmental risk at large spatial scales. This study aimed to find the vegetation dynamics, land use and ecological risk in Nepal. The NDVI from different satellite products, land use land cover (LULC) change, human footprint pressure (HFP) and climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation) were analysed. The result showed that NDVI has significantly increased with greening in large areas. Spatially, the decreased NDVI was more noticeable in the Trans-Himalayan region. Meanwhile, the spatially averaged temperature has significantly increased at the rate of 0.03°C yr-1 and precipitation decreased by 3.94 mm yr-1 during 1982–2015. The rapid change in climate, land uses and vegetation can alter the ecosystem. The lower temperature in the mountains is a limiting factor for vegetation. Meanwhile, the high temperature in Terai and low precipitation in western and far western regions with lower VCI enhance dryness. Thus, these regions are ecologically fragile. This study of vegetation dynamics, land use, climates and HFP indicates the level of ecological risk in Nepal.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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