Yijiao Li, Yuhong Song, Xiaozhu Cao, Linyun Huang, Jianqun Zhu

Temporal–Spatial Changes in Vegetation Coverage under Climate Change and Human Activities: A Case Study of Central Yunnan Urban Agglomeration, China

  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Analyzing vegetation cover provides a basis for detecting ecological and environmental health in urban areas. We analyzed the temporal and spatial changes in vegetation cover using NDVI data from the central Yunnan urban agglomeration (CYUA). The dimidiate pixel model (DPM) and intensity analysis were used to study changes at three levels: time intervals, category, and transition. Analysis of time series data from 1990–2020 using the Theil–Sen Median with Mann–Kendal test identified the overall trends. Geodetector explored the relationship between natural and human factors in vegetation cover change. The CYUA’s vegetation cover gradually decreases from west to east and south to north, with middle–high and high vegetation occupying over 55%. During 1990–2020, significant improvement was observed in the east and north regions, with an increase of 22.49%. The anthropogenic core area showed severe degradation with nearly 1.56% coverage. The transformation intensity of middle vegetation coverage was dominant from 1990–2010 but was replaced by middle–high vegetation coverage from 2010–2020. Meanwhile, high vegetation coverage became the most prominent gains target, and the conversion of middle–high to high vegetation showed a system tendency to exceed the average in absolute number and relative intensity. Spatial and temporal differences in vegetation cover were mostly affected by land cover (q = 0.4726, p < 0.001), and the most influential topographic factor was the slope (q = 0.1491, p < 0.001). The impact of human activities has increased to 16%, double that of 2000. The CYUA’s vegetation cover improved more than it degraded, but required site-specific forest management due to human activities.

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