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Scientists discover threshold of re-vegetation in the Loess Plateau
Update time: 2016-08-10
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The Loess Plateau has experienced the most extinguished improvement of land cover and ecosystem services since the implementation of the Grain to Green Programme (GTGP) of China in 1999. The decreases in runoff and soil moisture in this area revealed by field observation make the sustainability of the massive re-vegetation in the water limited Loess Plateau become the research focus. 

A research group led by Prof. FU Bojie at the State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences (RCEES) of Chinese Academy of Sciences conducted a study on the sustainability of the massive re-vegetation in the Loess Plateau and discovered the threshold of the re-vegetation in the Loess Plateau. 

Researchers quantified water demand of planted vegetation through the combined usage of in situ measurement, satellite observation and ecosystem modeling. They discovered the threshold of vegetation capacity by proposing a framework in terms of both ecological and socio-economic resource demands in a coupled anthropogenic-biological system. 

This study demonstrated that current re-vegetation in the Loess Plateau is close to the threshold limit. However, future climate change modify primary productivity (NPP) thresholds from a minimum of 383 g C m-2 yr-1 to a maximum of 528 g C m-2 yr-1. 

The study was published in Nature Climate Change with the title "Revegetation in China’s Loess Plateau is approaching sustainable water resource limits." 

It was support by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Major Programme of High Resolution Earth Observation System et al.   


NPP thresholds of revegetation in the Loess Plateau 

State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology 

August 10, 2016 

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