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26 July 2007 An approach for desertification monitoring in Hulun Buir grassland of Inner Mongolia, China
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Hulun Buir represents the best grassland in Inner Mongolia. Due to intensive anthropogenic activities especially unreasonable grazing, desertification has been an important environmental problem in the grassland. In the paper we intend to develop an applicable approach for desertification monitoring in the grassland. Since vegetation is the most essential factor of grassland and desertification actually implies the declination of vegetation in the grassland, an index indication desertification severity has been constructed from vegetation cover fraction. Using MODIS satellite data, we firstly computed NDVI and then computed vegetation cover rate in the grassland. The rate is consequently used to construct the desertification index (DI) for evaluation of desertification severity. Using precipitation and temperature data from 45 points, we validate the capability of DI in representing the severity of actual desertification in the grassland. The general accordance of precipitation and temperature with DI demonstrates the applicability of the proposed approach for desertification in the grassland. Using the approach, we analyzed the changes of desertification in the grassland in recent years. Results showed that desertification process in the grassland are accelerating in recent years, with rate of 1% annually. The acceleration of desertification implies that grassland ecosystem is under evolution of degradation in spite of rapid economic development in the region. Our study suggests that necessary measures should be urgently employed to protect the grassland from further desertification.
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Yuxia Zhu, Zhihao Qin, Bin Xu, Maofang Gao, and Huan Pei "An approach for desertification monitoring in Hulun Buir grassland of Inner Mongolia, China", Proc. SPIE 6752, Geoinformatics 2007: Remotely Sensed Data and Information, 675223 (26 July 2007);

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