Identification and spatial pattern analysis of alpine timberline by remote sensing methods in Yarlung Zangpo Grand Canyon Identification and spatial pattern analysis of alpine timberline by remote sensing methods in Yarlung Zangpo Grand Canyon

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Vol18 No.9: 2304-2314

Title】Identification and spatial pattern analysis of alpine timberline by remote sensing methods in Yarlung Zangpo Grand Canyon

Author】ZHU Bei1,2*; WANG Shi-yan2; SU Wei2,3; CHEN Kai-qi4; LIU Chang2; DU Yan-liang2; WANG Liang2; HAN Zhen2; ZOU Jiang-xiang2

Addresses】1 State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, Beijing 100038, China; 2 China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China3 College of Hebei Agricultural University, Huanghua 061100, China

4 Appraisal Center for Environment and Engineering, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Beijing 100012, China

Corresponding author】ZHU Bei

Citation】Zhu B, Wang SY, Su W, et al. (2021) Identification and spatial pattern analysis of alpinetimberline by remote sensing methods in Yarlung Zangpo Grand Canyon. Journal of Mountain Science 18(9). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-020-6642-x

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-020-6642-x

Abstract】As an important ecotone, the alpine timberline is the boundary between closed-canopy montane forest and alpine vegetation, and is highly sensitive to global and regional climate changes. We provided a way to identify and extract the alpine timberline in Yarlung Zangpo Grand Canyon Nature Reserve by using remote sensing data and spatial analysis based on land use/land cover classification and NDVI distribution characteristics. Combining DEM data, the influence of slope and aspect on the distribution of alpine timberline was explored. The results showed that the alpine timberline in Yarlung Zangpo Grand Canyon is transitional timberline, with the upper boundary approximately distributed at the elevation of 3422-4373 m, the lower boundary at approximately 3270-4164 m, with a width of about 110-280 m. Alpine timberline was mainly distributed on steep and very steep slopes ranging from 25° to 45°. The maximum elevation of both the upper and lower boundaries occurred on steep slopes. The distribution of alpine timberline varies with aspects, with sunny slopes having a higher boundary than shady slopes.

Keywords】Alpine timberline; Aspect; Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; Remote sensing classification; Slope