Seasonal dynamics of vegetation over the past 100 years inferred from tree rings and climate in Hulunbei'er steppe, northern China

Li, Jingbo; Chen, Zhenju; Fang, Keyan; Davi, Nicole K.; He, Xingyuan; Cui, Mingxing; Zhang, Xianliang; Peng, Junjie

The relationship between monthly vegetation cover anomalies and climate in the Hulunbei'er steppe were studied through analyzing the relationship between regional normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and climatic variables, and NDVI and tree-ring width during the growing season (May–October). The local moisture (dry/wet) and temperature (cold/warm) variations largely affected the vegetation cover and the radial growth of Mongolian pines (Pinus sylvestiris Linnaeus var. mongolica Litvinov) in the steppe. Monthly precipitation and Palmer drought severity index (PDSI) data from the previous to the current growing seasons were positively correlated to regional vegetation cover and radial growth of Mongolian pines; however, negative correlations were found between temperature and vegetation variables. A reconstruction of monthly vegetation cover dynamics for the growing season was created and spans 116 years (from 1891 to 2006). The results show that the total numbers of anomalies for dense and sparse seasonal vegetation cover is 22 years over the 116 year record; about 5–7 relatively dense or sparse periods; and ∼2–8 years significant periodicities (p > 0.05). Linkages to the Pacific Ocean and Arctic Ocean regimes were also detected.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for j.jaridenv.2012.03.013.pdf j.jaridenv.2012.03.013.pdf application/pdf 792 KB Download File

Also Published In

Journal of Arid Environments

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Published Here
August 15, 2012


Supplementary data available at