The Shelterbelt Forest System Program in northeast, north and northwest China (the Three-North Shelterbelt Program, TNSP) is the largest ecological reforestation program in the world. TNSP vegetation research has important ecological meaning and profound social and economic significance. Here, spatio-temporal variation in vegetation cover under the TNSP was examined using the NDVI average method, major climatic factors such as temperature and precipitation, and linear regression trend analysis from 1982 to 2006. We found that in the past 25 years, NDVI vegetation in the study area has consistently risen at a rate of 0.007 per decade. Vegetation cover, temperature and precipitation are positively correlated. The area of vegetation associated with precipitation is larger than the area related to temperature; precipitation is the key factor affecting vegetation growth across the TNSP. From 1982 to 2006, regions with improved vegetation cover were found in the central and southern part of the Greater Khingan Mountains, central part of the Lesser Khingan Mountains, northeastern part of the Changbai Mountains, Yanshan Mountians, Western Liaoning Hilly Region, Altai Mountains, Tien Shan Mountains, eastern part of the Qilian Mountains, eastern part of the northwest desert as well as southern part of the Gully Region of the Loess Plateau. However, vegetation cover declined on both sides of the Greater Khingan Mountains, western part of the Hulun Buir Plateau, northern part of the Sanjiang Plain, southern part of Horqin Sandy Land, southern part of the northwest desert and northern part of the Gully Region of the Loess Plateau.
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Vol. 5 • No. 1