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The vegetation recovery pattern and affecting factors after pipeline disturbance in northwest China

Xiao, Jun, Shi, Peng, Wang, Yafeng, Yang, Lei
Journal for nature conservation 2016 v.29 pp. 114-122
ecological restoration, ecosystem management, ecosystems, engineering, environmental factors, pipelines, rain, semiarid zones, solar radiation, vegetation, China
Pipeline construction has severe disturbance on local ecosystems, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. Vegetation recovery along the pipeline is crucial for ecosystem management and eco-environment restoration. In this study, three typical regions with different backgrounds and engineering characteristics in northwest China were selected to analyze vegetation recovery pattern after pipeline disturbance by using comparative analysis and RDA analysis. The results showed that vegetation condition in the zone 10 m from the pipeline was worse than construction area above the pipeline, and was identified as a key area in which vegetation restoration needs to occur. Rainfall and total sunshine duration were found to be key factors affecting vegetation recovery. Additionally, recovery duration also played important roles in vegetation recovery. The affecting factors can be divided into two categories: environmental factors; and, engineering factors. Environmental factors contribute more to the differences of vegetation in different regions, while the engineering factors may play a more important role in relation to vegetation recovery within a region. In general, the effects of pipeline construction on vegetation pattern were confined to 300m from the pipeline based on this study. However, artificial measures may hasten the vegetation recovery process. This research could provide scientific guidance for ecological restoration and environmental management for the construction of linear projects.