Maintaining optimal ecological security is a serious issue in the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP). Remote sensing ecological indexes (RSEI) of three main tableland regions of the CLP were calculated based on spectral information provided by remote sensing imaging satellites between 2000 and 2018. We were able to use RSEI values to systematically evaluate the temporal and spatial variation in the regional ecological environment and determine the influential factors that mainly associated with these changes. The results showed that between 2000 and 2018, the ecological environment improved, remained stable, and deteriorated, respectively, in the Gansu, Shaanxi, and Shanxi tablelands. Regions with poor or fair RSEIs were concentrated around the main river basins, while regions with moderate RSEIs were associated with poor ecological conditions and poor areas. The significant spatiotemporal variation in RSEI indicates that the ecological system in this region is relatively fragile. We also observed that natural factors such as the temperature, potential evapotranspiration, and precipitation had the greatest influence on the overall ecological quality. The rapid increase in the regional population and human activity played an important role in the variation in the regional RSEI. This research will provide important information on controlling regional soil erosion and ecological restoration in the CLP.
Sun, C.; Li, X.; Zhang, W.; Li, X. Evolution of Ecological Security in the Tableland Region of the Chinese Loess Plateau Using a Remote-Sensing-Based Index. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3489. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083489