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Title: An assessment of productivity patterns of grass-dominated rangelands in the Hindu Kush Karakoram region, Pakistan
Authors: Qamer, FM
Xi, C
Abbas, S 
Murthy, MSR
Ning, W
Anming, B
Issue Date: Sep-2016
Source: Sustainability, Sept. 2016, v. 8, no. 9, 961, p. 1-15
Abstract: Rangelands in the Hindu Kush Karakoram region provide a resource base for nomadic livestock grazing, which is one of the major traditional livelihood practices in the area. The present study assessed the spatiotemporal patterns and trends of rangelands using satellite remote-sensing time-series data. Moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS)-based normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data, collected at fortnightly intervals over 12 years (2001-2012), were used as a proxy for the vegetation conditions of the grasslands. The analysis revealed that rangeland productivity increased with increasing elevation up to the sub-alpine zone, which had a higher productivity than the moist temperate zone and humid sub-tropical zone. The high sub-alpine productivity was attributed to seasonal amplitude and the extended length of the growing season in the phenological cycle. In the temporal analysis of productivity, the majority of the area exhibited improvements in vegetation conditions, which were strongest in the humid sub-tropical zones and weakest in the alpine zones. The sub-alpine grasslands were found to be the most productive and heterogeneous habitat; however, the relatively strong negative temporal trend in productivity in this zone indicates ongoing degradation in these rangelands. Thus, special attention is needed for the sustainable management of rangelands in the sub-alpine zones of the Hindu Kush Karakoram region.
Keywords: Hindu Kush Karakoram
Land degradation
Remote sensing
Time-series analysis
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Journal: Sustainability 
EISSN: 2071-1050
DOI: 10.3390/su8090961
Rights: © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (
The following publication Qamer, F.M.; Xi, C.; Abbas, S.; Murthy, M.S.R.; Ning, W.; Anming, B. An Assessment of Productivity Patterns of Grass-Dominated Rangelands in the Hindu Kush Karakoram Region, Pakistan. Sustainability 2016, 8, 961 is available at
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