Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 69 ›› Issue (3): 312-322.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201403003

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An approach of spatially-explicit reconstruction of historical forest in China:A case study in Northeast China

LI Shicheng1,2, HE Fanneng1, ZHANG Xuezhen1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2013-08-13 Revised:2013-12-10 Online:2014-03-20 Published:2014-03-20
  • Supported by:
    ChinaGlobal Change Research Program,No.2010CB950901;National Natural Science Foundation of China,No.41271227

Abstract: To research the climatic and ecological effects of historical land cover change, it is necessary to create historical land cover datasets with explicit spatial information. Using potential vegetation and satellite-based land use data, we determined the possible distribution extent of forest cover before reclamation. Then, some factors affecting land reclamation were selected to evaluate land suitability value of China for cultivation and then they were integrated into a model. Furthermore, historical forest gridding reconstruction model (the size of grid cell is 10 km by 10 km) was developed according to the land suitability value. As a case study, we reconstructed spatially explicit forest cover of 1780 and 1940 in Northeast China using this approach. The results demonstrated that the forest gridding reconstruction model we created can transform provincial forest area into spatially explicit data well. To test the model's rationality, we compared satellite-based forest cover and reconstructed forest cover of 2000. And the one sample t-test of the absolute error of them showed that the two-tailed significance was 0.12, larger than the significant level 0.05, suggesting that there was no significant difference between them and the gridding reconstruction method we designed was rational. The relative errors at county scale of forest cover reconstruction in 1780 of Northeast China were calculated. And the number of counties, whose relative error ranged from -30% ~ 30%, is 99, accounting for 74.44% of the totals (data missing counties are discharged).

Key words: gridding approach, historical period, forest cover, Northeast China