Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (3): 677-693.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202303011

• Phytogeography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Estimation of the spatial distribution of potential forestation land and its climatic potential productivity in China

XU Jinyong()   

  1. Aerospace Information Research Institute, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2022-08-15 Revised:2023-02-24 Online:2023-03-25 Published:2023-03-27
  • Supported by:
    Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA19090119)


Based on 30 m resolution remote-sensing classified land use/land cover data from GLC_FCS30 and GlobeLand30 in 2020, and combined with spatiotemporal data, such as topography and microclimate, transportation, alpine timberline, ecogeographical zoning, as well as changes in Miami climatic potential productivity, this study has obtained the spatial distribution and quality of China's potential forestation land with a resolution of 30 m by selecting the grassland and cultivated land with a slope greater than 25° as the potential land source and applying Liebig's "Law of the Minimum". The results show that China lacks potential forestation land of high quality; as the quality level decreases, its area increases. Among potential forestation land, the area of prioritized potential forestation land is 0.66 million km2, of which the total multiyear average Miami climatic potential productivity is 630 million tons. If all the prioritized potential forestation land is developed for forest plantations, the national forest coverage rate would increase by 6.94%, and the corresponding climatic potential productivity would increase by 25.00%. The area of prioritized potential forestation land in North China is the highest and two-thirds of this area is observed in Inner Mongolia, while the climatic potential productivity in Southwest China is the highest, 1.59 times that in North China. Among the prioritized potential forestation land, the areas for afforestation and reforestation accounted for 59.56% and 40.44%, respectively, but the climatic potential productivity accounted for 47.94% and 52.06%, respectively. Therefore, in future forestry, we must not only actively deploy afforestation land but also strengthen forest restoration in areas with better climatic conditions. The spatial distribution of potential forestation land with a resolution of 30 m obtained in this study can provide an important reference for the nationwide forest planting plan for carbon sequestration.

Key words: China, potential forestation land, Miami model, Law of the Minimum