Spatially-explicit modelling of grassland classes - an improved method of integrating a climate-based classification model with interpolated climate surfaces

Liu, Xiaoni, Wang, Hongxia, Guo, Jing, Wei, Jingqun, Ren, Zhengchao, Zhang, Jinglan, Zhang, Degang, Pan, Dongrong, & Wang, Fengping (2014) Spatially-explicit modelling of grassland classes - an improved method of integrating a climate-based classification model with interpolated climate surfaces. The Rangeland Journal, 36(2), pp. 175-183.

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Spatially-explicit modelling of grassland classes is important to site-specific planning for improving grassland and environmental management over large areas. In this study, a climate-based grassland classification model, the Comprehensive and Sequential Classification System (CSCS) was integrated with spatially interpolated climate data to classify grassland in Gansu province, China. The study area is characterized by complex topographic features imposed by plateaus, high mountains, basins and deserts. To improve the quality of the interpolated climate data and the quality of the spatial classification over this complex topography, three linear regression methods, namely an analytic method based on multiple regression and residues (AMMRR), a modification of the AMMRR method through adding the effect of slope and aspect to the interpolation analysis (M-AMMRR) and a method which replaces the IDW approach for residue interpolation in M-AMMRR with an ordinary kriging approach (I-AMMRR), for interpolating climate variables were evaluated. The interpolation outcomes from the best interpolation method were then used in the CSCS model to classify the grassland in the study area. Climate variables interpolated included the annual cumulative temperature and annual total precipitation. The results indicated that the AMMRR and M-AMMRR methods generated acceptable climate surfaces but the best model fit and cross validation result were achieved by the I-AMMRR method. Twenty-six grassland classes were classified for the study area. The four grassland vegetation classes that covered more than half of the total study area were "cool temperate-arid temperate zonal semi-desert", "cool temperate-humid forest steppe and deciduous broad-leaved forest", "temperate-extra-arid temperate zonal desert", and "frigid per-humid rain tundra and alpine meadow". The vegetation classification map generated in this study provides spatial information on the locations and extents of the different grassland classes. This information can be used to facilitate government agencies' decision-making in land-use planning and environmental management, and for vegetation and biodiversity conservation. The information can also be used to assist land managers in the estimation of safe carrying capacities which will help to prevent overgrazing and land degradation.

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ID Code: 69569
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Grassland ecosystems, GIS-based decisions, Vegetation boundaries, Restoration ecology, Grazing ecology
DOI: 10.1071/RJ13103
ISSN: 1036-9872
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS (050100) > Ecological Impacts of Climate Change (050101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000) > ECOLOGY (060200)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Australian Rangeland Society
Deposited On: 31 Mar 2014 01:28
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2015 09:26

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