, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 495-509
Date: 04 Jun 2010

Simulation on the dynamics of forest area changes in Northeast China

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Abstract

There is plenty of forests in Northeast China which contributes a lot to the conservation of water and land resources, produces timber products, and provides habitats for a huge number of wild animals and plants. With changes of socio-economic factors as well as the geophysical conditions, there are dramatic changes on the spatial patterns of forest area. In this sense, it is of great significance to shed light on the dynamics of forest area changes to find the underlining reasons for shaping the changing patterns of forest area in Northeast China. To explore the dynamics of forest area change in Northeast China, an econometric model is developed which is composed of three equations identifying forestry production, conversion from open forest to closed forest and conversion from other land uses to closed forest so as to explore the impacts on the forest area changes from demographic, social, economic, location and geophysical factors. On this basis, we employ the Dynamics of Land System (DLS) model to simulate land-use conversions between forest area and non-forest cover and the land-use conversions within the sub-classes of forest area for the period 2000–2020 under business as usual scenario, environmental protection scenario and economic growth scenario. The simulation results show that forest area will expand continuously and there exist various kinds of changing patterns for the sub-classes of forest area, for example, closed forest will expand continuously and open forest and shrub will decrease a little bit, while area of other forest will keep intact. The research results provide meaningful decision-making information for conserving and exploiting the forest resources and making out the planning for forestry production in the Northeast China region.

Foundation: National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 70821140353; No.70873118; National Key Technology R&D Program, No.2006BAC08B03; No.2006BAC08B06; CAS Knowledge Innovation Program, No.KZCX2-YW-326-1; No.KZCX2-YW-305-2; No.KSCX1-YW-09-04
Author: Deng Xiangzheng (1971–), Ph.D, specialized in dynamics and consequences of land systems, regional environmental change.