Biodiversity Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (5): 575-582.doi: 10.17520/biods.2015122

Special Issue: China Nature Watch

• Orginal Article • Previous Article     Next Article

Observations of China’s forest change (2000-2013) based on Global Forest Watch dataset

Hao Wang1, 2, *(), Zhi Lü1, 2, Lei Gu1, 2, Cheng Wen1, 2   

  1. 1 Center for Nature and Society, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
    2 Shanshui Conservation Center, Beijing 100871
  • Received:2015-05-08 Accepted:2015-08-17 Online:2015-10-12
  • Wang Hao E-mail:wanghao@pku.edu.cn

Knowing the status and changes in forests is essential for evaluating biodiversity dynamics and making effective conservation action plans. It is also essential knowledge for public awareness and policy. However, before Hansen and his colleagues published the Global Forest Watch (GFW) data online in 2013, there were no datasets of forest distribution and changes publicly available in China. GFW data was produced using Landsat satellite images, grants free access to the general public to study forest changes at 30 m resolutions, and spans a period from 2000 to 2013. We interpreted this dataset and compared results with other datasets, including the National Forest Inventory, ChinaCover and GlobeLand30. Results show that GFW dataset has reliable accuracy, as its forest distribution highly overlaps with GlobeLand30, which has a producer accuracy of 87%, and a user accuracy of 89% within the forest category. With similar forest definitions of tree cover >20%, the total forest area is 1,780,472 km2 in the year 2000, similar to the National Forest Inventory’s forest area of 1,749,092 km2. While other datasets show forest increases between 2,370-433,810 km2 during 2000-2010, GFW identified a net forest loss of 37,551-42,031 km2 in China. 2008 is a turning point of forest loss, as the area of annual forest loss has a rising trend before, and a declining trend afterwards. The southern provinces of Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi and Yunnan have the most active forest changes. Forest coverage from nature reserves is insufficient, as by the end of 2013, 407 national level nature reserves, occupying more than 60% of China’s total nature reserve area, covered only 5.03% of total forest area. However, nature reserves have positive outcomes, with reduced forest loss (1.39%), compared to the national average rate (3.46%). This is equivalent to reducing deforestation by 1,856 km2, but there is still an overall net loss of 1,200 km2 inside nature reserves.

Key words: Global Forest Watch, data quality, forest change, nature reserve, China

Table 1

Forest overlay between GlobeLand30 and Global Forest Watch datasets"

Global Forest Watch
树木覆盖度类别
Global Forest Watch tree cover category
与GlobeLand 30土地覆盖类型重合百分比
Overlap with GlobeLand 30 Land Cover Category (%)
森林
Forest
农田
Cultivated land
草原
Grass
灌丛
Shrub
湿地
Wetland
水体
Water bodies
永久冰雪
Permanent snow & ice
人工覆盖
Artificial surfaces
荒地
Bare land
> 0 78.97 11.48 8.05 0.77 0.08 0.23 0.05 0.30 0.06
> 20% 83.94 7.99 6.95 0.75 0.05 0.14 0.04 0.08 0.06
> 50% 89.24 4.56 5.31 0.65 0.02 0.09 0.03 0.03 0.06
> 75% 92.93 2.59 3.73 0.58 0.01 0.06 0.02 0.02 0.06

Table 2

China’s forest area and changes in 2000-2010"

序号
No.
数据集
Dataset
数据时段
Data acquired
森林面积
Area of forest (km2)
2000 2010 变化面积
Area of change
变化比例
Ratio of change
1 Global Forest Watch 2000 1,780,472 1,738,441
~1,742,921*
-42,031
~ -37,551
-2.4%
~ -2.1%
2 中国土地覆盖
(ChinaCover)
2000, 2010 2,562,600 2,582,600 +20,000 +0.7%
3 第六次和第八次森林清查**
The 6th & 8th National Forestry Inventory
1999-2003;
2009-2013
1,749,092 2,076,900 +327,808 +18.7%
4 FAO全球森林评估
FAO: Forest Resource Assessment (FRA2000, FRA2010)
2000, 2010 1,634,800 2,068,610 +433,810 +26.5%

Table 3

Forest changes by tree cover category in 2000-2013 (Unit: km2) (Global Forest Watch)"

树木覆盖范围
Tree cover category
2000年面积
Area of 2000
增加
Gain
减少
Loss
增加减少均有
Gain & loss
0 7,514,170 10,477 2,592 271
1-10% 117,308 615 375 21
11-20% 132,098 813 753 34
21-30% 125,214 564 718 28
31-40% 109,584 607 1,017 40
41-50% 204,849 1,080 3,452 131
51-60% 303,083 1,186 5,594 291
61-70% 245,611 944 7,796 419
71-80% 296,325 1,428 12,018 910
81-90% 351,104 2,536 23,634 2,312
91-99% 114,292 1,025 7,023 1,023
100% 30,410 0 369 0
合计 Total 9,544,047 21,276 65,341 5,480
覆盖度>20%合计
Total of tree cover > 20%
1,780,472 61,622

Fig. 1

Annual forest loss of China in 2000-2013. The area of annual forest loss, 2001-2008 is 694.6 km2/year, P = 0.000; 2008- 2013 is -492.8 km2/year, P = 0.018; 2001-2013 is 232.6 km2/year, P = 0.034."

Table 4

Forest changes by province in 2000-2013, tree cover > 20% (Unit: km2)"

省名
Province
增加
Gain
减少
Loss
增加减少
均有
Gain & loss
每年减量的趋势
Trend of annual loss
省名
Province
增加
Gain
减少
Loss
增加减少
均有
Gain & loss
每年减量的趋势
Trend of annual loss
北京 Beijing 0 7 0 不显著 Not sig. 湖北 Hubei 38 696 7 上升 Rising
天津 Tianjin 0 5 0 不显著 Not sig. 湖南 Hunan 406 4,403 171 上升 Rising
河北 Hebei 2 263 0 不显著 Not sig. 广东 Guangdong 2,553 10,099 1,570 上升 Rising
山西 Shanxi 1 359 0 不显著 Not sig. 广西 Guangxi 2,826 13,339 1,761 上升 Rising
内蒙古 Neimenggu 30 2,859 2 不显著 Not sig. 海南 Hainan 225 1,619 94 不显著 Not sig.
辽宁 Liaoning 9 707 2 不显著 Not sig. 重庆 Chongqing 26 136 1 上升 Rising
吉林 Jilin 19 571 1 不显著 Not sig. 四川 Sichuan 91 1,330 5 不显著 Not sig.
黑龙江 Heilongjiang 265 5,211 10 不显著 Not sig. 贵州 Guizhou 189 1,817 24 不显著 Not sig.
上海 Shanghai 0 0 0 不显著 Not sig. 云南 Yunnan 549 5,574 231 上升 Rising
江苏 Jiangsu 3 53 1 不显著 Not sig. 西藏 Xizang 197 964 126 不显著 Not sig.
浙江 Zhejiang 163 1,871 63 上升 Rising 陕西 Shaanxi 15 203 0 不显著 Not sig.
安徽 Anhui 171 1,281 63 上升 Rising 甘肃 Gansu 1 109 0 下降 Decline
福建 Fujian 1,859 7,595 1,288 不显著 Not sig. 青海 Qinghai 0 7 0 下降 Decline
江西 Jiangxi 844 4,935 429 上升 Rising 宁夏 Ningxia 0 1 0 下降 Decline
山东 Shandong 1 32 0 下降 Decline 新疆 Xinjiang 2 103 0 不显著 Not sig.
河南 Henan 16 196 3 不显著 Not sig. 台湾 Taiwan 25 265 10 不显著 Not sig.

Table 5

Top ten nature reserves (NR) with the most forest loss in 2000-2013 (Unit: km2)"

保护区
Nature reserve
区内森林面积
Forest area within NR
增加
Gain
减少
Loss
增加减少均有
Gain & loss
减少面积最多年份
Year of maximum loss
升级为国家级保护区的年份
Year to national level
南瓮河 Nanwenghe 1,540.5 0.2 303.3 0.0 2006 2003
饶河东北黑蜂 Raohe 5,481.8 0.6 73.0 0.0 2011 1997
呼中 Huzhong 1,563.3 0.1 59.6 0.0 2001 1988
西双版纳 Xishuangbanna 2,678.3 5.9 54.0 3.5 2003 1986
绰纳河 Chaonahe 932.3 0.1 48.9 0.0 2008 2012
卧龙 Wolong 1,136.9 0.1 39.1 0.0 2008 1975
友好 Youhao 592.6 0.8 32.2 0.0 2009 2012
白水河 Baishuihe 220.4 0.1 31.0 0.0 2008 2002
雅鲁藏布大峡谷 Yarlung Zangbo 4,640.2 1.9 29.9 0.6 2001 1986
大沾河湿地 Dazhanhe 1,275.8 1.1 19.4 0.0 2004 2009
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