Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (4): 372-381.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016257

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Multi-scale assessments of forest fragmentation in China

Yao Li1, Xiangming Xiao1,2,*, Xiangping Li1, Jun Ma1, Bangqian Chen1, Yuanwei Qin2, Jinwei Dong3, Bin Zhao1   

  1. 1 Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, China
    2 Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, Center for Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
    3 Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Science and Natural Resource Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2016-09-12 Accepted:2017-03-29 Online:2017-04-20 Published:2017-04-20
  • Contact: Xiao Xiangming


We used the forest fragmentation model to assess forest fragmentation in China based on a 50-m forest cover map in 2010. Six different fragmentation types including interior forest, perforated forest, edge forest, patch forest, transitional forest and undetermined were obtained. We reported the forest fragmentation status in different administration scales (by country, province, and county) based on Chinese administration boundary map of 2010, At the national scale, the patch forest accounted for the largest proportion (49.05%), while the interior forest was the smallest (3.40%). At the regional scale, Northeast China had the lowest forest fragmentation, while Southwest China had moderate forest fragmentation. The highest forest fragmentation areas were mainly distributed in the North China Plain, Central China, Shandong Peninsula and the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain. At the provincial scale, the highest forest fragmentation was located in Shanghai and Tianjin, and the lowest forest fragmentation was located in Yunnan Province and Heilongjiang Province. At the county scale, the lowest forest fragmentation was located in counties in Shaanxi Province. Overall, our results have clearly shown that forest fragmentation occurs extensively and varies substantially over China in 2010. Our study will provide data support for the forestry administrative sector to conduct better forest management and to optimize forestry production and forest spatial patterns, which can improve forest ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation.

Key words: China, forest fragmentation, fragmentation model, multi-scale, distribution ratio