ESTIMATING CHANGES IN CARBON STOCKS OF FOREST VEGETATION IN HUNAN PROVINCE USING THE CELLULAR AUTOMATA-MARKOV MODEL
Keywords:Carbon storage, carbon sink, Returning Farmland to Forest Programme, spatial variation, spatial simulation
The cellular automata (CA)-Markov model was used to examine variation in carbon reserves of Hunan forests. Landuse data from forestry statistical yearbooks of 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015, and forest resource surveys were used to study the spatial distribution of carbon storage using the Kriging and CA-Markov models. Spatial distribution of forest vegetation in Hunan province was simulated and the application of the CA-Markov model in carbon storage quantification was verified. Kappa coefficients were used to examine changes in the area and distribution of different carbon stocks from 2000 to 2015. Carbon storage of montane and bamboo forests in 2015 was 152.5 × 106 and 61.8 × 106 t respectively—an increase of 96.8 and 87.3% respectively from 2000, while production forest and shrub wood carbon storage decreased by 53.4 and 27.9% to 10.9 × 106 and 10.1 × 106 t respectively. These carbon storage figures corresponded with changes in the forest coverage area. Carbon storage was high in western Hunan province due to better forest protection. Carbon storage was low in north and south Hunan. The Changsha–Zhuzhou–Xiangtan area cluster had the lowest carbon storage because of rapid economic and social development and lower levels of forest vegetation protection.