Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2017, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (2): 205-222.doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1372-x

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Modelling the integrated effects of land use and climate change scenarios on forest ecosystem aboveground biomass, a case study in Taihe County of China

Zhuo WU1,2(), Quansheng DAI1(), Quansheng GE1, Weimin XI3, Xiaofan WANG1,2,4   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Department of Biological and Health Sciences, Texas A&M University, Kingsville, Texas 78363, USA
    4. Key Laboratory of Land Use, Ministry of Land and Resources, China Land Surveying and Planning Institute, Beijing 100035, China
  • Received:2016-08-30 Accepted:2016-10-09 Online:2017-04-10 Published:2017-04-10
  • About author:

    Author: Wu Zhuo, PhD Candidate, specialized in climate change and simulation of LUCC. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Dai Erfu (1972-), PhD and Professor, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), No.2015CB452702;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571098, No.41371196, No.41530749;National Key Technology R&D Program, No.2013BAC03B04


Global and regional environmental changes such as land use and climate change have significantly integrated and interactive effects on forest. These integrated effects will undoubtedly alter the distribution, function and succession processes of forest ecosystems. In order to adapt to these changes, it is necessary to understand their individual and integrated effects. In this study, we proposed a framework by using coupling models to gain a better understanding of the complex ecological processes. We combined an agent-based model for land use and land cover change (ABM/LUCC), an ecosystem process model (PnET-II), and a forest dynamic landscape model (LANDIS-II) to simulate the change of forest aboveground biomass (AGB) which was driven by land use and climate change factors for the period of 2010-2050 in Taihe County of southern China, where subtropical coniferous plantations dominate. We conducted a series of land use and climate change scenarios to compare the differences in forest AGB. The results show that: (1) land use, including town expansion, deforestation and forest conversion and climate change are likely to influence forest AGB in the near future in Taihe County. (2) Though climate change will make a good contribution to an increase in forest AGB, land use change can result in a rapid decrease in the forest AGB and play a vital role in the integrated simulation. The forest AGB under the integrated scenario decreased by 53.7% (RCP2.6 + land use), 57.2% (RCP4.5 + land use), and 56.9% (RCP8.5 + land use) by 2050, which is in comparison to the results under separate RCPs without land use disturbance. (3) The framework can offer a coupled method to better understand the complex and interactive ecological processes, which may provide some supports for adapting to land use and climate change, improving and optimizing plantation structure and function, and developing measures for sustainable forest management.

Key words: RCPs, plantation, forest aboveground biomass, ABM, LANDIS-II, Taihe County