A procedure for estimating the carbon budget of terrestrial ecosystems in the former Soviet Union by geographic information system analysis and classification of AVHRR derived Global Vegetation Index Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/d217qv62d

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  • The purpose of this research was to develop methods for using geographic information system (GIS) analysis and unsupervised classification of Global Vegetation Index (GVI) images to improve carbon budget estimates of the former Soviet Union (FSU). A GIS was used to locate the geographic distribution and estimate the area of agricultural lands in the FSU. Climatic factors were used to isolate agricultural lands suitable for no-till management. The effects of various tillage practices on the carbon cycle were estimated. Four year average, monthly maximum value GVI composites were clustered on the basis of timing, magnitude, and duration of greenness as recorded by the normalized difference of vegetation index (NDVI). The resulting 42 image classes were identified by a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods including expert assessment by scientists with extensive field experience in the FSU and analysis of temporal NDVI response curves. The image classes appear to accurately delineate vegetation/landcover regions. The percent agricultural land, percent forest cover and percent natural nonforest was estimated for each image class. Equivalent ecosystems described in the Bazilevich carbon data base were used to calculate the carbon cycle parameters forest and natural non-forest ecosystems. Carbon estimates for agricultural lands were calculated from production data. Comparisons between areal estimates of land cover from this research and reported statistics are very good. For example, forested land was estimated at 876 million hectares (MHa) forest statistical data from the FSU estimate commercial forests to be 814 MHa. Total agricultural lands are estimated in research to be 211 MHa, the same as reported by the USDA and very close to the 217 MHa reported by statistics from the FSU. Results from carbon budget analysis include: - Complete conversion of all climatically suitable lands to no-till management would sequester over 3 gigatons (Gt) of carbon in the agricultural soils of the FSU. - Phytomass and net primary productivity (NPP) estimates for forest and non-forest ecosystems compare well with carbon budget estimates that used maps to identify carbon quantifiable regions.
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