A Hybrid Wetland Map for China: A Synergistic Approach Using Census and Spatially Explicit Datasets
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Wetlands play important ecological, economic, and cultural roles in societies around the world. However, wetland degradation has become a serious ecological issue, raising the global sustainability concern. An accurate wetland map is essential for wetland management. Here we used a fuzzy method to create a hybrid wetland map for China through the combination of five existing wetlands datasets, including four spatially explicit wetland distribution data and one wetland census. Our results show the total wetland area is 384,864 km(2), 4.08% of China's national surface area. The hybrid wetland map also shows spatial distribution of wetlands with a spatial resolution of 1 km. The reliability of the map is demonstrated by comparing it with spatially explicit datasets on lakes and reservoirs. The hybrid wetland map is by far the first wetland mapping that is consistent with the statistical data at the national and provincial levels in China. It provides a benchmark map for research on wetland protection and management. The method presented here is applicable for not only wetland mapping but also for other thematic mapping in China and beyond.
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