Mogens Humlekrog Greve

Predictive mapping of soil organic carbon in wet cultivated lands using classification-tree based models: The case study of Denmark

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  • Institut for Jordbrugsproduktion og Miljø
  • Integrerede Geografiske og Sociale Studier
  • Jordfysik og Jordressourcer

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is one of the most important carbon stocks globally and has large potential to affect global climate. Distribution patterns of SOC in Denmark constitute a nation-wide baseline for studies on soil carbon changes (with respect to Kyoto protocol). This paper predicts and maps the geographic distribution of SOC across Denmark using remote sensing (RS), geographic information systems (GISs) and decision-tree modeling (un-pruned and pruned classification trees). Seventeen parameters, i.e. parent material, soil type, landscape type, elevation, slope gradient, slope aspect, mean curvature, plan curvature, profile curvature, flow accumulation, specific catchment area, tangent slope, tangent curvature, steady-state wetness index, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized Difference Wetness Index (NDWI) and Soil Color Index (SCI) were generated to statistically explain SOC field measurements in the area of interest (Denmark). A large number of tree-based classification models (588) were developed using (i) all of the parameters, (ii) all Digital Elevation Model (DEM) parameters only, (iii) the primary DEM parameters only, (iv), the remote sensing (RS) indices only, (v) selected pairs of parameters, (vi) soil type, parent material and landscape type only, and (vii) the parameters having a high impact on SOC distribution in built pruned trees. The best constructed classification tree models (in the number of three) with the lowest misclassification error (ME) and the lowest number of nodes (N) as well are: (i) the tree (T1) combining all of the parameters (ME ¼ 29.5%; N¼ 54); (ii) the tree (T2) based on the parent material, soil type and landscape type (ME¼ 31.5%; N ¼ 14); and (iii) the tree (T3) constructed using parent material, soil type, landscape type, elevation, tangent slope and SCI (ME ¼ 30%; N ¼ 39). The produced SOC maps at 1:50,000 cartographic scale using these trees are highly matching with coincidence values equal to 90.5% (Map T1/Map T2), 95% (Map T1/Map T3) and 91% (Map T2/Map T3). The overall accuracies of these maps once compared with field observations were estimated to be 69.54% (Map T1), 68.87% (Map T2) and 69.41% (Map T3). The proposed tree models are relatively simple, and may be also applied to other areas.

TidsskriftJournal of Environmental Management
Sider (fra-til)1150-1160
StatusUdgivet - 2010

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