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Agricultural Mosaics and Grasslands

Analytical Overview
This map is based on a modified version of the IGBP vegetation classification scheme. The IGBP vegetation classes represent an aggregation of 917 seasonal land cover categories defined in the Global Land Cover Characteristics Database (GLCCD, 1998). The IGBP classes do not distinguish cropland from other vegetation in the class Grassland/Other Vegetation Mosaics. In this map, the 917 seasonal land cover categories have been reaggregated to highlight grassland/cropland mosaics. A weakness of this approach is that even a small percentage of cropland results in a mapping unit being characterized as grassland/cropland, and the degree of grassland modification could be visually overstated.

Map Projection
Interrupted Goode's Homolosine

Map Description
This map uses a variation in the IGBP classification to highlight modification of grasslands by agriculture. On this map, grasslands altered by a certain degree of agricultural activity - or agricultural mosaics - are differentiated from other grasslands. When agricultural mosaics are excluded from the total area in grassland, global grassland area decreases by approximately 7.1 million km². The decrease in grassland in Sub-Saharan Africa is the largest: approximately 3.5 million km². South America and Asia also have substantial areas where grasslands may be considerably altered by agriculture; 1.4 million km² in South America (especially in northeastern Brazil) and 1.2 million km² in Asia (most apparent on the map in Kazakhstan and nearby countries).
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World Resources Institute - PAGE, 2000

  1. United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center. 1999, 1 km Land Cover Characterization Database, Database Revisions for Latin America. Sioux Falls, SD:USGS EDC.Unpublished data.
  2. GLCCD, 1998. Loveland, T.R., B.C. Reed, J.F. Brown, D.O. Ohlen, Z. Zhu, L. Yang, and J. Merchant. 1998. "Development of a Global Land Cover Characteristics Database and IGBP DISCover from 1-km AVHRR Data" In International Journal of Remote Sensing21(6-7): 1303-1330.
    Available On-line at: Source Link.Global Land Cover Characteristics Database, Version 1.2..

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