Stratification of landuse data

Once land use and land-use conversion areas have been established, it is necessary to consider the capacity and need for further stratification. This may be needed to locate relevant data from subsequent chapters for emissions factors, carbon stocks, etc. Table 3.1 shows the typical stratifications for which data are available for the application of Tier 1 emissions and removals estimation. Throughout the default tables used to populate equations to calculate a Tier 1 inventory, specific data cells are highlighted that represented the pre-defined stratifications applied to Tier 1 inventories. That is, Tier 1 default data (tables) conform to a consistent stratification so that there is no further calculation or ambiguity in the appropriate selection of default data to populate equations. Where countries are preparing Tiers 2 and 3 inventories, it is likely that stratification schemes may differ based on country-specific information and selection, manipulation or supplementation of default data may be required.

Unless all land-use area and stratification data are spatially-explicit (Approach 3), the development of rules for allocations to strata may be required. For example, Approach 1 land-use data are stratified by climate and soil type to estimate soil C stock changes. Optimally, the land-use data can be down-scaled to capture the proportion of land uses in each climate or soil type, with ancillary information and expert knowledge. If re-scaling is not possible, inventory estimation can still proceed, but the emissions and removals estimates should reflect uncertainties in the assignment of emission/stock change factors (and associated parameters) that vary by climate and/or soil.

Management data may only be available in an Approach 1 format (e.g., expert knowledge or periodic surveys of different sets of land owners) even if Approach 2 or 3 data are available for land-use categories. In this case, management can be summarized as a proportion of the management practice (e.g., % no till, intensive tillage and reduced tillage) in each "lands remaining" and "lands converted" land-use category. This will be a limiting assumption if the management classes are not evenly distributed as the impact of management on the emission or removal depends on land-use category.

Tiers 2 and 3 methods may also evaluate interactions between management practices that affect emission/stock change factors. Determining the appropriate combinations of management is another issue that needs careful consideration. Tier 1 methods typically do not address the temporal trends in emissions/stock change factors (assuming a linear change) or capture interactions among management practices on a specific land use, but rather represent an average effect. Consequently, assignment of emission/stock change factors may become more complicated with higher Tier methods and require careful explanation of the scaling processes that were used to delineate the appropriate combinations of the climate, soil, ecological zones, and/or management systems.

Figure 3.1 Decision tree for preparation of land-use area data

Figure 3.1 Decision tree for preparation of land-use area data

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