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Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1137;

Bioclimatic Classification of Northeast Asia Reflecting Social Factors: Development and Characterization

Department of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
Environmental GIS/RS Center, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 13 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Biodiversity is rapidly declining globally and efforts are needed to mitigate this continually increasing loss of species. Clustering of areas with similar habitats can be used to prioritize protected areas and distribute resources for the conservation of species, selection of representative sample areas for research, and evaluation of impacts due to environmental changes. In this study, Northeast Asia (NEA) was classified into 27 bioclimatic zones using statistical techniques, and it was re-clustered into 14 groups to identify the environmental characteristics of these zones. In particular, we added land cover variables into the clustering to reflect not only simple climate but also social factors influencing biological habitats. In total, 53 bioclimatic variables were constructed, and principal components were generated using correlation analysis and principal component analysis (PCA). The iterative self-organizing data analysis technique algorithm (ISODATA) was used to cluster the principal components and land cover variable. The constructed bioclimatic zones were assigned codes and descriptive names based on aridity, seasonality, and naturality, and their environmental characteristics were identified. This study is significant in that it improved the understanding of biological habitats of NEA and established a basis for monitoring the distribution of species and for efficient and systematic management of biodiversity. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioclimatic classification; biodiversity; Northeast Asia; social factors; land cover bioclimatic classification; biodiversity; Northeast Asia; social factors; land cover

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Choi, Y.; Lim, C.-H.; Ryu, J.; Jeon, S.W. Bioclimatic Classification of Northeast Asia Reflecting Social Factors: Development and Characterization. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1137.

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