Rocky desertification is one of the most critical ecological and environmental problems in areas underlain by carbonate rocks globally. Land cover and land use in the region affects large-scale ecosystem processes on a global scale, and many Earth system models rely on accurate
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Rocky desertification is one of the most critical ecological and environmental problems in areas underlain by carbonate rocks globally. Land cover and land use in the region affects large-scale ecosystem processes on a global scale, and many Earth system models rely on accurate land cover information. Therefore, it is important to evaluate current global land cover products and to understand the differences between them, and the findings of these studies can provide guidance to different researchers when using or making land cover products. Whereas there are many studies on the assessment of coarser resolution land cover products, there are few studies on the assessment of higher resolution land cover products (10 m). In order to provide guidance for users of 10 m data, this paper uses the rock deserted southwest region of China as the experimental area. We analyzed the consistency and accuracy of the FROM-GLC, ESA WorldCover 10 and ESRI products using spatial pattern consistency, absolute accuracy assessment of three validation samples, and analyzed their intrinsic relationships among classification systems, classification methods, and validation samples. The results show that (1) the overall accuracy of the FROM-GLC product is the highest, ranging from 49.47 to 62.42%; followed by the overall accuracy of the ESA product, ranging from 45.13 to 64.50%; and the overall accuracy of the ESRI product is the lowest, between 39.03 and 61.94%. (2) The consistency between FROM-GLC and ESA is higher than the consistency between other products, with an area correlation coefficient of 0.94. Analysis of the spatial consistency of the three products shows that the proportion of perfectly consistent areas is low at 44.89%, mainly in areas with low surface heterogeneity and more homogeneous cover types. (3) Across the study area, the main land cover types such as forest and water bodies were the most consistent across the three product species, while the grassland, shrubland, and bareland were lower. All products showed high accuracy in homogeneous areas, with local accuracy varied in other areas, especially at high altitudes in the central and western regions. Therefore, land cover users cannot use these products directly when conducting relevant studies in rocky desertification areas, as their use may introduce serious errors.