Understanding the manifestations and underlying drivers of agricultural land use change in China is of great importance for both domestic and global food security. However, little is known about the holistic pattern of agricultural land use change across China, especially from the perspective of intensity since the evidence has been gathered mainly through case studies at local levels. This study conducts a systemic review of agricultural land use change and its underlying drivers in China by aggregating 169 relevant case studies from 123 publications. The cases related to intensification and disintensification, which are the two types of agricultural land use change, are generally equal, accounting for 50% of the total number of cases. Intensification and disintensification can be further divided into the same three categories: expansion/contraction of agricultural land, changes in agricultural land use activities and changes in land management intensity. Demographic, economic, technological, and institutional drivers, together with location factors, are frequently noted as significant underlying drivers, while sociocultural drivers and farm(er) characteristics are less frequently recognized. Finally, three major land use change trajectories are summarized mainly concerning rising labor costs and the concomitant increase in off-farm employment, the ecological improvement policy, and advances in agricultural technology.
China's policy on ecological compensation (eco-compensation) in watershed ecosystems is of economic, social and environmental significance for China's ecological governance and protection of natural areas. It involves balancing the interests of regional stakeholders, coordinating the development of regional environments and establishing effective cooperation models, making it a classic topic for geographical research. This study introduces the concept of institutional “stickiness” to the theory of politics of scale to analyze the features and mechanisms of the game behavior of government entities in the process of implementing watershed eco-compensation in the Xin'an River Basin. Our results show the following: government entities at various levels, including the central, provincial and municipal governments, experienced the three stages of game strategy of competition, cooperation and “coopetition”; building a government community of shared interests can promote watershed eco-compensation, and “appropriate intervention” by the central government is key to achieving inter-provincial watershed eco-compensation; there was clear institutional stickiness during the transition from a “vertical” model of watershed eco-compensation to a “vertical-horizontal” model, with government entities using policy innovations and social participation to limit and reduce stickiness so as to reshape the watershed eco-compensation system; scalar jumping is the core mechanism that promoted eco-compensation in the study basin, and government entities shaped the discourse on watershed eco-compensation by redistributing powers and capital and creating informal constraints, which promoted the transformation of eco-compensation from a “strong state-weak society” structural model, to a “strong state-strong society” model in the Xin'an River Basin. These results can provide theoretical support for the construction of inter-regional watershed eco-compensation mechanisms, provide a scientific basis for the rational evaluation and guidance of watershed eco-compensation practices, and promote the coordinated and sustainable socioeconomic development of watersheds.
As an innovative mode of China’s foreign direct investment, China’s overseas industrial parks are not only the main content of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) but also the practical carrier of policy transfer. However, most of the academic literature on the policy transfer of overseas industrial parks has regarded the host country as a passive learner and seldom considers the two-way interactions between the host country and the home country. Using the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) and the “Two Countries, Twin Parks” model as case studies, we discuss the applicability and innovative development of the policy transfer theory of China’s overseas industrial parks under the background of BRI. This article systematically analyzes the developmental background of the MCKIP and the cooperative framework between the governments. We consider the problems encountered in the policy transfer process and the solutions, as well as the two-way interactions between China and Malaysia in terms of the flow of people, logistics, capital, information, and technology. The study sheds light on the construction of the “Two Countries, Twin Parks” overseas industrial park.
A long-term drought has led to the mass mortality of shrubs in the semi-arid Israeli Negev. The most impacted shrub species is the Noaea mucronata (Forssk.) Asch. and Schweinf. In a four-year study, we found that herbaceous vegetation growth was greater in the dead shrub patches than in the surrounding inter-patch biocrusted spaces, suggesting that the dead shrub patches encompass improved micro-habitats. However, unexpectedly, the soil moisture in the dead shrub patches was consistently lower than that of the inter-patch biocrusted spaces. At the same time, soil quality in the dead shrub patches was higher than that in the inter-patch spaces. Therefore, it seems that the overall better soil conditions in the dead patches overcome the scarcity of soil-water, supporting increased herbaceous productivity. For explaining the discrepancy between herbaceous vegetation and soil-water, we formulated a conceptual framework, which highlights the key factors that regulate soil-water dynamics in this dryland ecosystem. We demonstrate that herbaceous vegetation is facilitated in the dead shrub patches by a legacy effect that takes place long after the shrubs have died. The dead shrub patches encompass a unique form of ecosystem engineering. The study high- lights the complex and unpredicted impacts of prolonged droughts on dryland ecosystems.
Dual factors of climate and human on the hydrological process are reflected not only in changes in the spatiotemporal distribution of water resource amounts but also in the various characteristics of river flow regimes. Isolating and quantifying their contributions to these hydrological alterations helps us to comprehensively understand the response mechanism and patterns of hydrological process to the two kinds of factors. Here we develop a general framework using hydrological model and 33 indicators to describe hydrological process and quantify the impact from climate and human. And we select the Upper Minjiang River (UMR) as a case to explore its feasibility. The results indicate that our approach successfully recognizes the characteristics of river flow regimes in different scenarios and quantitatively separates the climate and human contributions to multi-dimensional hydrological alterations. Among these indicators, 26 of 33 indicators decrease over the past half-century (1961-2012) in the UMR, with change rates ranging from 1.3% to 33.2%, and the human impacts are the dominant factor affecting hydrological processes, with an average relative contribution rate of 58.6%. Climate change causes an increase in most indicators, with an average relative contribution rate of 41.4%. Specifically, changes in precipitation and reservoir operation may play a considerable role in inducing these alterations. The findings in this study help us better understand the response mechanism of hydrological process under changing environment and is conducive to climate change adaptation, water resource planning and ecological construction.
The red beds in Zhejiang province of China host the highest concentration of Danxia arched rock shelters in the world, just as the Colorado Plateau in the western USA hosts the world’s largest concentration of natural arches and bridges. This study investigated the geological background of the arched rock shelters and compared them to the natural arches and bridges, based on field study and a literature review. It was found that Zhejiang arched rock shelters differ from Colorado Plateau natural arches and bridges in geometry and formation mechanism. Statistical geometric data on arch geometry shows that Danxia arched rock shelters in Zhejiang tend to be relatively flat. They are relatively low features with long spans, and great depth. The natural arches and bridges on the Colorado Plateau are similar to each other, but the bridges are larger than the arches. The geometric differences between the arched landforms could be attributed to their different geologic history and to their different formation mechanisms. The arched rock shelters in Zhejiang are formed by differential weathering between sandstone and conglomerate due to moisture-induced tensile stresses. In contrast, natural arches on the Colorado Plateau are closely related to the Salt Valley anticline, vertical tectonic fractures, and horizontal discontinuities in rock fins. The Colorado Plateau natural bridges were formed by river erosion.
Climate change and human activity can cause remarkable hydrological variation. Traits of hydrological series such as runoff before and after the change points could be significantly different, so the calculation of instream ecological water requirements (EWRs) is confronted with more challenges. Taking the Xitiaoxi River (XTXR) in the upper reach of the Taihu Lake Basin as an example, this paper investigates the calculation of EWRs using the range of variability approach (RVA) under changing environment. The change point diagnosis of the natural and observed runoff series are conducted for XTXR. Then, differences in the hydrological alternation indicators and instream EWRs processes obtained from various daily runoff series are compared. It was found that the natural and observed annual runoff series in XTXR from 1957 to 2018 both show significant variations, and the change points are in 2007 and 1999 respectively. If runoff data before the change points or all runoff data are used, the instream EWRs obtained from natural runoff are significantly lower than those obtained from the observed runoff. At the monthly time step, EWRs differences within a year mainly occurred from May to August. Also, calculation results of the instream EWRs are strongly related to the selected period of runoff series. The EWRs obtained using runoff series after the change points have rather acute fluctuation within a year. Therefore, when the RVA method is used under changing environment, the instream EWRs should be prudently determined by comparing different calculation results on the basis of river runoff restoration and variability analysis. To a certain extent, this paper enriches our understanding about the hydrological method for EWRs estimation, and proposes new ideas for future research on EWRs.
Global production networks have become the most important organizational platforms for coordinating international production activities, and their evolution patterns profoundly affect value distribution across the world. In this study, we shall firstly carry out an in-depth quantitative research to analyze the patterns and evolution of global production networks, using a long time-sequenced multi-region input-output table and the network analysis approach. Then based on the method of value-added decomposition, we will develop an index system to measure the degree of participation of regions in global production networks. Finally, we will try to identify the factors affecting the degree of participation of countries in global production networks by constructing a regression model. The results show that from 1995 to 2015, the evolution of global production networks measured by input-output linkages experienced four stages: expansion, contraction, re-expansion, and re-contraction. In addition, the core communities of global production networks evolved from two major production communities (Europe and the Americas) to three pillars (Europe, Americas, and Asia) while more segmented communities are mainly affected by geographical proximity. The latter consists of European, North American, South American, African and Asian communities. The evolution of the global production network pattern primarily manifests as a process of cooperation strengthening or weakening among communities, based on changes in the external environment and the need for individual development strategies. Meanwhile, the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom have consistently ranked among the top entities in global production networks, whereas China, Russia, and Southeast Asia have the fastest rises in ranking. In addition, government efficiency, resources endowment, infrastructure conditions and technology levels play important roles in the participation in global production networks.
This article contributes to a small but growing body of multi-sited and multi-scalar research on the Belt and Road Initiative. We focus on relations at the national, regional and international scales, and present original research from China and Turkey, to show how the Istanbul-Ankara high-speed railway has served as a testing ground for China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Its construction was initially funded by the European Investment Bank, but it is now part of the backbone of the Turkish Government’s Middle Corridor plan which enhances west-east connectivity and integration with the Caucasus and Central Asia. We show that in contrast to multinational corporations from the OECD that seek to remain footloose, Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) seek to adapt to, apprehend and ultimately shape local institutions. In the case of Turkey this proved difficult given its institutional alignment with the European Union. Thus, while the railway project was completed successfully by a consortium led by a Chinese SOE, Turkey’s dynamic and complex regulatory environment discourages Chinese SOEs in the infrastructure sector. We conclude that the Turkish and Chinese governments are currently pursuing complementary territorial visions yet their cooperation is project-based and pragmatic.
The Qinling Mountains, located at the junction of warm temperate and subtropical zones, serve as the boundary between north and south China. Exploring the sensitivity of the response of vegetation there to hydrothermal dynamics elucidates the dynamics and mechanisms of the main vegetation types in the context of changes in temperature and moisture. Importance should be attached to changes in vegetation in different climate zones. To reveal the sensitivity and areal differentiation of vegetation responses to hydrothermal dynamics, the spatio-temporal variation characteristics of the normalized vegetation index (NDVI) and the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) on the northern and southern slopes of the Qinling Mountains from 2000 to 2018 are explored using the meteorological data of 32 meteorological stations and the MODIS NDVI datasets. The results show that: 1) The overall vegetation coverage of the Qinling Mountains improved significantly from 2000 to 2018. The NDVI rise rate and area ratio on the southern slope were higher than those on the northern slope, and the vegetation on the southern slope improved more than that on the northern slope. The Qinling Mountains showed an insignificant humidification trend. The humidification rate and humidification area of the northern slope were greater than those on the southern slope. 2) Vegetation on the northern slope of the Qinling Mountains was more sensitive to hydrothermal dynamics than that on the southern slope. Vegetation was most sensitive to hydrothermal dynamics from March to June on the northern slope, and from March to May (spring) on the southern slope. The vegetation on the northern and southern slopes was mainly affected by hydrothermal dynamics on a scale of 3-7 months, responding weakly to hydrothermal dynamics on a scale of 11-12 months. 3) Some 90.34% of NDVI and SPEI was positively correlated in the Qinling Mountains. Spring humidification in most parts of the study area promoted the growth of vegetation all the year round. The sensitivity of vegetation responses to hydrothermal dynamics with increasing altitude increased first and then decreased. Elevations of 800 to 1200 m were the most sensitive range for vegetation response to hydrothermal dynamics. The sensitivity of the vegetation response at elevations of 1200-3000 m decreased with increasing altitude. As regards to vegetation type, grass was most sensitive to hydrothermal dynamics on both the northern and southern slopes of the Qinling Mountains; but most other vegetation types on the northern slope were more sensitive to hydrothermal dynamics than those on the southern slope.
There is less than a decade left to accomplish the goal of ending global poverty by 2030. This paper investigates global poverty dynamics and finds a shift in the world's poverty gravity center from South Asia to Africa in the period 1990-2015. Sub-Saharan Africa has become the main battlefield for poverty reduction in the world. Global poverty reduction has been accompanied by political instability and local conflicts, economic marginalization, rural decline, and natural hazards as well as climate change which are jointly impacting the least developed areas and making the world's poverty reduction vulnerable to external shocks. The “STAR” scheme, including maintaining political stability, promoting targeted poverty alleviation, implementing regular assessments of poverty reduction initiatives, and revitalizing rural and poverty-stricken areas, is proposed with specific measures to enhance the resilience capacity of poverty alleviation in the world.
The geological heritage protection and its development at home and abroad reflect the progress in the aspect from the single protection to the coordination between protection and exploitation. The geopark established by UNESCO has closely combined the protection of geological heritages with the promotion of sustainable development of local economy, which has become the best way to protect geological heritages. The geological heritages in Xinjiang, China, are characterized by their large quantity, rich variety and high grade. The complicated geologic-geomorphic environment in Xinjiang contributes to the creation of various geological heritage types and their spatial distribution, and at the same time makes them under control. The main types of the geological heritages in Xinjiang are the geologic- geomorphic landscapes and the water landscapes. The spatial distribution can be divided into five geological heritage districts: Altay, Junggar, Tianshan, Tarim and Kunlun-Altun, among which Tianshan and Kunlun-Altun are most important. Based on the first systematic investigation of the geological heritages in Xinjiang, it is confirmed that the insufficient coordination between protection and exploitation is the primary cause for the backward situation in the geological heritage protection. To solve the problem, this paper proposes 6 major protection steps—from determining the protection types, the protection forms, the protection modes, the protection grades, the protection sequences to determining the protection zones, brings forward the idea of optimal-selection which integrates geoparks with geological heritage protection areas and other protection areas as well as 5 corresponding modes, and makes a protection and exploitation reserve list for 209 important geological heritages in Xinjiang.
Land use/cover change is an important theme on the impacts of human activities on the earth systems and global environmental change. National land-use changes of China during 2010-2015 were acquired by the digital interpretation method using the high-resolution remotely sensed images, e.g. the Landsat 8 OLI, GF-2 remote sensing images. The spatiotemporal characteristics of land-use changes across China during 2010-2015 were revealed by the indexes of dynamic degree model, annual land-use changes ratio etc. The results indicated that the built-up land increased by 24.6×103 km2 while the cropland decreased by 4.9×103 km2, and the total area of woodland and grassland decreased by 16.4×103 km2. The spatial pattern of land-use changes in China during 2010-2015 was concordant with that of the period 2000-2010. Specially, new characteristics of land-use changes emerged in different regions of China in 2010-2015. The built-up land in eastern China expanded continually, and the total area of cropland decreased, both at decreasing rates. The rates of built-up land expansion and cropland shrinkage were accelerated in central China. The rates of built-up land expansion and cropland growth increased in western China, while the decreasing rate of woodland and grassland accelerated. In northeastern China, built-up land expansion slowed continually, and cropland area increased slightly accompanied by the conversions between paddy land and dry land. Besides, woodland and grassland area decreased in northeastern China. The characteristics of land-use changes in eastern China were essentially consistent with the spatial govern and control requirements of the optimal development zones and key development zones according to the Major Function-oriented Zones Planning implemented during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). It was a serious challenge for the central government of China to effectively protect the reasonable layout of land use types dominated with the key ecological function zones and agricultural production zones in central and western China. Furthermore, the local governments should take effective measures to strengthen the management of territorial development in future.
The urban-rural transformation from dichotomy to integration is a gradual process. Like rural areas in many countries, Chinese rural society is experiencing a decline in all spheres due to depopulation, aging, lack of economic opportunity, and so on. Aiming at solving the serious rural issues, China proposed the implementation of a rural revitalization strategy and the promotion of an integrated urban-rural development for the first time in 2017. This proposal marks the transformation of the urban-rural relationship, and the integrated urban-rural development reflects a significant conceptual change. Researches on issues of rural decline are urgently needed to determine the most effective method for rural revitalization and development from the perspective of the urban-rural dynamics. In this context, this paper focuses on studying the theory, technology and management of rural revitalization and development. We construct a theoretical framework for urban-rural integration based on population-land-industry-right between the urban and rural systems, regarding land engineering for land capacity building as the technical support and the rural land system reform and reconstruction as the policy support for management. This research will provide theoretical support for the implementation of China’s rural revitalization strategy.
The core objective of rural vitalization is to systemically establish a coupling pattern of various rural development elements including population, land and industry. As one of the prerequisites, land resources is required to be optimally allocated via land consolidation. Consequently, land consolidation contributes greatly to population agglomeration, industrial development and resources support under the context of combating rural decline. Based on the key elements affecting rural development, this paper elaborates the connotation of rural vitalization and land consolidation in the new era as well as their relationships. Furthermore, the paper analyzes the alternative paths for achieving rural vitalization via land consolidation, and discusses the future directions of land consolidation and rural vitalization. The conclusions are drawn as follows: (1) To cope with the loss and decline of the intrinsic elements in rural areas, rural vitalization is a development strategy aimed at realizing economic, political, cultural and ecological rejuvenation in rural area by reshaping socio-economic morphology and spatial pattern in rural territory. (2) From the perspective of rural vitalization, land consolidation is endowed with new connotation, which should not only target at activating the key elements of rural development, but also place emphasis on coordinating material space and spirit core as well as integrating the restructuring of the physical space and the rural governance system. (3) Land consolidation should be compatible with regional natural conditions and the current stage of socio-economic development. According to the principle of regional planning and classification strategy, the appropriate models and paths should be adopted to promote the benign interactions of population, land and industry based on engineering techniques and ecological means. (4) Under the background of national strategy of rural vitalization, it is necessary to reshape the value orientation of land consolidation based on a scientific understanding of urban-rural relations and rural territorial functions, coordinate land consolidation planning and rural vitalization planning under the unified spatial planning system, and explore the new model combining land consolidation and multifunctional agriculture.
In this paper, we compared the concept of agricultural drought and its relationship with other types of droughts and reviewed the progress of research on agricultural drought monitoring indices on the basis of station data and remote sensing. Applicability and limitations of different drought monitoring indices were also compared. Meanwhile, development history and the latest progress in agricultural drought monitoring were evaluated through statistics and document comparison, suggesting a transformation in agricultural drought monitoring from traditional single meteorological monitoring indices to meteorology and remote sensing-integrated monitoring indices. Finally, an analysis of current challenges in agricultural drought monitoring revealed future research prospects for agricultural drought monitoring, such as investigating the mechanism underlying agricultural drought, identifying factors that influence agricultural drought, developing multi-spatiotemporal scales models for agricultural drought monitoring, coupling qualitative and quantitative agricultural drought evaluation models, and improving the application levels of remote sensing data in agricultural drought monitoring.
Cyberspace is a new spatial realm of activities involving both humans and data, and it has become a cornerstone of the national security of every country. A scientific understanding of cyberspace is essential for analyzing cyberspace incidents, governing cyberspace and ensuring cybersecurity. Accordingly, cyberspace has become a new field of geographic research in the Information Age. Against the backdrop of fierce international competition over cyberspace, there has been an urgent need to strengthen research between the fields of geography and cybersecurity, leading to theoretical and methodological innovations that have created the sub-discipline of cyberspace geography. Cyberspace geography (CG) extends geographical research from real spaces to virtual spaces, and its theoretical basis is the evolution of the traditional geographic human-land relationship theory into a human-land-network relationship theory. CG research includes constructing mapping relationships between cyberspace and real space, redefining the traditional geographic concepts of distance and regions for cyberspace, creating a language, models and methodologies for visually representing cyberspace, drawing maps of cyberspace, and researching the principles governing the evolution of cyberspace structures and behaviors. The technical methods of CG include collecting and integrating data on elements of cyberspace, visually representing cyberspace and conducting cyberspace situational and behavioral intelligence awareness. Intelligence awareness covers cyberspace situational status assessments, network hotspot event dissemination and traceability analysis, and network event situational simulations and risk predictions. CG offers new perspectives on the scientific understanding of cyberspace, the development of disciplines such as geography and cybersecurity, and the creation of national cybersecurity prevention and control mechanisms as well as a community of common future in cyberspace.
The cultivation of mountainous land results in water loss and soil erosion. With rapid urbanization and industrialization in China, labor emigration relieves the cultivation of mountainous areas in regions with high poverty and leads to a significant land use transition. This research built an analysis framework for “land use transition - driving mechanism - effects - responses” for mountainous areas of China undergoing land use transition and then proposed the direction of mountainous land consolidation. The results showed that the turning point of land use morphology was the core of rural land use transition in mountainous areas. The expansion of cropland and the contraction of forestland have transitioned to the abandonment of cropland and the expansion of forestland; this transition was the main characteristic of the dominant land use change. Land marginalization and land ecological functional recovery were the main characteristics of the recessive land use transition in mountainous areas. Socioeconomic factors were the primary driving forces during land use transition in mountainous areas, with labor emigration being the most direct force. The rising costs of farming and the challenging living conditions causing labor emigration were fundamental driving forces. Rural land use transition in mountainous areas reduced the vulnerability of the ecological function of land ecosystems. The advantages and disadvantages of the socioeconomic effects should focus on rural development of mountainous areas as well as the livelihood of farmers; this should be further supported by empirical and quantitative research. Rural land use transition of mountainous areas improves natural restoration and is related to socioeconomic development. Rural land consolidation of mountainous areas should conform to land use transition, with the goal of shifting from the increase of cultivated land to the synergies of ecological and environmental protection.
Ecosystem services are substantial elements for human society. The central challenge to meet the human needs from ecosystems while sustain the Earth’s life support systems makes it urgent to enhance efficient natural resource management for sustainable ecological and socioeconomic development. Trade-off analysis of ecosystem services can help to identify optimal decision points to balance the costs and benefits of the diverse human uses of ecosystems. In this sense, the aim of this paper is to provide key insights into ecosystem services trade-off analysis at different scales from a land use perspective, by comprehensively reviewing the trade-offs analysis tools and approaches that addressed in ecology, economics and other fields. The review will significantly contribute to future research on trade-off analysis to avoid inferior management options and offer a win-win solution based on comprehensive and efficient planning for interacting multiple ecosystem services.
In this study, we adopt kernel density estimation, spatial autocorrelation, spatial Markov chain, and panel quantile regression methods to analyze spatial spillover effects and driving factors of carbon emission intensity in 283 Chinese cities from 1992 to 2013. The following results were obtained. (1) Nuclear density estimation shows that the overall average carbon intensity of cities in China has decreased, with differences gradually narrowing. (2) The spatial autocorrelation Moran’s I index indicates significant spatial agglomeration of carbon emission intensity is gradually increasing; however, differences between regions have remained stable. (3) Spatial Markov chain analysis shows a Matthew effect in China’s urban carbon emission intensity. In addition, low-intensity and high-intensity cities characteristically maintain their initial state during the transition period. Furthermore, there is a clear “Spatial Spillover” effect in urban carbon emission intensity and there is heterogeneity in the spillover effect in different regional contexts; that is, if a city is near a city with low carbon emission intensity, the carbon emission intensity of the first city has a higher probability of upward transfer, and vice versa. (4) Panel quantile results indicate that in cities with low carbon emission intensity, economic growth, technological progress, and appropriate population density play an important role in reducing emissions. In addition, foreign investment intensity and traffic emissions are the main factors that increase carbon emission intensity. In cities with high carbon intensity, population density is an important emission reduction factor, and technological progress has no significant effect. In contrast, industrial emissions, extensive capital investment, and urban land expansion are the main factors driving the increase in carbon intensity.
Mountains in western China, hosted rich biodiversity and millions of people and inhabitant with vital ecosystem services, had experienced the most serious biodiversity loss with fragile ecological problems. Even though increasing attentions had been paid to this issue, we still lacked efficient methods to assess the change of plant biodiversity at medium/large scale due to the poor data and co-existing multiple habitat types. This study proposed an integrated method combining InVEST-habitat quality model, NPP and landscape pattern indexes to analyze the spatial heterogeneity of plant biodiversity and its spatiotemporal change on raster cell scale. The results indicated that plant biodiversity service was high in Bailongjiang watershed with obvious spatial pattern variations. The land area containing higher plant biodiversity were 3161 km2, which mainly distributed in the National Nature Reserve and forestry area. While the areas with lower plant biodiversity accounted for 37.67% and mainly distributed in the valleys between Zhouqu-Wudu-Wenxian County, the valley of Minjiang in Tanchang County and alpine mountain snow-covered regions. During 1990-2010, plant biodiversity level tended to increase and the higher plant biodiversity area increased from 14.13% to 17.15% due to ecological restoration and afforestation, while plant biodiversity decreased in the area with intensive human activities, such as cultivated land, urban and rural land. The results showed that combining InVEST-habitat quality model, NPP and landscape pattern indexes can effective reveal mountain plant biodiversity change. The study was useful for plant biodiversity conservation policy-making and human activity management for the disaster-impacted mountainous areas in China.
With the environmental deterioration caused by the advance of climate change, soil salinization is a serious and growing global problem. Currently about 7% of the world's land surface is threatened by salinization. China is a country whose soils are severely affected by this problem, which, due to its extensive area, and wide distribution poses a serious threat to regional agricultural development. In this review, we summarize the framework for soil salinization research in China over the past 70 years, assess the weaknesses of existing research in both a domestic and international context, highlight the trends and key findings of global research about saline soils over the past 30 years, and propose six major fields and directions for future research on saline soil.
Land use and its dynamics have attracted considerable scientific attention for their significant ecological and socioeconomic implications. Many studies have investigated the past changes in land use, but efforts exploring the potential changes in land use and implications under future scenarios are still lacking. Here we simulate the future land use changes and their impacts on ecosystem services in Northeast China (NEC) over the period of 2000-2050 using the CLUE-S (Conversion of Land Use and its Effects at Small regional extent) model under the scenarios of ecological security (ESS), food security (FSS) and comprehensive development (CDS). The model was validated against remote sensing data in 2005. Overall, the accuracy of the CLUE-S model was evaluated at 82.5%. Obtained results show that future cropland changes mainly occur in the Songnen Plain and the Liaohe Plain, forest and grassland changes are concentrated in the southern Lesser Khingan Mountains and the western Changbai Mountains, while the Sanjiang Plain will witness major changes of the wetlands. Our results also show that even though CDS is defined based on the goals of the regional development plan, the ecological service value (ESV) under CDS is RMB 2656.18 billion in 2050. The ESV of CDS is lower compared with the other scenarios. Thus, CDS is not an optimum scenario for eco-environmental protection, especially for the wetlands, which should be given higher priority for future development. The issue of coordination is also critical in future development. The results can help to assist structural adjustments for agriculture and to guide policy interventions in NEC.
The temporal-spatial distribution features of prehistoric cultures since the Holocene in Zhejiang region were comparatively analyzed based on GIS spatial analysis. Results show that the prehistoric cultures expanded gradually in this region before 4000 cal. a BP. The notable expansions occurred twice, one in the Majiabang-Hemudu cultural period, the other in the Liangzhu cultural period. Meanwhile, the prehistoric cultures were disseminated from west to east coast along river valleys. After 4000 cal. a BP, as represented by the Maqiao Culture, the distributed area of each prehistoric culture contracted. This is obviously due to the termination of spreading trends to east coast, which was simultaneously accompanied by two different modes of production and economic transitions in the north and south Zhejiang region respectively. The distribution of prehistoric cultures was closely related with Holocene sea-level fluctuations, especially on the banks of Hangzhou Bay, where the distribution changes of prehistoric cultural sites were greatly affected by sea-level changes, with the closest relationships between them. After 7000 cal. a BP, the process of lowered sea-level and regression-epeirogenesis provided wider terrestrial living spaces for prehistoric inhabitants. Based on the comparative analyses of the changes of prehistoric cultures and the environmental evolution information recorded in the Qianmutian subalpine peat of Mt. Tianmu and muddy area on the inner shelf of the East China Sea, it is indicated that the changes of prehistoric cultures were synchronized with environmental changes in Zhejiang region. Before 4000 cal. a BP, the eastward expansion of prehistoric cultures in Zhejiang occurred under the background of the Holocene Optimum, and was the expansion and extension under the joint influences of agricultural civilization and maritime civilization. However, after 4000 cal. a BP, the geographical contraction of prehistoric cultures in Zhejiang occurred under the background of dry-cold climate trend and deterioration of coastal marine environment. It is evidenced from the above fact that the development, expansion and contraction of prehistoric cultures are positively correlated to environmental change. The change of the climatic environment is just the underlying reason for these changes and transitions of production modes and economic forms. Therefore, the climatic environment is the dominant factor of prehistoric culture vicissitudes in Zhejiang region, which has exerted great influence on distribution, dissemination, expansion and transmutation of the culture.
Urban agglomerations are an inevitable outcome of China’s new national industrialization and urbanization reaching relatively advanced stages of development over the past 30 years. In the early 2000s, urban agglomerations became new geographical units for participating in global competition and the international division of labor, and China has spent the past decade promoting them as the main spaces for pushing forward its new form of urbanization. The convening of the first Central Work Conference on Urbanization and the National New-type Urbanization Plan (2014-2020) further defined the status of urban agglomerations as the main players in promoting China’s new type of national urbanization. Nevertheless, urban agglomerations remain a weak link in Chinese academia and are in urgent need of study. Only 19 articles on the theme of urban agglomerations were published in the journal Acta Geographica Sinica between 1934 and 2013, accounting for only 0.55% of all articles written during that period. Not only are there very few, they have also all been published within a relatively short period of time, with the first having been published only 10 years ago. The studies are also concentrated among only a few authors and institutions, and research is aimed at national requirements but is rather divergent. Even so, some studies on urban agglomerations have played a leading role and made important contributions to dictating the overall formation of urban agglomerations nationwide. Specifically, a proposed spatial pattern for urban agglomerations formed the basic framework for the spatial structure of China’s urban agglomerations and guided the government to make urban agglomerations the main urban pattern when promoting the new type of urbanization; proposed standards and technologies for identifying the spatial dimensions of urban agglomerations played an important role in defining the scope of national urban agglomerations; a series of studies in the area of urban agglomerations spurred more in-depth and practical studies in the field; and studies on issues related to the formation and growth of urban agglomerations provided warnings on the future selection and development of urban agglomerations. Taking the progress and results of these studies as a foundation, the foci of selecting and developing urban agglomerations in China are as follows: to be problem-oriented and profoundly reflect on and review new problems exposed in the selection and development of urban agglomerations; to concentrate on urban agglomerations and lay importance on the formation of a new “5+9+6” spatial structure for China’s urban agglomerations; to rely on urban agglomerations and promote the formation of a new pattern of national urbanization along the main axes highlighted by urban agglomerations; to be guided by national strategic demand and continue to deepen understanding of major scientific issues in the course of the formation and development of urban agglomerations, including studying the resource and environmental effects of high-density urban agglomerations, scientifically examining resource and environmental carrying capacities of high-density urban agglomerations, creating new management systems and government coordination mechanisms for the formation and development of urban agglomerations, studying the establishment of public finance systems and public finance reserve mechanisms for urban agglomerations, and studying and formulating technical specifications for urban agglomeration planning and standards for delineating urban agglomeration boundaries.
Eddy Covariance technique (EC) achieves the direct measurement on ecosystem carbon, nitrogen and water fluxes, and it provides scientific data for accurately assessing ecosystem functions in mitigating global climate change. This paper briefly reviewed the construction and development of Chinese terrestrial ecosystem flux observation and research network (ChinaFLUX), and systematically introduced the design principle and technology of the terrestrial ecosystem carbon, nitrogen and water fluxes coordinated observation system of ChinaFLUX. In addition, this paper summarized the main progress of ChinaFLUX in the ecosystem carbon, nitrogen and water exchange and environmental controlling mechanisms, the spatial pattern of carbon, nitrogen and water fluxes and biogeographical mechanisms, and the regional terrestrial ecosystem carbon budget assessment. Finally, the prospects and emphases of the terrestrial ecosystem carbon, nitrogen and water fluxes coordinated observation of ChinaFLUX are put forward to provide theoretical references for the development of flux observation and research in China.
The sustainable development has been seriously challenged by global climate change due to carbon emissions. As a developing country, China promised to reduce 40%-45% below the level of the year 2005 on its carbon intensity by 2020. The realization of this target depends on not only the substantive transition of society and economy at the national scale, but also the action and share of energy saving and emissions reduction at the provincial scale. Based on the method provided by the IPCC, this paper examines the spatiotemporal dynamics and dominating factors of China’s carbon intensity from energy consumption in 1997-2010. The aim is to provide scientific basis for policy making on energy conservation and carbon emission reduction in China. The results are shown as follows. Firstly, China’s carbon emissions increased from 4.16 Gt to 11.29 Gt from 1997 to 2010, with an annual growth rate of 7.15%, which was much lower than that of GDP (11.72%). Secondly, the trend of Moran’s I indicated that China’s carbon intensity has a growing spatial agglomeration at the provincial scale. The provinces with either high or low values appeared to be path-dependent or space-locked to some extent. Third, according to spatial panel econometric model, energy intensity, energy structure, industrial structure and urbanization rate were the dominating factors shaping the spatiotemporal patterns of China’s carbon intensity from energy consumption. Therefore, in order to realize the targets of energy conservation and emission reduction, China should improve the efficiency of energy utilization, optimize energy and industrial structure, choose the low-carbon urbanization approach and implement regional cooperation strategy of energy conservation and emissions reduction.
Detailed analysis of Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) using remote sensing data in complex irrigated basins provides complete profile for better water resource management and planning. Using remote sensing data, this study provides detailed land use maps of the Lower Chenab Canal irrigated region of Pakistan from 2005 to 2012 for LULC change detection. Major crop types are demarcated by identifying temporal profiles of NDVI using MODIS 250 m × 250 m spatial resolution data. Wheat and rice are found to be major crops in rabi and kharif seasons, respectively. Accuracy assessment of prepared maps is performed using three different techniques: error matrix approach, comparison with ancillary data and with previous study. Producer and user accuracies for each class are calculated along with kappa coefficients (K). The average overall accuracies for rabi and kharif are 82.83% and 78.21%, respectively. Producer and user accuracies for individual class range respectively between 72.5% to 77% and 70.1% to 84.3% for rabi and 76.6% to 90.2% and 72% to 84.7% for kharif. The K values range between 0.66 to 0.77 for rabi with average of 0.73, and from 0.69 to 0.74 with average of 0.71 for kharif. LULC change detection indicates that wheat and rice have less volatility of change in comparison with both rabi and kharif fodders. Transformation between cotton and rice is less common due to their completely different cropping conditions. Results of spatial and temporal LULC distributions and their seasonal variations provide useful insights for establishing realistic LULC scenarios for hydrological studies.
Lateral migration of the Bhagirathi River temporally creates unavoidable geomorphic hazards in West Bengal, India. The Bhagirathi River flows SW for ~67.30 km between the confluence point of Ajay and Jalangi rivers in East Burdwan and Nadia districts of West Bengal. The course of Bhagirathi is notably migration prone and cultivates problematic changes along its course over time. In the study, we have looked into its migration tendency and unpredictability for past 238 years and then predicted the lateral shifting of river centerline using temporal satellite imageries - Landsat-5 (TM) of 1987 (8, December), 1995 (28, January), 2005 (7, January) and LISS-IV satellite imagery (2017, 5 January);SOI Toposheet - 1968-1969 (79A/2, 79A/3, 79A/6 and 79A/7) and Rennell’s map of 1779. Other highlights are the quest of fluvial features, oxbow lakes, mid-channel bars, channel migration rate, meander geometry, channel sinuosity in different parts of river course and the parts that experience intensive bank erosion. The entire river course has been subdivided into three segments; viz. reaches A, B and C. Investigation displays that degree of sinuosity decreases from its anterior course (1968) to the existing course (2017). Reach-specific outputs display that reach B is highly sinuous (SI value 1.94 in 2017) and SI increases temporarily, whereas for reaches A and C it decreases with time. The rate of migration is higher in reach B than that in reaches C and A. The study displays a notably decreasing trend of migration in comparison with its previous lateral migration and shows that the migration nature over time is intensively inconsistent and unpredictable except very few portions of the river course. The nature of deposition within the river channel shows an unstable behavior during the entire period of the study. Meander geometry depicts a rapid change of river course innate to meander bends and shows a higher rate of migration by meander loop cut-off rather than lateral migration that reflects the inconsistency, erosion vulnerability and unpredictable nature of migration. The present work offers a valuable source to comprehend channel changes in Bhagirathi River and serve as an efficacious base for river-bank migration and erosion hazard planning and management.