Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2006, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (4): 415-422.doi: 10.1007/s11442-006-0404-8

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Driving factors of forest landscape change in Yiluo River basin

LIANG Guofu1,2, DING Shengyan1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Natural Resources and Environmental Science Research, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, China|
    2. College of Environment &|Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, China
  • Received:2006-05-10 Revised:2006-08-21 Online:2006-12-25 Published:2006-12-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.30570301, No.40671175; Natural Science Foundation of Henan Province, No.0111070100


The expansion of agriculture is posited as one of the main dynamics of forest landscape change globally, and the robust modeling of these processes is important for policy as well as academic concern. This paper concerns a relatively small area of Yiluo River catchment where considerable attention has been paid to slow down the process of the expansion of agriculture into the remaining natural forests. In the present study, we reconstructed the former forest landscape structure and elucidated the landscape change during a period of about 15 years. Three sets (1987, 1996 and 2002) of maps derived from Landsat-5 images were used for analyses. The result showed that there was a decrease in the area of the forest landscape from 995.60 km2 in 1987 to 650.50 km2 in 2002. Then we examined the degree to which forest landscape conversion could be attributed to a set of factors identified as significant at broader scales, namely topography, distribution of the village clusters (centroids), distance from villages (centroids), and distance from forest edge (1987). By using “spatial analysis” in Arc/gis 8.3, the correlation between forest landscape change and driving factors was constructed. This study found that forest landscape conversion in this region was largely explained by elevation, slope and proximity to village.

Key words: Luoning County, agricultural expansion, driving factors, landscape change