Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2010, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (4): 525-539.doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0525-y

• Land Use Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Factors and mechanism driving the land-use conversion in Jiangxi Province

ZHAN Jinyan1, SHI Nana1, HE Shujin2, LIN Yingzhi2   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2009-12-08 Revised:2009-02-26 Online:2010-08-15 Published:2010-08-15
  • About author:Zhan Jinyan (1974–), Ph.D, specialized in ecosystem assessment and environmental informatics.
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40801231; Knowledge Innovation Program of the CAS, No.KZCX2-YW-326-1; No.KZCX2-YW-305-2; No.KSCX1-YW-09-04; National Key Technology R&D Program of China, No.2006BAC08B03; No.2006BAC08B06


This article explores the factors and mechanism driving the land-use conversion at regional level by developing and using an econometric approach which is called the simultaneous equations model (SEM). A case study in Jiangxi Province of China is conducted by establishing the SEM, which consists of three equations including agricultural production, land conversion of cultivated land to built-up area and land conversion of cultivated land to forest cover/grassland from 1988 to 2005. And then this paper employs the method of piecewise estimation to represent the influences of the factors such as population, society, economy, location and geophysical conditions on the process of land-use conversion in Jiangxi Province. Estimation results show that population is a predominant factor driving the land-use conversion at counties, while social and economic factors are determinant factors in the short term for the entire Jiangxi Province. Specifically, the size of agricultural population and the magnitude of agricultural input determine the agricultural production to a large extent; population size, plain area proportion at counties and land management policies together affect the direction and magnitude of conversion between cultivated land and built-up area; agricultural population proportion, terrain slope, grain production and non-agricultural industry promote the conversion of cultivated land to forest cover/grassland. Furthermore, the explored mechanism also reveals the underlying causes of the land use changes driven by a series of factors in Jiangxi Province. Finally, this paper concludes that factors proven to play an important role in driving the land-use conversion need to be considered when the land management agencies make out the land use planning to optimize the land use, expand the agricultural production, and conserve the cultivated land.

Key words: land use, land-use conversion, mechanism, econometric model, simultaneous equations model, Jiangxi Province