Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2010, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (6): 913-922.doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0820-7

• Land Use/Cover Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Land pressure and adaptation in the mountainous region of northern China: An empirical analysis of 21 small watersheds

ZHU Huiyi, HE Shujin   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2010-04-28 Revised:2010-05-22 Online:2010-12-15 Published:2010-12-15
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40671009

Abstract:

Land pressure and adaptation are the main factors determining environmental degradation in most of China’s mountainous regions. Little attention so far has been paid to the adaptation strategies based on evaluation of land pressure in these regions. We evaluated the grain production pressure and economic development pressure for 21 small watersheds undergoing soil conservation measures in the northern mountainous region of China, compared the evaluation results with actual production for each of the watersheds, and analyzed the adaptation strategies. The results imply that land pressure was spatially heterogeneous among the sample watersheds, but there was a balancing trend between land pressure and productive capacity for each watershed. Under rising pressure, these watersheds developed a variety of adaptation strategies such as labor migration, increasing fruit and nut production, and expanding rural tourism if possible. These strategies result from evolution of the market economy in China, and persistent development of the national economy determines the variation of environment in these mountainous regions.

Key words: land pressure, adaptation, environment restoration, mountainous region, northern China