Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2012, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (3): 548-562 .doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0946-x

• Land Use Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The coupling characteristics and mechanism of farmland and rural housing land transition in China

LONG Hualou1,2, LI Tingting1,2,3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    3. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2011-12-09 Revised:2012-01-15 Online:2012-06-15 Published:2012-05-04
  • About author:Long Hualou (1971-), Ph.D and Professor, specialized in land change science and rural transformation development. E-mail:
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171149; No.41130748; Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KZCX2-YW-QN304


Land use transition refers to the changes in land use morphology (both dominant morphology and recessive morphology) of a certain region over a certain period of time driven by socio-economic change and innovation, and it usually corresponds to the transition of socio-economic development phase. In China, farmland and rural housing land are the two major sources of land use transition. This paper analyzes the spatio-temporal coupling characteristics of farmland and rural housing land transition in China, using high-resolution Landsat TM (Thematic Mapper) data in 2000 and 2008, and the data from the Ministry of Land and Resources of China. The outcomes indicated that: (1) during 2000-2008, the correlation coefficient of farmland vs. rural housing land change is -0.921, and it shows that the change pattern of farmland and rural housing land is uncoordinated; (2) the result of Spearman rank correlation analysis shows that rural housing land change has played a major role in the mutual transformation of farmland and rural housing land; and (3) it shows a high-degree spatial coupling between farmland and rural housing land change in southeast China during 2000-2008. In general, farmland and rural housing land transition in China is driven by socio-economic, bio-physical and managerial three-dimensional driving factors through the interactions among rural population, farmland and rural housing land. However, the spatio-temporal coupling phenomenon and mechanism of farmland and rural housing land transition in China are largely due to the “dual-track” structure of rural-urban development.

Key words: land use transition, farmland, rural housing land, coupling mechanism, rural transformation development, China