Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2012, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (4): 653-668.doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0954-x

• Ecology and Environment • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Changes in rice cropping systems in the Poyang Lake Region, China during 2004-2010

LI Peng1,2, FENG Zhiming1, JIANG Luguang1, LIU Yujie1, XIAO Xiangming3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Department of Botany and Microbiology, Center for Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma, Norman 73019, OK, USA
  • Received:2011-09-28 Revised:2011-12-30 Online:2012-08-15 Published:2012-07-10
  • Supported by:

    National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), No.2009CB421106; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40901285


Rice cropping systems not only characterize comprehensive utilization intensity of agricultural resources but also serve as the basis to enhance the provision services of agro-ecosystems. Yet, it is always affected by external factors, like agricultural policies. Since 2004, seven consecutive No.1 Central Documents issued by the Central Government have focused on agricultural development in China. So far, few studies have investigated the effects of these policies on the rice cropping systems. In this study, based upon the long-term field survey information on paddy rice fields, we proposed a method to discriminate the rice cropping systems with Landsat data and quantified the spatial variations of rice cropping systems in the Poyang Lake Region (PLR), China. The results revealed that: (1) from 2004 to 2010, the decrement of paddy rice field was 46.76 km2 due to the land use change. (2) The temporal dynamics of NDVI derived from Landsat historical images could well characterize the temporal development of paddy rice fields. NDVI curves of single cropping rice fields showed one peak, while NDVI curves of double cropping rice fields displayed two peaks annually. NDVI of fallow field fluctuated between 0.15 and 0.40. NDVI of the flooded field during the transplanting period was relatively low, about 0.20?0.05, while NDVI during the period of panicle initiation to heading reached the highest level (above 0.80). Then, several temporal windows were determined based upon the NDVI variations of different rice cropping systems. (3) With the spatial pattern of paddy rice field and the NDVI threshold within optimum temporal windows, the spatial variation of rice cropping systems was very obvious, with an increased multiple cropping index of rice about 20.2% from 2004 to 2010. The result indicates that agricultural policies have greatly enhanced the food provision services in the PLR, China.

Key words: rice cropping systems, NDVI, temporal windows, threshold method, Landsat, the Poyang Lake region (PLR)