Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2018, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (5): 547-562.doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1490-0

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Spatiotemporal patterns and characteristics of land-use change in China during 2010-2015

Jia NING1(), Jiyuan LIU1, Wenhui Kuang1(), Xinliang XU1, Shuwen ZHANG2, Changzhen YAN3, Rendong LI4, Shixin WU5, Yunfeng HU1, Guoming DU6, Wenfeng CHI1, Tao PAN5, Jing NING6   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, CAS, Changchun 130102, China
    3. Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
    4. Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, CAS, Wuhan 430077, China
    5. Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China
    6. Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China
  • Received:2017-11-30 Accepted:2018-01-22 Online:2018-03-30 Published:2018-03-31
  • About author:

    Author: Ning Jia (1987-), PhD, specialized in land use and cover change and climatic effect. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Kuang Wenhui (1978-), PhD, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program, No.2017YFC0506501;National Key Basic Research Program of China, No.2014CB954302


Land use/cover change is an important theme on the impacts of human activities on the earth systems and global environmental change. National land-use changes of China during 2010-2015 were acquired by the digital interpretation method using the high-resolution remotely sensed images, e.g. the Landsat 8 OLI, GF-2 remote sensing images. The spatiotemporal characteristics of land-use changes across China during 2010-2015 were revealed by the indexes of dynamic degree model, annual land-use changes ratio etc. The results indicated that the built-up land increased by 24.6×103 km2 while the cropland decreased by 4.9×103 km2, and the total area of woodland and grassland decreased by 16.4×103 km2. The spatial pattern of land-use changes in China during 2010-2015 was concordant with that of the period 2000-2010. Specially, new characteristics of land-use changes emerged in different regions of China in 2010-2015. The built-up land in eastern China expanded continually, and the total area of cropland decreased, both at decreasing rates. The rates of built-up land expansion and cropland shrinkage were accelerated in central China. The rates of built-up land expansion and cropland growth increased in western China, while the decreasing rate of woodland and grassland accelerated. In northeastern China, built-up land expansion slowed continually, and cropland area increased slightly accompanied by the conversions between paddy land and dry land. Besides, woodland and grassland area decreased in northeastern China. The characteristics of land-use changes in eastern China were essentially consistent with the spatial govern and control requirements of the optimal development zones and key development zones according to the Major Function-oriented Zones Planning implemented during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015). It was a serious challenge for the central government of China to effectively protect the reasonable layout of land use types dominated with the key ecological function zones and agricultural production zones in central and western China. Furthermore, the local governments should take effective measures to strengthen the management of territorial development in future.

Key words: land-use change, spatial-temporal characteristics, remote sensing, Major Function-oriented Zones, China