Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2018, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (11): 1685-1699.doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1537-2

• Special Issue: Land system dynamics: Pattern and process • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Changes of multiple cropping in Huang-Huai-Hai agricultural region, China

Huimin YAN1,2(), Fang LIU1, Zhongen NIU1,2, Fengxue GU3, Yanzhao YANG1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2017-02-20 Accepted:2017-09-15 Online:2018-11-20 Published:2018-11-20
  • About author:

    Author: Yan Huimin (1974-), PhD, specialized in land use change. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41430861, No.41471453;Strategic Priority Research Program, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), No.XDA20010202


Multiple cropping index (MCI) is the ratio of total sown area and cropland area in a region, which represents the regional time intensity of planting crops. Multiple cropping systems have effectively improved the utilization efficiency and production of cropland by increasing cropping frequency in one year. Meanwhile, it has also significantly altered biogeochemical cycles. Therefore, exploring the spatio-temporal dynamics of multiple cropping intensity is of great significance for ensuring food and ecological security. In this study, MCI of Huang-Huai-Hai agricultural region with intensive cropping practices was extracted based on a cropping intensity mapping algorithm using MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) time series at 500-m spatial resolution and 8-day time intervals. Then the physical characteristics and landscape pattern of MCI trends were analyzed from 2000-2012. Results showed that MCI in Huang-Huai-Hai agricultural region has increased from 152% to 156% in the 12 years. Topography is a primary factor in determining the spatial pattern dynamics of MCI, which is more stable in hilly area than in plain area. An increase from 158% to 164% of MCI occurred in plain area while there was almost no change in hilly area with single cropping. The most active region of MCI change was the intersection zone between the hilly area and plain area. In spatial patterns, landscape of multiple cropping systems tended to be homogenized reflected by a reduction in the degree of fragmentation and an increase in the degree of concentration of cropland with the same cropping system.

Key words: Huang-Huai-Hai agricultural region, MCI, spatio-temporal dynamics, MODIS, EVI, landscape pattern