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Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, Vol. 28 Issue (12) : 1994-2006     DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1576-8
Research Articles |
Reconstructing provincial cropland area in eastern China during the early Yuan Dynasty (AD1271-1294)
LI Meijiao1,2(),HE Fanneng1,*(),YANG Fan1,2,LI Shicheng3
1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3. School of Public Administration, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
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Abstract  

Reconstructing historical land use and land cover change (LUCC) at the regional scale is an important component of global environmental change studies and of improving global historical land use datasets. By analyzing data in historical documents, including military-oriented cropland (hereafter M-cropland) area, the number of households engaged in M-cropland (hereafter M-household) reclamation, cropland area, and the number of households, we propose a conversion relationship between M-cropland area and cropland area reclaimed by each household. A provincial cropland area estimation method for the Yuan Dynasty is described and used to reconstruct the provincial cropland area for AD1290. Major findings are as follows. (1) Both the M-cropland and cropland areas of each household were high in the north and low in the south during the Yuan Dynasty, which resulted from different natural conditions and planting practices. Based on this observation, the government-allocated M-cropland reclamation area to each household was based on the cropland area reclaimed by each household. (2) The conversion relationship between M-cropland and cropland areas per household showed conversion coefficients of 1.23 and 0.65 for the south and north, respectively. (3) The cropland area in the entire study area in AD1290 was 535.4×106 mu (Chinese area unit, 1 mu=666.7 m2), 57.8% in the north and 42.2% in the south. The fractional cropland areas for the entire study area, north, and south were 6.8%, 6.6%, and 7.1%, respectively and the per capita cropland areas for the whole study area, north, and south were 6.7, 15.6, and 4.1 mu, respectively. (4) Cropland was mainly distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River (including the Fuli area), Huaihe River Basin (including Henan Province), and middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River (including Jiangzhe, Jiangxi, and Huguang provinces).

Keywords historical LUCC      cropland      area estimation      historical documents      Yuan Dynasty     
Fund:National Key R&D Program of China, No.2017YFA0603304; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41671149; The Special Program for Basic Work of the Ministry of Science and Technology, China, No.2014FY210900
Corresponding Authors: HE Fanneng     E-mail: limj.16b@igsnrr.ac.cn;hefn@igsnrr.ac.cn
Issue Date: 27 December 2018
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LI Meijiao
HE Fanneng
YANG Fan
LI Shicheng
Cite this article:   
LI Meijiao,HE Fanneng,YANG Fan, et al. Reconstructing provincial cropland area in eastern China during the early Yuan Dynasty (AD1271-1294)[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2018, 28(12): 1994-2006.
URL:  
http://www.geogsci.com/EN/10.1007/s11442-018-1576-8     OR     http://www.geogsci.com/EN/Y2018/V28/I12/1994
Figure 1  Illustration of the study area. The map of the Yuan Dynasty was obtained from the Historical Atlas of China (Tan, 1982), and the blue lines represent the current locations of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers today.
Figure 2  Scheme for reconstructing cropland area at the provincial level in the early Yuan Dynasty (MAPH and CAPH represent the M-cropland area per household and cropland area per household, respectively.)
Figure 3  M-cropland area per household in each province in the Yuan Dynasty in AD1294
Figure 4  Cropland area per household in Henan, Jiangzhe, and Jiangxi provinces and their sub-level administrative regions for AD 1328
Location Cropland area per
household (in Yuan-mu)
Literature source
North 80-100 Zishan Collected Works (Hu, 2003)
Shaoxing Lu in Jiangzhe Province 30 Wanzhai Collected Works (Gong, 2003)
Northeast 30 Continued Textual Research of Ancient China (Fang, 2003)
Yongfeng County in Jiangxi Province 5 Shenzhai Collected Works (Liu, 2003)
Table 1  Historical records describing cropland area per household during the Yuan Dynasty
Figure 5  M-cropland area per household and cropland area per household during the Yuan Dynasty for Henan, Jiangzhe, and Jiangxi provinces
Variable Entire study area North Proportion (%) South Proportion (%)
Cropland area (106 mu) 535.4 309.7 57.8 225.7 42.2
Fractional cropland area (%) 6.8 6.6 - 7.1 -
Per capita cropland area (mu) 6.7 15.6 - 4.1 -
Table 2  Cropland area estimates for AD1290 in the Yuan Dynasty
Figure 6  The spatial distribution of fractional cropland area (a) and population density (b) in AD1290 at the provincial level
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