Please wait a minute...
 Home  About the Journal Subscription Advertisement Contact us   英文  
Just Accepted  |  Current Issue  |  Archive  |  Featured Articles  |  Most Read  |  Most Download  |  Most Cited
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, Vol. 29 Issue (5) : 719-729     DOI: 10.1007/s11442-019-1623-0
Land use and landscape change driven by gully land consolidation project: A case study of a typical watershed in the Loess Plateau
LI Yurui1(),LI Yi2,FAN Pengcan1,3,SUN Jian1,LIU Yansui1,3,*()
1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
2. College of Geomatics, Xi’an University of Science and Technology, Xi’an 710054, China
3. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Download: PDF(1687 KB)   HTML
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks    

Exploring the impact of land consolidation on the changes of local land use and the landscape patterns is important for optimizing land consolidation models and thus accelerating the sustainable development of local communities. Using a typical small watershed in Yan’an City (Shaanxi, China), the impact of gully land consolidation on land use and landscape pattern change, based on high-resolution remote sensing image data and landscape pattern analysis, was investigated. The results showed that: (1) The terraces, sloping fields, shrub land and grassland at the bottom and both sides of the gully were converted mainly to high quality check dam land. Also, some of the shrub land, due to biological measures, was converted to more ecologically suitable native forest. Thus, the areas of check dam land and forests increased by 159 and 70 ha, while that of shrub land, grassland and sloping fields decreased by 112, 63 and 59 ha, respectively. (2) The average patch area and patch cohesion index for the check dam land increased, which indicated that the production function improved. The landscape shape index and the patch cohesion index for forestland and shrub land were maintained at a high level, and thus the ecological function remained stable. (3) At the watershed level, the degree of fragmentation of the landscape decreased and the landscape became more diversified and balanced; the anti-jamming capability of the landscape and the stability of the ecosystem improved also. Research suggests that implementing gully land consolidation in a rational manner may contribute to improvements in the structure of local land use and the patterns of landscape.

Keywords land consolidation      watershed      land use      landscape      Yan'an City      Loess Plateau     
Fund:National Key Research and Development Program of China, No.2017YFC0504701;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571166, No.41731286
Corresponding Authors: LIU Yansui     E-mail:;
Issue Date: 19 April 2019
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
LI Yurui
FAN Pengcan
SUN Jian
LIU Yansui
Cite this article:   
LI Yurui,LI Yi,FAN Pengcan, et al. Land use and landscape change driven by gully land consolidation project: A case study of a typical watershed in the Loess Plateau[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2019, 29(5): 719-729.
URL:     OR
Figure 1  Location and DEM of the study area
Index Formula Note Brief description of index
Average patch area (AREA_MN) AREA_MN =$\frac{Ai}{Ni}$ Ni-number of patch type i;
Ai-area of patch type i;
E-total length of all patch boundaries;
A-total landscape area;
Pij-total length of edge in landscape between patch types i and k;
aij-area of patch i within specified neighborhood of patch j;
Ak-total number of cells in the landscape;
Pi-proportion of the landscape occupied by patch type i;
gik-number of patch i within specified neighborhood of patch type j;
m-number of patch types present in the landscape
AREA_MN describes landscape fragmentation. The larger average patch area represents the lower landscape fragmentation.
Landscape shape index (LSI) $LSI=\frac{0.25E}{\sqrt{A}}$ LSI describes the complexity of landscape shape. The higher the LSI the more complex the shape of the landscape.
Patch cohesion index
$COHESION=\left[ 1-\frac{\sum\limits_{i=1}^{m}{\sum\limits_{j=1}^{n}{Pij}}}{\sum\limits_{i=1}^{m}{\sum\limits_{j=1}^{n}{Pij\cdot \sqrt{aij}}}} \right]\cdot \left[ 1-\frac{1}{\sqrt{A\text{k}}} \right]$ COHESION describes physical connectivity of the corresponding patch type. The higher the COHESION the stronger the connectivity of the patches.
Number of patches (NP) NP=Ni NP describes landscape fragmentation, a landscape with a higher NP would be considered as more fragmented.
Patch density
PD= PD describes landscape fragmentation, a landscape with a greater PD would be considered more fragmented.
Edge density
$ED=\frac{1}{Ai}\sum\limits_{j=1}^{M}{Pij}$ ED describes landscape fragmentation, a landscape with a greater ED would be considered more fragmented.
Shannon diversity index (SHDI) $SHDI=-\sum\limits_{i=1}^{m}{\left( Pi In Pi \right)}$ SHDI describes landscape diversity. A larger SHDI indicates that the landscape has more diverse patch types.
Shannon evenness index (SHEI) $SHEI=\frac{-\sum\limits_{i=1}^{m}{\left( Pi\cdot In Pi \right)}}{In m}$ SHEI describes landscape evenness. A smaller SHEI indicates that the landscape is dominated by one or a few dominant patch types.
Contagion index
$CONTAG=1+\frac{\sum\limits_{i=1}^{m}{\sum\limits_{k=1}^{m}{\left[ \left( Pi \right)\left( \frac{gk}{\sum\limits_{k=1}^{m}{gk}} \right) \right]\cdot \left[ In\left( Pi \right)\left( \frac{gik}{\sum\limits_{k=1}^{m}{gik}} \right) \right]}}}{2In\left( m \right)}$ CONTAG describes landscape contagion. A larger contagion index indicates that the dominant patch types in the landscape form a good connection.
Table 1  Selected landscape indices used in the study
Figure 2  Land use change for the S watershed in 2010 and 2016
2010 (ha)
Type Check dam land Terraces Sloping fields Forests Shrub land Grass- land Indus- trial and mining land Rural residential land Rural roads Water Bare land Sum Percentage
2016 Check dam land 72.78 0.01 0.02 1.60 0.04 0.75 1.16 76.36 3.07
Terraces 45.03 54.63 3.65 15.83 10.29 0.05 0.25 2.47 3.68 135.88 5.46
Sloping fields 26.93 3.41 1.06 4.18 16.12 3.41 0.28 1.07 1.43 2.23 60.12 2.42
Forests 1.15 0.14 764.01 0.83 0.04 0.57 0.01 0.02 0.05 766.82 30.83
Shrub land 84.54 41.96 55.44 1063.51 3.36 2.35 1.50 11.33 6.52 0.65 1271.16 51.11
Grass- land 1.43 18.27 8.65 53.05 62.14 0.34 0.02 0.01 0.02 143.93 5.79
Indus- trial and mining land 0.51 0.59 0.35 2.75 4.20 0.17
Rural residential land 0.25 0.20 10.48 0.20 0.02 11.15 0.45
Rural roads 2.98 0.01 1.63 0.26 3.69 0.77 9.34 0.38
Water 0.15 0.01 0.80 0.96 0.04
Bare land 0.18 0.40 0.11 5.42 0.92 0.03 0.15 7.21 0.29
Sum 235.42 118.83 1.06 836.57 1158.79 80.77 6.00 13.69 19.94 15.19 0.87 2487.13
9.47 4.78 0.04 33.64 46.59 3.25 0.24 0.55 0.80 0.61 0.03 100.00
Table 2  Change matrix of each LULC type for the S watershed in 2010 and 2016 and changes in 2016
Figure 3  Flow chart of land use change in the S watershed from 2010 to 2016
Figure 4  Changes of landscape structure in the S watershed during 2010 and 2016
Figure 5  Changes in the landscape-level metrics from 2010 to 2016 for the S watershed
[28] Lv Y, Fu B, Feng X et al., 2012. A policy-driven large scale ecological restoration: Quantifying ecosystem services changes in the Loess Plateau of China.PLoS ONE, 7(2): 1-10.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031782 pmid: 3280995
[29] Tuan Y F, 1971. Geography, phenomenology, and the study of human nature.Canadian Geographer, 15(3): 181-192.
doi: 10.1111/cag.1971.15.issue-3
[30] Zhang F, Taxipulati T, Ding J et al., 2009. The change of land use/cover and characteristics of landscape pattern in arid areas oasis: A case study of Jinghe County, Xinjiang Province.Acta Ecologica Sinica, 29(3): 1251-1263. (in Chinese)
[1] Cao Z, Li Y, Liu Y et al., 2018. When and where did the Loess Plateau turn “green”? Analysis of the tendency and breakpoints of the normalized difference vegetation index.Land Degradation & Development, 29(1): 162-175.
doi: 10.1002/ldr.2852
[2] Chen L, Fu B, 1996. Analysis of impact of human activity on landscape structure in Yellow River Delta: A case study of Dongying Region.Acta Ecologica Sinica, 16(4): 337-344. (in Chinese)
[3] Chen L, Fu B, Messing I, 2001. Sustainable land-use planning in a typical catchment in the Loess Plateau: A case study. Geographical Research, 20(6): 713-722. (in Chinese)
doi: 10.11821/yj2001060009
[4] Chen L, Li X, Fu B et al., 2014. Development history and future research priorities of landscape ecology in China.Acta Ecologica Sinica, 31(6): 1059-1064. (in Chinese)
doi: 10.1016/S0731-7085(02)00651-9
[5] Chen L, Liu Y, Lv Y et al., 2008. Pattern analysis in landscape ecology: Progress, challenges and outlook.Acta Ecologica Sinica, 28(11): 5521-5531. (in Chinese)
doi: 10.1016/S1872-2032(09)60011-1
[6] Chen Y, Shi P, Pan J, 2012. Analysis on the effect of land-use change on ecosystem service value in the plateau eco-city: A case study of Minle County.Chinese Journal of Research of Soil and water Conservation, 19(2): 154-159. (in Chinese)
[7] Cheng G, Li X, 2015. Integrated research methods in watershed science.Science China: Earth Sciences, 45(6): 811-819. (in Chinese)
doi: 10.1007/s11430-015-5074-x
[8] Deng J, Ke W, Hong Y et al., 2009. Spatio-temporal dynamics and evolution of land use change and landscape pattern in response to rapid urbanization.Landscape & Urban Planning, 92(3): 187-198.
doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2009.05.001
[9] Fu B, Chen L, Ma K, 1999. The effect of land use change on the regional environment in the Yangjuangou catchment in the Loess Plateau of China.Acta Geographica Sinica, 54(3): 241-246. (in Chinese)
doi: 10.3321/j.issn:0375-5444.1999.03.006
[10] Fu B, Qiu Y, Wang J et al., 2002. Effect simulations of land use change on the runoff and erosion for a gully catchment of the Loess Plateau, China.Acta Geographica Sinica, 57(6): 717-722. (in Chinese)
[11] Gao X, Zheng F, 2004. Eco-environment construction and sustainable agriculture development in the Loess Plateau of northern part of Shaanxi Province.Research of Soil & Water Conservation, 11(4): 47-49. (in Chinese)
[12] Gong J, Liu Y, Xia B, 2009. Spatial heterogeneity of urban land-cover landscape in Guangzhou from 1990 to 2005.Journal of Geographical Sciences, 19(2): 213-224.
doi: 10.1007/s11442-009-0213-y
[13] Hu Y, Deng L, Zhang S et al., 2011. Changes of land use and landscape pattern in Xichang City based on RS and GIS.Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering, 27(10): 322-327. (in Chinese)
doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1002-6819.2011.10.056
[14] Lambin E F, Meyfroidt P, 2011. Global land use change, economic globalization, and the looming land scarcity.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(9): 3465-3472.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1100480108
[15] Lausch A, Herzog F, 2002. Applicability of landscape metrics for the monitoring of landscape change: Issues of scale, resolution and interpretability.Ecological indicators, 2(1/2): 3-15.
doi: 10.1016/s1470-160x(02)00053-5
[16] Lei N, Han J, Gao H et al., 2017. An analysis of regulation and utilization of water resources of gully control and land reclamation in Yan’an.China Rural Water & Hydropower, (5): 26-30. (in Chinese)
[17] Li Y, Cao Z, Long H et al., 2017. Dynamic analysis of ecological environment combined with land cover and NDVI changes and implications for sustainable urban-rural development: The case of Mu Us Sandy Land, China.Journal of Cleaner Production, 142: 697-715.
doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.09.011
[18] Li Y, Liu Y, Long H.2012. Characteristics and mechanism of village transformation development in typical regions of Huang-Huai-Hai Plain.Acta Geographica Sinica, 67(6): 771-782. (in Chinese)
[19] Li Y, Liu Y, Long H et al., 2014. Community-based rural residential land consolidation and allocation can help to revitalize hollowed villages in traditional agricultural areas of China: Evidence from Dancheng County, Henan Province.Land Use Policy, 39: 188-198.
doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.02.016
[20] Liu J, Kuang W, Zhang Z et al., 2014. Spatiotemporal characteristics, patterns, and causes of land-use changes in China since the late 1980s.Journal of Geographical Sciences, 24(2): 195-210.
doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1082-6
[21] Liu Y, Chen Z, Li Y et al., 2017. The planting technology and industrial development prospects of forage rape in the loess hilly area: A case study of newly-increased cultivated land through gully land consolidation in Yan’an, Shaanxi Province.Journal of Natural Resources, 32(12): 2065-2074. (in Chinese)
[22] Liu Y, Li Y, 2017. Engineering philosophy and design scheme of gully land consolidation in Loess Plateau.Transactions of the Chinese Society of Agricultural Engineering, 33(10): 1-9. (in Chinese)
doi: 10.11975/j.issn.1002-6819.2017.10.001
[23] Liu Y, Wang L, Long H, 2008. Spatio-temporal analysis of land-use conversion in the eastern coastal China during 1996-2005.Journal of Geographical Sciences, 18(3): 274-282.
doi: 10.1007/s11442-008-0274-3
[24] Liu Z, Liu Y, Li Y, 2018a. Anthropogenic contributions dominate trends of vegetation cover change over the farming-pastoral ecotone of northern China.Ecological Indicators, 95(1): 370-378.
doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.07.063
[25] Liu Z, Liu Y, Li Y, 2018b. Extended warm temperate zone and opportunities for cropping system change in the Loess Plateau of China.International Journal of Climatology. doi: 10.1002/joc.5833.
doi: 10.1002/joc.5833
[26] Long H, Liu Y, Wu X et al., 2009. Spatio-temporal dynamic patterns of farmland and rural settlements in Su-Xi-Chang region: Implications for building a new countryside in coastal China.Land Use Policy, 26(2): 322-333.
doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2008.04.001
[27] Long H, Tang G, Li X et al., 2007. Socio-economic driving forces of land-use change in Kunshan, the Yangtze River Delta economic area of China.Journal of Environmental Management, 83(3): 351-364.
doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2006.04.003 pmid: 16824673
[31] Zhao B, Kreuter U, Li B et al., 2004. An ecosystem service value assessment of land-use change on Chongming Island, China.Land Use Policy, 21(2): 139-148.
doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2003.10.003
[32] Zhou D, Zhao S, Zhu C, 2011. Impacts of the sloping land conversion program on the land use/cover change in the Loess Plateau: A case study in Ansai County of Shaanxi Province, China. Journal of Natural Resources, 26(11): 1866-1878. (in Chinese)
doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.2011.11.006
[1] CAO Zhi,LI Yurui,LIU Zhengjia,YANG Lingfan. Quantifying the vertical distribution pattern of land-use conversion in the loess hilly region of northern Shaanxi Province 1995-2015[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2019, 29(5): 730-748.
[2] QIAO Weifeng,GAO Junbo,GUO Yuanzhi,JI Qingqing,WU Ju,CAO Min. Multi-dimensional expansion of urban space through the lens of land use: The case study of Nanjing City, China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2019, 29(5): 749-761.
[3] WU Yifan,FENG Weilun,ZHOU Yang. Practice of barren hilly land consolidation and its impact: A typical case study from Fuping County, Hebei Province of China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2019, 29(5): 762-778.
[4] CHEN Yiping,WU Junhua,WANG Hong,MA Jifu,SU Cuicui,WANG Kaibo,WANG Yi. Evaluating the soil quality of newly created farmland in the hilly and gully region on the Loess Plateau, China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2019, 29(5): 791-802.
[5] WU Wenhao,CHEN Zongfeng,LI Yuheng,WANG Yongsheng,YAN Jiayu,SONG Chuanyao. Land engineering and its role for sustainable agriculture in the agro-pastoral ecotone: A case study of Yulin, Shaanxi Province, China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2019, 29(5): 818-830.
[6] LONG Hualou,ZHANG Yingnan,TU Shuangshuang. Rural vitalization in China: A perspective of land consolidation[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2019, 29(4): 517-530.
[7] ZHANG Jingjing,ZHU Wenbo,ZHU Lianqi,CUI Yaoping,HE Shasha,REN Han. Topographical relief characteristics and its impact on population and economy: A case study of the mountainous area in western Henan, China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2019, 29(4): 598-612.
[8] LI Jialin,LIU Yongchao,PU Ruiliang,YUAN Qixiang,SHI Xiaoli,GUO Qiandong,SONG Xiayun. Coastline and landscape changes in bay areas caused by human activities: A comparative analysis of Xiangshan Bay, China and Tampa Bay, USA[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2018, 28(8): 1127-1151.
[9] HU Weijie,LIU Hailong,BAO Anming,Attia M. El-Tantawi. Influences of environmental changes on water storage variations in Central Asia[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2018, 28(7): 985-1000.
[10] ZHANG Yingnan,LONG Hualou,MA Li,GE Dazhuan,TU Shuangshuang,QU Yi. Farmland function evolution in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain: Processes, patterns and mechanisms[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2018, 28(6): 759-777.
[11] QIAO Kun,ZHU Wenquan,HU Deyong,HAO Ming,CHEN Shanshan,CAO Shisong. Examining the distribution and dynamics of impervious surface in different function zones in Beijing[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2018, 28(5): 669-684.
[12] CAO Shisong,HU Deyong,HU Zhuowei,ZHAO Wenji,CHEN Shanshan,YU Chen. Comparison of spatial structures of urban agglomerations between the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and Boswash based on the subpixel-level impervious surface coverage product[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2018, 28(3): 306-322.
[13] HUANG Gengzhi,LENG Shuying. The progress of human geography in China under the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2018, 28(12): 1735-1756.
[14] KUANG Wenhui,YAN Fengqin. Urban structural evolution over a century in Changchun city, Northeast China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2018, 28(12): 1877-1895.
[15] LIU Yansui,ZHENG Xiaoyu,WANG Yongsheng,CAO Zhi,LI Yuheng,WU Wenhao,LIU Zhengjia,LIU Huaihua,LI Rui. Land consolidation engineering and modern agriculture: A case study from soil particles to agricultural systems[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2018, 28(12): 1896-1906.
Full text



Copyright © Journal of Geographical Sciences, All Rights Reserved.
Powered by Beijing Magtech Co. Ltd