Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (4): 535-552.doi: 10.1007/s11442-020-1741-8

• Special Issue: Development and Protection of Territorial Space in the Yangtze River Economic Belt • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatiotemporal variations of cultivated land use efficiency in the Yangtze River Economic Belt based on carbon emission constraints

LUO Xiang1, AO Xinhe1, ZHANG Zuo1, WAN Qing2,*(), LIU Xingjian3   

  1. 1. College of Public Administration, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
    2. School of Management, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan 430205, China
    3. Department of Urban Planning and Design, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
  • Received:2019-04-25 Accepted:2019-12-29 Online:2020-04-25 Published:2020-06-25
  • Contact: WAN Qing
  • About author:Luo Xiang (1978-), Associate Professor, specialized in regional economics and development of economics. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(71947071);National Natural Science Foundation of China(71904151);National Natural Science Foundation of China(71774066);Hong Kong Research Grant Council(ECS27604016);Financially Supported by Self-Determined Research Funds of CCNU from the Colleges’ Basic Research and Operation of MOE(CCNU19TD004)


In this study, the carbon emissions (CEs) from cultivated land (CL) were included as an undesirable output in the utilization efficiency of such land. A slack-based model was used to calculate the CL use efficiency (CLUE) for 11 provinces and cities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) from 2007 to 2016, and then a kernel density estimation map was drawn to analyze the spatiotemporal variations of CLUE. The Tobit model was also employed to analyze the factors affecting the CLUE. The results show the following. 1) In the YREB, the CEs from CL showed a rising and then a slowly decreasing trend. In this paper, we calculate CEs by carbon emission factors and major carbon sources, and the CEs from CL in the YREB totaled 25.2354 million tons in 2007. By 2014, the value had increased gradually to 28.4400 million tons, and by 2016 it had declined to 27.8922 million tons, suggesting that the carbon-emission reduction measures of the government had an impact. 2) The CLUE of various provinces and cities in the YREB showed an upward trend in the time dimension, while for the spatial dimension, the kernel density was high in the east and low in the west, and the areas with high kernel density were mainly located in the Yangtze River Delta. 3) The per capita gross domestic product, the primary industrial output, and the number of agricultural technicians per 10,000 people had positive effects on the CLUE. The CL area per capita and the electrical power per hectare for agricultural machinery had significant negative impacts on CLUE. In addition, every 1% increase in the number of agricultural technicians increased the CLUE by 0.057%.

Key words: Yangtze River Economic Belt, carbon emissions, cultivated land use efficiency, Tobit model