Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2021, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (10): 1403-1418.doi: 10.1007/s11442-021-1903-3

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Explicating the mechanisms of land cover change in the New Eurasian Continental Bridge Economic Corridor region in the 21st century

FAN Zemeng1,2,3(), LI Saibo1,2, FANG Haiyan1,2,4,*()   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource, Nanjing 210023, China
    4. Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2021-02-03 Accepted:2021-06-11 Online:2021-10-25 Published:2021-12-25
  • Contact: FANG Haiyan;
  • About author:Fan Zemeng, PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in ecological modelling and system simulation. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China(2017YFA0603702);National Key R&D Program of China(2018YFC0507202);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971358);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41930647);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41977066);Strategic Priority Research Program (A) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20030203);Innovation Project of LREIS(O88RA600YA)


Land cover change has presented clear spatial differences in the New Eurasian Continental Bridge Economic Corridor (NECBEC) region in the 21st century. A spatiotemporal dynamic probability model and a driving force analysis model of land cover change were developed to analyze explicitly the dynamics and driving forces of land cover change in the NECBEC region. The results show that the areas of grassland, cropland and built-up land increased by 114.57 million ha, 8.41 million ha and 3.96 million ha, and the areas of woodland, other land, and water bodies and wetlands decreased by 74.09 million ha, 6.26 million ha, and 46.59 million ha in the NECBEC region between 2001 and 2017, respectively. Woodland and other land were mainly transformed to grassland, and grassland was mainly transformed to woodland and cropland. Built-up land had the largest annual rate of increase and 50% of this originated from cropland. Moreover, since the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) commenced in 2013, there has been a greater change in the dynamics of land cover change, and the gaps in the socio-economic development level have gradually decreased. The index of socio-economic development was the highest in western Europe, and the lowest in northern Central Asia. The impacts of socio-economic development on cropland and built-up land were greater than those for other land cover types. In general, in the context of rapid socio-economic development, the rate of land cover change in the NECBEC has clearly shown an accelerating trend since 2001, especially after the launch of the BRI in 2013.

Key words: land cover change, driving forces, spatiotemporal dynamic probability model, integrated analysis model, New Eurasian Continental Bridge Economic Corridor