Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2022, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (6): 1020-1038.doi: 10.1007/s11442-022-1983-8

• Research article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal patterns and driving mechanism of farmland fragmentation in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain

ZHENG Yuhan1,2(), LONG Hualou1,2,3,*(), CHEN Kunqiu4   

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, 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, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
    4.School of Public Administration, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
  • Received:2021-08-26 Accepted:2022-01-27 Online:2022-06-25 Published:2022-08-25
  • Contact: LONG Hualou;
  • About author:Zheng Yuhan (1994-), PhD Candidate, specialized in urban-rural development and land use. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41731286);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971216);Natural Science Foundation of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region(2018GXNSFDA281032);Program of Science and Technology Plan of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region(AD19110158);The Bagui Scholars Program of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region


Exploring the spatio-temporal variations of farmland landscape patterns in a traditional agricultural region can provide scientific support for decision-making on sustainable rural land use and rural vitalization development. This study established a comprehensive evaluation index for farmland fragmentation with multiple aspects (dominance, integrity, aggregation, regularity, and connectivity) at the county scale. The goal was to identify the evolution of farmland fragmentation in the traditional agricultural region of the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain during 2000-2015 and investigate underlying drivers using panel data of 359 counties. Results showed an accelerating but fluctuating fragmentation pattern of the farmland landscape. The indexes of dominance, integrity, and aggregation of farmland decreased most sharply, while the index of connectivity increased. Furthermore, the evolution of the farmland fragmentation pattern showed significant spatio-temporal heterogeneity, which is similar to the trajectory of urbanization and land use transition. Farmland fragmentation in municipal districts also emerged earlier and was more severe than in county-level cities and counties. Factors influenced by advancing urbanization include the proportion of artificial land, population density, and proportion of primary industry; these factors drove the evolution of farmland fragmentation. In contrast, the increase in income of rural residents and production efficiency of farmland were the key factors contributing to the improvement in farmland connectivity.

Key words: landscape fragmentation, divergent pattern, driving mechanism, farmland, Huang-Huai-Hai Plain