Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2005, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (3): 305-328.doi: 10.1360/gs050305

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Land use change and its corresponding ecological responses: a review

SHAO Jingan1,2, NI Jiupai1,2, WEI Chaofu1,2, XIE Deti1,2   

  1. 1. College of Resource and Environment, Southwest Agricultural University, Chongqing 400716, China;

    2. Chongqing Key Lab. of Digital Agriculture, Chongqing 400716, China
  • Received:2005-03-18 Revised:2005-05-10 Online:2005-09-25 Published:2005-09-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.49771073; Key Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.K2952-J1-203


This paper reviews the research on land use change and its corresponding ecological responses. Patterns of land use changes in spatio-temporal level are produced by the interaction of biophysical and socio-economic processes. Nowadays, the studies derived from different socioeconomic conditions and scales show that at short-term scale, human activities, rather than natural forces, have become a major force in shaping the environment, while biophysical factors control the trends and processes of land use change under the macro environmental background. Providing a scientific understanding of the process of land use change, the impacts of different land use decisions, and the ways that decisions are affected by a changing environment and increasing ecological variability are the priority areas for research: (1) explanation of scale dependency of drivers of land use change; (2) quantification of driving factors of land use change; (3) incorporation of biophysical feedbacks in land use change models; and (4) underlying processes and mechanisms of ecological impacts of land use change.

Key words: land use change, ecological responses, explanation