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ISSN 1009-637X
CN 11-4546/P
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Determinants and identification of the northern boundary of China’s tropical zone
XU Qian,DONG Yuxiang,WANG Yuying,YANG Ren,XU Chengdong
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (1): 31-45.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1457-1
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The influence of monsoon climatic characteristics makes the tropics of China different from those of other parts of the world. Therefore, the location of the northern boundary of China’s tropical zone has been one of the most controversial issues in the study of comprehensive physical regionalisation in China. This paper introduces developments in the study of the northern boundary of China’s tropical zone, in which different scholars delimit the boundary with great differences based on different regionalisation objectives, indexes, and methods. The main divergence of opinion is found in different understandings of zonal vegetation, agricultural vegetation type, cropping systems, tropical soil type and tropical characteristics. In this study, we applied the GeoDetector model, which measures the spatial stratified heterogeneity, to validate the northern boundaries of the tropical zone delimited by six principal scholars. The results show that the mean q-statistic value of the higher latitude boundary delimited by Ren Mei’e is the largest (q=0.37), suggesting that, of the rival views, it best reflects the regional differences between China’s tropical and subtropical zones, but it is not necessarily suitable for guiding the development of tropical agriculture. The mean values of the q-statistics of Zheng Du’s line and Yu Xianfang’s line around the Leizhou Peninsula at a lower latitude were smaller, at 0.10 and 0.08 respectively, indicating that the regional differences were smaller than those of Ren Mei’e’s boundary. Against the background of global climate change, the climate itself is changing in fluctuation. It is, thus, worth our further research whether the northern boundary of the tropical zone should not be a fixed line but rather should fluctuate within a certain scope to reflect these changes.

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Spatial evolution of coal transportation at coastal ports in China
WANG Wei,WANG Chengjin,JIN Fengjun
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (2): 238-256.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1470-4
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Coal is a basic resource and its use guarantees the development of national economies and human society. Thus, coal transportation is an important part of China’s overall transportation system. In this system, ports are the vital transit nodes. This study considered coastal ports in China and analysed the evolution of coal transportation from 1973 to 2013. We focused on the spatial pattern of coal loading and unloading, and summarized the main characteristics and development of the processes. Then, we examined the volumes of coal transported and regional changes in these amounts using mathematical models and indicators. Finally, we analysed the specialized function and spatial differentiation of the ports involved in coal transportation to reveal their spatial relationship and temporal evolution. We found that the spatial pattern of coal transportation changed from “south input and north output” to “all input and north output”. However, the prominent ports used for coal unloading are still concentrated in areas south of the Yangtze River. Coal loading is concentrated on the west bank of Bohai Bay. In addition, some ports around Bohai Bay, such as Dandong, Dalian, Yantai, and Qingdao, changed from traditional coal loading ports to unloading ports. This study further developed the theory of transport geography, and improved our understanding of China’s coal transportation system.

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Regional differentiation of ecological conservation and its zonal suitability at the county level in China
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (1): 46-58.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1458-0
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China’s investments, financial incentives and deductions in terms of ecological conservation are based at the county level. Therefore, the monitoring and assessment of the effects of ecological conservation at the county level is important to provide a scientific basis for the assessment of the ecological and environmental quality at the county scale. This paper quantitatively estimated the dynamics of high-quality ecosystems and vegetation coverage over the past 15 years, and their relationships with the number of ecological conservation programs at the county level were analyzed. Then, the effects of ecological conservation measures on ecological changes at the county level and their regional suitability were assessed and discussed. The results showed that counties with a percentage of high-quality ecosystems greater than 50% were primarily distributed in northeastern China, southern subtropical China and the southeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and those with a percentage lower than 20% were mostly distributed in northwestern China, the southwestern karst region and the North China Plain. In recent decades, ecological conservation has focused on ecologically fragile regions; more than five ecological conservation programs have been implemented in most counties of the Three River Source Region in Qinghai Province, southeastern Tibet, western Sichuan, the Qilian Mountains, southern Xinjiang and other western regions, while only one or zero have been implemented in the eastern coastal area of China. Over the past 15 years, the proportional area of high-quality ecosystems has increased in approximately 53% of counties. The vegetation coverage of counties in the Loess Plateau, Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (Jing-Jin-Ji), Sichuan-Guizhou-Chongqing, and Guangdong-Guangxi provincial-level areas has increased significantly. However, it decreased in northern Xinjiang, central Tibet, central and eastern Inner Mongolia, the Yangtze River Delta and other regions. The relationships between the numbers of ecological conservation programs and the indicators of ecosystem restoration response, such as high-quality ecosystem and vegetation coverage, do not show positive correlations. These results suggest that ecological conservation programs should be planned and implemented according to the distribution patterns of high-quality ecosystems and that restoration measures such as afforestation should follow natural principles and regional differentiation under the background of climate change.

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Links between Western Pacific Subtropical High and vegetation growth in China
HUANG Mei,HAO Man,WANG Shaoqiang,DAN Li,GU Fengxue,WANG Zhaosheng,GONG He
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (1): 3-14.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1455-3
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There is a lack of simple ways to predict the vegetation responses to the East Asian Monsoon (EAM) variability in China due to the complexity of the monsoon system. In this study, we found the variation of the Western Pacific Subtropical High (WPSH), which is one of the major components of the EAM, has a profound influence on the vegetation growth in China. When the WPSH is located more to the west of its climate average, the eastern and northwestern parts experience increased yearly-averaged normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and gross primary productivity (GPP) by 0.3%-2.2%, and 0.2%-2.2%, respectively. In contrast, when the WPSH is located more to the east of its climate average, the above areas experience decreased yearly-averaged NDVI and GPP by 0.4% to 1.6%, and 1.3% to 4.5%, respectively. The WPSH serves as a major circulation index to predict the response of vegetation to monsoon.

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Dynamic identification of soil erosion risk in the middle reaches of the Yellow River Basin in China from 1978 to 2010
ZHAO Haigen,TANG Yuyu,YANG Shengtian
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (2): 175-192.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1466-0
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Soil erosion has become a significant environmental problem that threatens ecosystems globally. The risks posed by soil erosion, the trends in the spatial distribution in soil erosion, and the status, intensity, and conservation priority level in the middle reaches of the Yellow River Basin were identified from 1978 to 2010. This study employed a multi-criteria evaluation method integrated with GIS and multi-source remote sensing data including land use, slope gradient and vegetation fractional coverage (VFC). The erosion status in the study region improved from 1978 to 2010; areas of extremely severe, more severe, and severe soil erosion decreased from 0.05%, 0.94%, and 11.25% in 1978 to 0.04%, 0.81%, and 10.28% in 1998, respectively, and to 0.03%, 0.59%, and 6.87% in 2010, respectively. Compared to the period from 1978 to 1998, the area classed as improvement grade erosion increased by about 47,210.18 km2 from 1998 to 2010, while the area classed as deterioration grade erosion decreased by about 17,738.29 km2. Almost all severe erosion regions fall in the 1st and 2nd conservation priority levels, which areas accounted for 3.86% and 1.11% of the study area in the two periods, respectively. This study identified regions where soil erosion control is required and the results provide a reference for policymakers to implement soil conservation measures in the future.

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Spatial restructuring and land consolidation of urban-rural settlement in mountainous areas based on ecological niche perspective
YU Zhaowu,XIAO Lishan,CHEN Xiji,HE Zhichao,GUO Qinghai,VEJRE Henrik
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (2): 131-151.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1464-2
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With the socio-economic development associated with urbanization, the urban-rural relationship has changed across the world. In China, due to the urban-rural dual structure, these changes turn out to be more complicated. Spatial restructuring are suggested as the main strategies and spatial supporting platforms for urban-rural development. However, the theory still lacks solid methodology and support from systematic empirical studies. This study seeks an adequate scientific methodology and discusses the difference of urban-rural transformation in plains and mountainous areas. A case in Shanghang County, China, demonstrates: 1) The compound ecological niche model can be a suitable approach in urban-rural restructuring, especially in mountainous areas. 2) The urban-rural development area with highly inappropriate, slightly appropriate, moderately appropriate, and highly appropriate areas are 1273.2 km2 (44.69%); 906.1 km2 (31.80%); 509.4 km2 (17.88%); and 160.1 km2 (5.62%), respectively. 3) The “deserting villages” in mountainous areas play positive synergistic roles in urbanization, in contrast to the “hollowing villages” common in plain areas. 4) The central town-village will become the most important settlement in mountainous areas. Therefore, we suggest more attention should be paid to environmental capacity in the construction of central town-villages. This study significantly extends the understanding of “hollowing village” theory and regional planning.

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Spatio-temporal variation and the driving forces of tea production in China over the last 30 years
XIAO Zhi,HUANG Xianjin,ZANG Zheng,YANG Hong
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (3): 275-290.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1472-2
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As a daily necessity and an important cash crop in China and many other countries, tea has received increasing attention. Using production concentration index model and industry’ s barycenter theory, we analyzed the spatio-temporal distribution of tea production and barycenter movement trajectory of tea plantations and production in China between 1986 and 2015. Driving forces of the movement were also analyzed. From 1986 to 2000, tea production in China’s Mainland of grew slowly (by 210×103 t). The continuous increase in tea yield per unit area was the primary contributor (more than 60%) to the growth in tea production during this period. Since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, tea production has grown rapidly, by 1.59×106 t between 2001 and 2015. The increase in the tea plantations area is the main contributor. Over the last 30 years, the barycenters of tea production in China have moved westward from the Dongting Lake Plain to the eastern fringe of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. Guizhou, Guangxi, and Sichuan in southwestern China have gradually become regions of new concentrated tea plantations and main tea production provinces. Lower cost of land and labor in southwestern China are the main drivers of the westward movement of China’s tea industry. In addition, supportive policies and the favorable natural geographical environment contribute to the westward movement of tea industry. Our research highlights the spatio-temporal variation of China’s tea production in the last three decades. The result indicates importance to make appropriate policies to promote the development of tea industry in China.

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An index-based spatial evaluation model of exploitative intensity: A case study of coastal zone in Vietnam
WANG Wenyue,ZHANG Junjue,SU Fenzhen
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (3): 291-305.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1473-1
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Coastal zones play a major role in the conservation of marine ecosystems and the sustainable use of resources not only because of their special geographical environment but also because of their high temporal and spatial variability. With the development of urbanization, the exploitation and utilization of coasts have become important issues in the debate. To evaluate variations in the intensity of the land resource exploitation of coastal zones, an index-based model has been proposed in this paper, and coastal Vietnam has been established as the study area. The model is based on four normalized indexes to realize rapid evaluation of the spatial distribution of the exploitative intensity after zoning. The model was established to characterize the different exploitative intensities in different segments of the coast and to graphically present a sequence of decision choices for decision-makers. The results are as follows. (1) The simplicity and rapidity of the index operations can address the fast-changing characteristics of coastal exploitation and meet the desired precision. (2) The choices of the landward buffers fit well with the banded characteristics of the coastal zone. The buffers are horizontally divided into equidistant subregions, which can quantify the spatial differentiation of the exploitative intensity along the coast and perpendicular to the coast. (3) The average exploitative intensity is low, and the proportion of area that is to be exploited accounts for approximately 50%.Considering its spatial variation from north to south, the land exploitative intensity in the north is higher than that in the south. Compared to the intensity of land resource exploitation in the 20 km and 10 km buffers, the land exploitative intensity in the 5 km buffer is higher. The state of the intensity of land resource exploitation and how it can be used by stakeholders to manage coastal resources are then discussed.

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Ecological compensation for desertification control: A review
LI Dajing,XU Duanyang,WANG Ziyu,DING Xue,SONG Alin
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (3): 367-384.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1478-9
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Desertification control is a crucial way to enhancing the ecological conditions of arid and semi-arid regions, and maintaining sustainable development globally. Designing and improving an ecological compensation mechanism for desertification control has great significance related to achieving balance amongst the needs of different economic subjects and the assurance of a sustained and stable supply of desert ecosystem services. In this paper, (1) the theoretical bases of ecological compensation for desertification control were re-analyzed; (2) the research status and challenges of three important topics related to ecological compensation for desertification control were systemically discussed, including compensation standards, ecosystem service supply-consumption process and multi-scale effects, and resource-environment basis and policy orientation; (3) a research framework of ecological compensation for desertification control based on the process of desert ecosystem service supply-flow-consumption was proposed; (4) and finally, seven priority research issues were discussed, which aimed to support ecological compensation policy-making and ecological engineering implementation for desertification control.

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Definition and classification system of glacial lake for inventory and hazards study
YAO Xiaojun,LIU Shiyin,HAN Lei,SUN Meiping,ZHAO Linlin
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (2): 193-205.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1467-z
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Glacial lakes are not only the important refresh water resources in alpine region, but also act as a trigger of many glacial hazards such as glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) and debris flow. Therefore, glacial lakes play an important role on the cryosphere, climate change and alpine hazards. In this paper, the issues of glacial lake were systematically discussed, then from the view of glacial lake inventory and glacial lake hazards study, the glacial lake was defined as natural water mainly supplied by modern glacial meltwater or formed in glacier moraine’s depression. Furthermore, a complete classification system of glacial lake was proposed based on its formation mechanism, topographic feature and geographical position. Glacial lakes were classified as 6 classes and 8 subclasses, i.e., glacial erosion lake (including cirque lake, glacial valley lake and other glacial erosion lake), moraine-dammed lake (including end moraine-dammed lake, lateral moraine-dammed lake and moraine thaw lake), ice-blocked lake (including advancing glacier-blocked lake and other glacier-blocked lake), supraglacial lake, subglacial lake and other glacial lake. Meanwhile, some corresponding features exhibiting on remote sensing image and quantitative indices for identifying different glacial lake types were proposed in order to build a universal and operational classification system of glacial lake.

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Glacier changes in the Qilian Mountains in the past half-century: Based on the revised First and Second Chinese Glacier Inventory
SUN Meiping,LIU Shiyin,YAO Xiaojun,GUO Wanqin,XU Junli
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (2): 206-220.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1468-y
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Glaciers are the most important fresh-water resources in arid and semi-arid regions of western China. According to the Second Chinese Glacier Inventory (SCGI), primarily compiled from Landsat TM/ETM+ images, the Qilian Mountains had 2684 glaciers covering an area of 1597.81±70.30 km2 and an ice volume of ~84.48 km3 from 2005 to 2010. While most glaciers are small (85.66% are <1.0 km2), some larger ones (12.74% in the range 1.0-5.0 km2) cover 42.44% of the total glacier area. The Laohugou Glacier No.12 (20.42 km2) located on the north slope of the Daxue Range is the only glacier >20 km2 in the Qilian Mountains. Median glacier elevation was 4972.7 m and gradually increased from east to west. Glaciers in the Qilian Mountains are distributed in Gansu and Qinghai provinces, which have 1492 glaciers (760.96 km2) and 1192 glaciers (836.85 km2), respectively. The Shule River basin contains the most glaciers in both area and volume. However, the Heihe River, the second largest inland river in China, has the minimum average glacier area. A comparison of glaciers from the SCGI and revised glacier inventory based on topographic maps and aerial photos taken from 1956 to 1983 indicate that all glaciers have receded, which is consistent with other mountain and plateau areas in western China. In the past half-century, the area and volume of glaciers decreased by 420.81 km2 (-20.88%) and 21.63 km3 (-20.26%), respectively. Glaciers with areas <1.0 km2 decreased the most in number and area recession. Due to glacier shrinkage, glaciers below 4000 m completely disappeared. Glacier changes in the Qilian Mountains presented a clear longitudinal zonality, i.e., the glaciers rapidly shrank in the east but slowly in the central-west. The primary cause of glacier recession was warming temperatures, which was slightly mitigated with increased precipitation.

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Cited by: Baidu(1)
The vulnerability evolution and simulation of social-ecological systems in a semi-arid area: A case study of Yulin City, China
CHEN Jia,YANG Xinjun,YIN Sha,WU Kongsen,DENG Mengqi,WEN Xin
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (2): 152-174.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1465-1
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Taking the semi-arid area of Yulin City as an example, this study improves the vulnerability assessment methods and techniques at the county scale using the VSD (Vulnerability Scoping Diagram) assessment framework, integrates the VSD framework and the SERV (Spatially Explicit Resilience-Vulnerability) model, and decomposes the system vulnerability into three dimensions, i.e., exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Firstly, with the full understanding of the background and exposure risk source of the research area, the vulnerability indexes were screened by the SERV model, and the index system was constructed to assess the characteristics of the local eco-environment. Secondly, with the aid of RS and GIS, this study measured the spatial differentiation and evolution of the social-ecological systems in Yulin City during 2000-2015 and explored intrinsic reasons for the spatial-temporal evolution of vulnerability. The results are as follows: (1) The spatial pattern of Yulin City’s SESs vulnerability is “high in northwest and southeast and low along the Great Wall”. Although the degree of system vulnerability decreased significantly during the study period and the system development trend improved, there is a sharp spatial difference between the system vulnerability and exposure risk. (2) The evolution of system vulnerability is influenced by the risk factors of exposure, and the regional vulnerability and the spatial heterogeneity of exposure risk are affected by the social sensitivity, economic adaptive capacity and other factors. Finally, according to the uncertainty of decision makers, the future scenarios of regional vulnerability are simulated under different decision risks by taking advantage of the OWA multi-criteria algorithm, and the vulnerability of the regional system under different development directions was predicted based on the decision makers' rational risk interval.

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Cited by: Baidu(1)
A GIS-based modeling of snow accumulation and melt processes in the Votkinsk reservoir basin
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (2): 221-237.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1469-x
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Coupled hydrological and atmospheric modeling is an efficient method for snowmelt runoff forecast in large basins. We use short-range precipitation forecasts of mesoscale atmospheric Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model combining them with ground-based and satellite observations for modeling snow accumulation and snowmelt processes in the Votkinsk reservoir basin (184,319 km2). The method is tested during three winter seasons (2012-2015). The MODIS-based vegetation map and leaf area index data are used to calculate the snowmelt intensity and snow evaporation in the studied basin. The GIS-based snow accumulation and snowmelt modeling provides a reliable and highly detailed spatial distribution for snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow-covered areas (SCA). The modelling results are validated by comparing actual and estimated SWE and SCA data. The actual SCA results are derived from MODIS satellite data. The algorithm for assessing the SCA by MODIS data (ATBD-MOD 10) has been adapted to a forest zone. In general, the proposed method provides satisfactory results for maximum SWE calculations. The calculation accuracy is slightly degraded during snowmelt periods. The SCA data is simulated with a higher reliability than the SWE data. The differences between the simulated and actual SWE may be explained by the overestimation of the WRF-simulated total precipitation and the unrepresentativeness of the SWE measurements (snow survey).

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Spatio-temporal evolution of drought and flood disaster chains in Baoji area from 1368 to 1911
WAN Honglian,SONG Hailong,ZHU Chanchan,ZHANG Beibei,ZHANG Mi
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (3): 337-350.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1476-y
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Based on the collation and statistical analysis of flood and drought information in Baoji area from 1368 to 1911, and in the context of climate change, we investigated the spatio-temporal evolution characteristics of drought and flood disaster chains in this area during the Ming and Qing dynasties using the methods of moving average, cumulative anomaly and wavelet analysis. The results are as follows: (1) We found a total of 297 drought and flood events from 1368 to 1911 in Baoji. Among these events, droughts and floods occurred separately 191 and 106 times, which accounted for 64.31% and 35.69% of the total events, respectively. (2) We observed distinct characteristics of flood and drought events in Baoji in different phases. The climate was relatively dry from 1368 to 1644. A fluctuant climate phase with both floods and droughts occurred from 1645 to 1804. The climate was relatively wet from 1805 to 1911. Moreover, we observed a pattern of alternating dry and wet periods from 1368 to 1911. In addition, 3 oscillation periods of drought and flood events occurred around 70 a, 110 a and 170 a, which corresponded to sunspot cycles. (3) We also observed an obvious spatial difference in drought and flood events in Baoji. The northern and eastern parts of Weihe River basin were regions with both frequent droughts and floods. (4) The sequential appearance of drought and flood disaster chains in Baoji from 1368 to 1911 was in response to global climate change. Since the 1760s, global climatic deterioration has frequently led to extreme drought and flood events.

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Latitudinal patterns and influencing factors of soil humic carbon fractions from tropical to temperate forests
XU Li,WANG Chunyan,ZHU Jianxing,GAO Yang,LI Meiling,LV Yuliang,YU Guirui,HE Nianpeng
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (1): 15-30.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1456-2
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Soil humic carbon is an important component of soil organic carbon (SOC) in terrestrial ecosystems. However, no study to date has investigated its geographical patterns and the main factors that influence it at a large scale, despite the fact that it is critical for exploring the influence of climate change on soil C storage and turnover. We measured levels of SOC, humic acid carbon (HAC), fulvic acid carbon (FAC), humin carbon (HUC), and extractable humus carbon (HEC) in the 0-10 cm soil layer in nine typical forests along the 3800-km North-South Transect of Eastern China (NSTEC) to elucidate the latitudinal patterns of soil humic carbon fractions and their main influencing factors. SOC, HAC, FAC, HUC, and HEC increased with increasing latitude (all P<0.001), and exhibited a general trend of tropical < subtropical < temperate. The ratios of humic C fractions to SOC were 9.48%-12.27% (HAC), 20.68%-29.31% (FAC), and 59.37%-61.38% (HUC). Climate, soil texture, and soil microbes jointly explained more than 90% of the latitudinal variation in SOC, HAC, FAC, HEC, and HUC, and interactive effects were important. These findings elucidate latitudinal patterns of soil humic C fractions in forests at a large scale, and may improve models of soil C turnover and storage.

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The effects of vegetation on runoff and soil loss:Multidimensional structure analysis and scale characteristics
LIU Jianbo,GAO Guangyao,WANG Shuai,JIAO Lei,WU Xing,FU Bojie
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (1): 59-78.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1459-z
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This review summarizes the effects of vegetation on runoff and soil loss in three dimensions: vertical vegetation structures (aboveground vegetation cover, surface litter layer and underground roots), plant diversity, vegetation patterns and their scale characteristics. Quantitative relationships between vegetation factors with runoff and soil loss are described. A framework for describing relationships involving vegetation, erosion and scale is proposed. The relative importance of each vegetation dimension for various erosion processes changes across scales. With the development of erosion features (i.e., splash, interrill, rill and gully), the main factor of vertical vegetation structures in controlling runoff and soil loss changes from aboveground biomass to roots. Plant diversity levels are correlated with vertical vegetation structures and play a key role at small scales, while vegetation patterns also maintain a critical function across scales (i.e., patch, slope, catchment and basin/region). Several topics for future study are proposed in this review, such as to determine efficient vegetation architectures for ecological restoration, to consider the dynamics of vegetation patterns, and to identify the interactions involving the three dimensions of vegetation.

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Spatial pattern and influencing factors of landslide casualty events
WANG Ying,LIN Qigen,SHI Peijun
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (3): 259-374.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1471-3
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Analysis of casualties due to landslides from 2000 to 2012 revealed that their spatial pattern was affected by terrain and other natural environmental factors, which resulted in a higher distribution of landslide casualty events in southern China than in northern China. Hotspots of landslide-generated casualties were in the western Sichuan mountainous area and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau region, southeast hilly area, northern part of the loess hilly area, and Tianshan and Qilian Mountains. However, local distribution patterns indicated that landslide casualty events were also influenced by economic activity factors. To quantitatively analyse the influence of natural environment and human-economic activity factors, the Probability Model for Landslide Casualty Events in China (LCEC) was built based on logistic regression analysis. The results showed that relative relief, GDP growth rate, mean annual precipitation, fault zones, and population density were positively correlated with casualties caused by landslides. Notably, GDP growth rate ranked only second to relative relief as the primary factors in the probability of casualties due to landslides. The occurrence probability of a landslide casualty event increased 2.706 times with a GDP growth rate increase of 2.72%. In contrast, vegetation coverage was negatively correlated with casualties caused by landslides. The LCEC model was then applied to calculate the occurrence probability of landslide casualty events for each county in China. The results showed that there are 27 counties with high occurrence probability but zero casualty events. The 27 counties were divided into three categories: poverty-stricken counties, mineral-rich counties, and real-estate overexploited counties; these are key areas that should be emphasized in reducing landslide risk.

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Spatial and temporal variation of the urban impervious surface and its driving forces in the central city of Harbin
LI Miao,ZANG Shuying,WU Changshan,NA Xiaodong
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (3): 323-336.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1475-z
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Associated with the rapid economic development of China, the level of urbanization is becoming a serious concern. Harbin, the capital city of Heilongjiang Province, China and one of the political, economic, cultural, and transportation centers of the northeastern region of China, has experienced rapid urbanization recently. To examine the spatial patterns of long-term urbanization and explore its driving forces, we employed the impervious surface fraction derived from remote sensing image as a primary indicator. Specifically, urban impervious surface information for the central city of Harbin in 1984, 1993, 2002, and 2010 was extracted from Landsat Thematic Mapper image using a Linear Spectral Mixture Analysis (LMSA). Then, the spatial and temporal variation characteristics and the driving factors of percent impervious surface area (ISA) changes were analyzed throughout this 26-year period (1984 to 2010). Analysis of results suggests that: (1) ISAs in the central city of Harbin constantly increased, particularly from 1993 to 2010, a rapid urbanization period; (2) the gravity center of impervious surface area in the central city was located in Nangang District in 1984, moving southeast from 1984 to 1993, northwest from 1993 to 2002, and continuing toward the southeast from 2002 to 2010; and (3) the urban growth of the central city can be characterized as edge-type growth.

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Regional differences of border geo-cities in China and the surrounding countries
HU Hao,WANG Shufang,GE Yuejing
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (3): 351-366.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1477-x
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As the improvement of international status and the implementation of China’s neighboring diplomacy, the development of border regions and the security of border cities, as well as their spatial structure and regional differences are gaining more attention from academic circle. Based on the interdisciplinary perspectives of urban geography, regional economics and geopolitics, this paper explores the regional differences of border geo-cities in China and the surrounding countries with the help of remote sensing information acquisition and ArcGIS spatial analysis. Three primary results are found as follows: (1) The border geo-cities in China and surrounding countries are divided into five geographical regions: geo-cities in South China Sea, geo-cities in Southeast Asia, geo-cities in South Asia, geo-cities in Central Asia and geo-cities in Northeast Asia. (2) In the spatial structure system of China’s border geo-cities, the importance of geo-cities in five major regions is fairly different. In terms of the security and economic development, the rank of priority is geo-cities in Northeast Asia, geo-cities in South China Sea, geo-cities in Central Asia, geo-cities in South Asia, geo-cities in Southeast Asia. (3) Considering China’s geo-setting for the development of border geo-cities, the east region is significantly better than the west, and the north region is slightly better than the south.

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Analysis of the coupled relationship between grain
yields and agricultural labor changes in China
GE Dazhuan,LONG Hualou,ZHANG Yingnan,TU Shuangshuang
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (1): 93-108.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1461-5
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In this paper we establish a model that expresses the coupled relationship between grain yield and agricultural labor changes in China, and present a preliminary discussion of the coupled processes involved in changes in these factors at the county level. Thus, we develop two coefficients on the basis of county-level statistical data for grain yield and agricultural labor for the years 1991, 2000, and 2010, namely, the grain-labor elasticity coefficient (GLEC) and the agricultural labor-transfer effect coefficient (ALTEC). The results of this study show that during the transformation process of agricultural development in China, different kinds of coupled relationships between grain yield and agricultural labor changes co-existed at the same time. For example, between 1991 and 2010, counties characterized by three different coupled modes (i.e., increasing grain yield and decreasing agricultural labor, increasing grain yield and agricultural labor, and decreasing grain yield and agricultural labor) account for 48.85%, 29.11%, and 19.74% of the total across the study area, respectively. Interestingly, a coupled relationship between increasing grain yield and decreasing agricultural labor is mainly concentrated in the traditional farming areas of China, while a coupled relationship between increasing grain yield and agricultural labor is primarily concentrated in pastoral areas and agro-pastoral ecotones in underdeveloped western China. At the same time, a coupled relationship between decreasing grain yield and agricultural labor is concentrated in areas that have experienced a rapid development transition in agriculture, especially the developed southeastern coast of China. The results of this study also show that between 1991 and 2010, 1961 counties experienced a decline in the proportion of agricultural labor; of these, 1452 are also characterized by increasing grain yield, 72.38% of the total. This coupled relationship between grain yield and changes in the proportion of agricultural labor shows a stepped fluctuation and has continually strengthened over time. Data show that mean values for the GLEC and ALTEC increased from -0.25 and -2.93 between 1991 and 2000 to -0.16 and -1.78 between 2000 and 2010, respectively. These changes in GLEC and ALTEC illustrate that the influence of agricultural labor changes on increasing grain yields has gradually diminished. Finally, the results of this study reveal that the ‘Hu Huanyong Line’ is a significant boundary sub-dividing this coupled relationship between grain yield and changes in agricultural labor.

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Cited by: Baidu(1)
Examining urban land-cover characteristics and ecological regulation during the construction of Xiong’an New District, Hebei Province, China
KUANG Wenhui,YANG Tianrong,YAN Fengqin
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (1): 109-123.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1462-4
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Development of Xiong'an New District (XND) is integral to the implementation of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) Integration Initiative. It is intended to ease the non-capital functions of Beijing, optimize regional spatial patterns, and enhance ecosystem services and living environment in this urban agglomeration. Applying multi-stage remote sensing (RS) images, land use/cover change (LUCC) data, ecosystem services assessment data, and high-precision urban land-cover information, we reveal the regional land-cover characteristics of this new district as well as across the planned area of the entire BTH urban agglomeration. Corresponding ecological protection and management strategies are also proposed. Results indicated that built-up areas were rapidly expanding, leading to a continuous impervious surface at high density. Urban and impervious surface areas (ISAs) grew at rates 1.27 and 1.43 times higher than that in the 2000s, respectively, seriously affecting about 15% area of the sub-basins. Construction of XND mainly encompasses Xiongxian, Rongcheng, and Anxin counties, areas which predominantly comprise farmland, townships and rural settlements, water, and wetland ecosystems. The development and construction of XND should ease the non-capital functions of Beijing, as well as moderately control population and industrial growth. Thus, this development should be included within the national ‘sponge city’ construction pilot area in early planning stages, and reference should be made to international low-impact development modes in order to strengthen urban green infrastructural construction. Early stage planning based on the existing characteristics of the underlying surface should consider the construction of green ecological patches and ecological corridors between XND and the cities of Baoding, Beijing, and Tianjin. The proportion of impervious surfaces should not exceed 60%, while that of the core area should not exceed 70%. The development of XND needs to initiate the concept of ‘planning a city according to water resource amount’ and incorporate rainwater collection and recycling.

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Cited by: Baidu(1)
Report on the First IGU-AGLE Commission Conference on Global Rural Development and Land Capacity Building
YANG Yuanyuan,LI Yuheng,LONG Hualou
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (1): 124-128.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1463-3
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The influence of climate change and human activities on runoff in the middle reaches of the Huaihe River Basin, China
GAO Chao,RUAN Tian
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (1): 79-92.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1460-6
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This study presents a soil and water integrated model (SWIM) and associated statistical analyses for the Huaihe River Basin (HRB) based on daily meteorological, river runoff, and water resource data encompassing the period between 1959 and 2015. The aim of this research is to quantitatively analyze the rate of contribution of upstream runoff to that of the midstream as well as the influence of climate change and human activities in this section of the river. Our goal is to explain why extreme precipitation is concentrated in the upper reaches of the HRB while floods tend to occur frequently in the middle reaches of this river basin. Results show that the rate of contribution of precipitation to runoff in the upper reaches of the HRB is significantly higher than temperature. Data show that the maximum contribution rate of upstream runoff to that of the midstream can be as high as 2.23%, while the contribution of temperature is just 0.38%. In contrast, the rate of contribution of human activities to runoff is 87.20% in the middle reaches of the HRB, while that due to climate change is 12.80%. Frequent flood disasters therefore occur in the middle reaches of the HRB because of the combined effects of extreme precipitation in the upper reaches and human activities in the middle sections.

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Comparison of spatial structures of urban agglomerations between the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and Boswash based on the subpixel-level impervious surface coverage product
CAO Shisong,HU Deyong,HU Zhuowei,ZHAO Wenji,CHEN Shanshan,YU Chen
Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (3): 306-322.   DOI: 10.1007/s11442-018-1474-0
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Under the background of China’s rapid urbanization, study on comparative analysis of the spatial structure of urban agglomerations between China and the US can provide the policy proposals of space optimization for the Chinese government. Taking the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) and Boswash as study area, we mapped the subpixel-level impervious surface coverage of the BTH and Boswash, respectively, from 1972 to 2011. Further, landscape metrics, gravitational model and spatial analysis were used to analyze the differences of the spatial structures between the BTH and Boswash. The results showed that (1) the area of the impervious surface increased rapidly in the BTH, while those remained stable in the Boswash. (2) The spatial structure of the BTH experienced different periods including isolated cities stage, dual-core cities stage, group cities stage and network-style cities stage, while those of the Boswash was more stable, and its spatial pattern showed a “point-axis” structure. (3) The spatial pattern of high-high assembling regions of the impervious surface exhibited a “standing pancake” feature in the BTH, while those showed a “multi-center, local aggregation and global discrete” feature in the Boswash. (4) All the percentages of the impervious surface of ecological, living, and production land of the BTH were higher than those of the Boswash. At last, from the perspective of space optimization of urban agglomeration, the development proposals for the BTH were proposed.

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