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    Rural land engineering and poverty alleviation:Lessons from typical regions in China
    Yansui LIU, Yongsheng WANG
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (5): 643-657.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1619-9
    Abstract286)   HTML39)    PDF (1069KB)(270)      

    Poverty is a key issue restricting rural sustainable development; concurrently, regional land degradation impedes agricultural development and rural revitalization. China faces severe land degradation and deepening rural poverty under the context of rapid urbanization. To address these challenges, sustainable land use is an important tool in our society’s economic development. Rural engineering, including rural land consolidation, reclamation, restoration, reallocation, improvement, and development, is the most direct and effective way to achieve rural sustainable poverty alleviation. This study clarifies the framework between land engineering and rural poverty alleviation, and introduces land engineering technologies, newly created land utilization practices, and the contributions to poverty alleviation in representative degraded land regions. Land engineering can increase land quantity, improve land quality, enhance land ecological function, and promote man-land system coupling. Further, it can erase rural poverty by increasing county revenue and households’ income, lead to industrial development, and improve living environment. Specifically, degraded sandy land, gully land, hollowed construction land, and barren hilly land are transformed into productive land by improving the land structure. Innovated land engineering technologies and sustainable land utilization modes can provide the basic theories and reference approaches for rural poverty alleviation. Identifying obstacles to effective land and corresponding engineering practices are crucial to regional land exploitation and development, improving quality of life and alleviating rural poverty.

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    The emerging cross-disciplinary studies of landscape ecology and biodiversity in China
    Zehao SHEN, Yiying LI, Kang YANG, Lifang CHEN
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (7): 1063-1080.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1645-7
    Abstract279)   HTML52)    PDF (508KB)(283)      

    The spatiotemporal landscape heterogeneity implies multiple biodiversity mechanisms across scales, and the cross-disciplinary studies between landscape ecology and biodiversity are becoming a new research field in China. This paper briefly reviews the development of the field by comparing papers published in international journals and Chinese journals; then it investigates the differences in the trends and focuses between international and Chinese studies. We also introduce several study areas that have emerged over the last 10 years in this field, including metacommunity assembly, landscape genetics, biodiversity and ecosystem service relationship, and landscape planning for biodiversity conservation. The major advances emerging in this field in China over the past 5 years can be classified into six subject areas: 1) effects of urban landscape and urbanization on biodiversity; 2) altitudinal patterns of biodiversity in mountain landscapes; 3) effects of topographic heterogeneity on plant community assembly and species coexistence; 4) impacts of landscape patterns and processes on animal behaviors; 5) forest fires and spatiotemporal patterns of vegetation responses; and 6) landscape ecology applications in natural conservation planning and design. In an attempt to promote cross-field studies between geography and ecology, this special issue collected 10 research articles, involving multiple landscape types and biological assemblages, in order to explore the interaction between landscape features and biodiversity. We anticipate that the future development of this active front will be primarily driven by the application of novel information techniques and the realistic demands of sustainability issues, in addition to answering scientific questions cross scales.

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    Land use and landscape change driven by gully land consolidation project: A case study of a typical watershed in the Loess Plateau
    Yurui LI, Yi LI, Pengcan FAN, Jian SUN, Yansui LIU
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (5): 719-729.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1623-0
    Abstract197)   HTML14)    PDF (1687KB)(111)      

    Exploring the impact of land consolidation on the changes of local land use and the landscape patterns is important for optimizing land consolidation models and thus accelerating the sustainable development of local communities. Using a typical small watershed in Yan’an City (Shaanxi, China), the impact of gully land consolidation on land use and landscape pattern change, based on high-resolution remote sensing image data and landscape pattern analysis, was investigated. The results showed that: (1) The terraces, sloping fields, shrub land and grassland at the bottom and both sides of the gully were converted mainly to high quality check dam land. Also, some of the shrub land, due to biological measures, was converted to more ecologically suitable native forest. Thus, the areas of check dam land and forests increased by 159 and 70 ha, while that of shrub land, grassland and sloping fields decreased by 112, 63 and 59 ha, respectively. (2) The average patch area and patch cohesion index for the check dam land increased, which indicated that the production function improved. The landscape shape index and the patch cohesion index for forestland and shrub land were maintained at a high level, and thus the ecological function remained stable. (3) At the watershed level, the degree of fragmentation of the landscape decreased and the landscape became more diversified and balanced; the anti-jamming capability of the landscape and the stability of the ecosystem improved also. Research suggests that implementing gully land consolidation in a rational manner may contribute to improvements in the structure of local land use and the patterns of landscape.

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    Tracking climate change in Central Asia through temperature and precipitation extremes
    Man ZHANG, Yaning CHEN, Yanjun SHEN, Baofu LI
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (1): 3-28.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1581-6
    Abstract189)   HTML5)    PDF (2700KB)(68)      

    Under the impacts of climate change and human activities, great uncertainties still exist in the response of climate extremes, especially in Central Asia (CA). In this study, we investigated spatial-temporal variation trends and abrupt changes in 17 indices of climate extremes, based on daily climate observations from 55 meteorological stations in CA during 1957-2005. We also speculated as to which atmospheric circulation factors had the greatest impacts on climate extremes. Our results indicated that the annual mean temperature (Tav), mean maximum and minimum temperature significantly increased at a rate of 0.32oC/10a, 0.24oC/10a and 0.41oC/10a, respectively, which was far higher than the increasing rates either globally or across the Northern Hemisphere. Other temperature extremes showed widespread significant warming trends, especially for those indices derived from daily minimum temperature. All temperature extremes exhibited spatially widespread rising trends. Compared to temperature changes, precipitation extremes showed higher spatial and temporal variabilities. The annual total precipitation significantly increased at a rate of 4.76 mm/10a, and all precipitation extremes showed rising trends except for annual maximum consecutive dry days (CDD), which significantly decreased at a rate of -3.17 days/10a. On the whole, precipitation extremes experienced slight wetter trends in the Tianshan Mountains, Kazakhskiy Melkosopochnik (Hill), the Kyzylkum Desert and most of Xinjiang. The results of Cumulative Deviation showed that Tav and Txav had a significant abrupt change around 1987, and all precipitation indices experienced abrupt changes in 1986. Spearman’s correlation analysis pointed to Siberian High and Tibetan Plateau Index_B as possibly being the most important atmospheric circulation factors affecting climate extremes in CA. A full quantitative understanding of these changes is crucial for the management and mitigation of natural hazards in this region.

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    Measuring the area of cultivated land reclaimed from rural settlements using an unmanned aerial vehicle
    Cunjian YANG, Guanghong XU, Hechao LI, Defei YANG, He HUANG, Jing NI, Xiao LI, Xiao XIANG
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (5): 846-860.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1632-z
    Abstract187)   HTML4)    PDF (3952KB)(69)      

    Investigating and monitoring the area of cultivated land reclaimed from rural settlements is important to optimize rural land use and understand spatial patterns. Measuring cultivated land area is costly and inefficient, however, as this land use type is often widely dispersed and scattered. A new method is therefore explored in this study that utilizes a Phantom2 Vision + (P2V), one kind of Dajiang (DJI) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The method proposed here includes generating rural settlement images using a P2V UAV, subsequently correcting them using a camera lens model, matching them with geo-coded high resolution alternatives, mosaicking them, measuring the area of cultivated land reclaimed from rural settlements, evaluating measurement accuracy, and analyzing overall efficiency. The results of this study show that use of a P2V UAV is reasonable in price, less than 8000 yuan (RMB), and that this method is able to measure cultivated land area reclaimed from rural settlements with 99% accuracy. This method is therefore low cost, highly efficient, and low risk, as well as being easy to learn and use. This UAV-based approach is also likely to be easily popularized and be particularly useful both for application across plains and flats as well as over mountains and hills. The method proposed in this study is also likely to prove beneficial for monitoring and managing rural land use and future consolidation.

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    The Belt and Road: Geographical pattern and regional risks
    Shaohong WU, Lulu LIU, Yanhua LIU, Jiangbo GAO, Erfu DAI, Aiqing FENG, Wentao WANG
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (4): 483-495.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1611-4
    Abstract181)   HTML11)    PDF (7006KB)(51)      

    Building the Belt and Road is initiatives of China to promote win-win international cooperation in the new era, aiming at green, health, intellect and peace and the joint development with people of the countries along the route. Systematic analysis on environmental characteristics, evolutionary tendency and future risks are certainly the scientific fundamentals of sustainable development for the Belt and Road construction. Applied remote sensing monitoring, statistical analysis, this paper investigates the regional characteristics of climate, topography, soil, hydrology, vegetation cover and terrestrial ecosystems production, as well as socio-economic conditions. Based on the regional characteristics, the Belt and Road is divided into 9 sub-regions: Central and Eastern Europe sub-region with cold and humid climate, Mongolia and Russia sub-region with cold and arid climate, Central and West Asia arid sub-region, Southeast Asia sub-region with warm and humid climate, Pakistan arid sub-region, Bangladesh-India-Myanmar sub-region with warm and humid climate, Eastern China monsoon sub-region, Northwest China arid sub-region and Tibetan Plateau sub-region. Combining modeling simulation with scenario projections, natural disaster assessment methodology is used to assess the risk of extreme events including heat waves, droughts and floods in the coming 30 years (2021-2050). Results show that, on the basis of the regional framework, the western Eurasia would be a warming trend; both sides of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in high temperature and heat waves risk; Central and Eastern Europe sub-region with cold and humid climate in high drought risk; Bangladesh-India-Myanmar sub-region with warm and humid climate as well as Eastern China in high risk of flooding.

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    The impact of global cropland changes on terrestrial ecosystem services value, 1992-2015
    Yuanyuan LI, Minghong TAN, Haiguang HAO
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (3): 323-333.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1600-7
    Abstract180)   HTML15)    PDF (658KB)(129)      

    From 1992 to 2015, ecological environment has been threatened by the changes of cropland around the world. In order to evaluate the impact of cropland changes on ecosystem, we calculated the response of terrestrial ecosystem service values (TESVs) variation to cropland conversion based on land-use data from European Space Agency (ESA). The results showed that cropland changes were responsible for an absolute loss of $166.82 billion, equivalent to 1.17% of global TESVs in 1992. Among the different regions, the impact of cropland changes on TESVs was significant in South America and Africa but not obvious in Oceania, Asia and Europe. Cropland expansion from tropical forest was the main reason for decreases in TESVs globally, especially in South America, Africa and Asia. The effect of wetland converted to cropland was notable in North America and Europe while grassland converted to cropland played an important role in Oceania, Africa and Asia. In Europe, the force of urban expansion cannot be ignored as well. The conversion of cropland to tropical or temperate forest partly compensated for the loss of TESVs globally, especially in Asia.

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    The progress of human geography in China under the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China
    Gengzhi HUANG, Shuying LENG
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (12): 1735-1756.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1563-0
    Abstract178)   HTML15)    PDF (1024KB)(179)      

    This paper analyzes the role of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) in advancing human geography in China by focusing on five key research areas: land use, urban systems and urban agglomeration, economic globalization, climate change and social and cultural geographies. All NSFC-funded human geography programs related to these five topics from 1986 to 2017 comprise the sample for analysis, and the research topics, content, teams, and peer-reviewed journal publications supported by these programs are investigated. Specifically, this paper analyzes the NSFC’s promotion of the expansion of research topics in response to national developmental needs and the shifting frontiers of human geography research internationally, its enhancement of interdisciplinary research, and its contributions to the assembly of specialized research teams. The paper also reports important progress in Chinese human geography over the past 30 years through the institutional lens of the NSFC, revealing major characteristics and trends in the discipline. The paper concludes by calling for further collaboration between the research community and the NSFC for the development of a locally suitable and globally influential Chinese human geography.

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    Rural transformation: Cherry growing on the Guanzhong Plain, China and the Adelaide Hills, South Australia
    M. ROBINSON Guy, Bingjie SONG
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (5): 675-701.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1621-2
    Abstract177)   HTML10)    PDF (4913KB)(86)      

    This paper echoes a tradition in agricultural geography by focusing on a single crop: cherries. It illustrates how developments associated with globalisation and growing urban markets are re-shaping rural areas. The interplay between global and local is investigated in two different contexts. A Chinese example reflects transformations affecting the countryside following national economic reforms. Focusing on the hinterland of Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province, it examines farmers’ responses to the changing socio-political context and the rising size and wealth of the local market. Individual initiatives backed by government support have spawned localised concentrations of cherry growing and increased horticultural production. Farm-based tourism is creating new relationships between farmers and consumers, with farms becoming more diversified and multifunctional. The second example is the Adelaide Hills, South Australia, where cherry growing is increasingly combined with direct sales to consumers and gastronomic tourism. The paper addresses contrasts and similarities between the two examples in the interplay between global and local, and a ‘multifunctional transition’ in farming. Concluding remarks include reference to new economic links forged between China and Australia through relaxations on cherry imports to China and new patterns of Chinese foreign direct investment into Australian cherry production. A research agenda for future research is suggested.

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    Quantifying the vertical distribution pattern of land-use conversion in the loess hilly region of northern Shaanxi Province 1995-2015
    Zhi CAO, Yurui LI, Zhengjia LIU, Lingfan YANG
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (5): 730-748.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1624-z
    Abstract175)   HTML10)    PDF (4739KB)(113)      

    The mountainous and hilly region plays an important role in ecological safety and production in China. However, recent studies have poorly characterized the parallel structure of land use in the valleys of the mountainous and hilly region using topographic factors (e.g. elevation, slope, aspect). Here, the loess hilly region of northern Shaanxi Province is used as a representative case area to analyze the vertical distribution pattern of land-use conversion using the relative elevation concept and the HAND index. The differences in the vertical structure of land-use conversion between absolute elevation and relative elevation were compared. We found that the classifications of absolute and relative elevation had similar proportions of each relative elevation grade in each absolute elevation grade. Cropland, woodland, and grassland were distributed evenly in each grade of absolute/relative elevation, while water body, built-up land and unused land were more likely to spread in low grades of relative elevation than those of absolute elevation. The land-use conversion (i.e. loss of cropland and gain in woodland and built-up land) showed an apparently stepped distribution with relative elevation classification, suitable for revealing vertical distributions of land-use conversion in the loess hilly region. Cropland transformed to woodland was mainly distributed in high grade of relative elevation, decreasing with a decrease in grades, while built-up land transformed from cropland and grassland was mainly distributed in low grade of relative elevation, decreasing with increases in grades. The grade of relative elevation where cropland transformed to woodland descended with the implementation of the Grain for Green Project. Our results suggest that it is better to analyze the vertical distribution of land-use conversion with relative elevation classification in hilly regions.

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    Multi-dimensional expansion of urban space through the lens of land use: The case study of Nanjing City, China
    Weifeng QIAO, Junbo GAO, Yuanzhi GUO, Qingqing JI, Ju WU, Min CAO
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (5): 749-761.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1625-y
    Abstract162)   HTML4)    PDF (2136KB)(58)      

    The study of multi-dimensional expansion of urban space (MEUS) addresses the laws of urban spatial expansion from all directions and angles. Using Nanjing as an example, this paper constructs multi-temporal, urban three-dimensional models based on RS and GIS technology and then conducts qualitative and quantitative analysis of MEUS using plot ratio change maps and MEUS quantitative index for built-up areas. Based especially on the concept of volume growth contribution rate, this paper analyzes the characteristics of MEUS in different stages. The results show that in 2000-2004, planar expansion played the main role, the internal potential development (IPD) intensity of the urban built-up areas was relatively large, and the volume growth contribution rate was low; in 2004-2008, planar expansion accelerated, and IPD slowed down; in 2008-2012, planar expansion slowed while IPD intensity increased; the contribution rates of volume growth of urban IPD for the three periods were 22.21%, 24.51% and 73.38%, respectively. This study expands the research perspective of urban spatial expansion, and the adopted methods are instructive and meaningful for MEUS research. In addition, the results of this study will deepen the understanding of MEUS laws and help improve scientific decision-making for urban planning and urban land use management.

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    Simulating land use for protecting food crop areas in northeast Thailand using GIS and Dyna-CLUE
    Kanda SAKAYAROTE, Rajendra P. SHRESTHA
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (5): 803-817.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1629-7
    Abstract156)   HTML8)    PDF (6771KB)(89)      

    Land use in the northeast region of Thailand has changed dramatically in the past two decades. These changes are mainly due to the government policies, which launched a scheme to promote rubber plantation during 2003-2013 targeting to solve the problem of poverty in the region. At least 50,000 ha of paddy fields were found to be converted to other land use types between 2002 and 2012. This study was conducted in Nong Khai and Bueng Kan province of northeast Thailand, where massive rubber plantation is going on prompting significant amount of land-use change, with the objective of investigating how land-use changes will affect on food availability in future. We analyzed land-use changes of the past and simulated future land uses using GIS and Landsat Thematic Mapper Data. The most obvious change was the decrease in paddy field and an increase in rubber plantation. This eventually leads to decreased paddy production affecting food supply of farm households. The land use projections for 2032 were done for three scenarios using Dyna-CLUE model. Unlike business as usual scenario, which will further decrease the paddy area, other scenarios with different land use policies if implemented will help protect paddy areas and thus achieving higher food production locally. The lack of implementation of proper spatial policies will lead to a further loss of paddy areas at macro level. The smallholder farmers may be highly vulnerable to land use-change and experience significant food crop losses, food insecurity and income loss when they change the land to rubber and there is market failure.

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    Spatio-temporal variations in extreme drought in China during 1961-2015
    Jing ZHANG, Yanjun SHEN
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (1): 67-83.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1584-3
    Abstract156)   HTML3)    PDF (2036KB)(92)      

    Understanding the past variations in extreme drought is especially beneficial to the improvementof drought resistance planning and drought risk management in China. Based on the monitoring data of meteorological stations from 1961 to 2015 and a meteorological drought index, the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), the spatio-temporal variations in extreme drought at inter-decadal, inter-annual and seasonal scales in China were analyzed. The results revealed that 12 months cumulative precipitation with 1/2 to 5/8 of average annual precipitation will trigger extreme drought. From the period 1961-1987 to the period 1988-2015, the mean annual frequency of extreme drought (FED) increased along a strip extending from southwest China (SWC) to the western part of northeast China (NEC). The increased FED showed the highest value in spring, followed by winter, autumn and summer. There was a continuous increase in the decadal-FED from the 1990s to the 2010s on the Tibetan Plateau (TP), the southeast China (SEC) and the SW. During the period 1961-2015, the number of continuous drought stations was almost the same among 4 to 6 months and among 10 to 12 months of continuous drought, respectively. It can be inferred that drought lasting 6 or 12 months may lead to more severe drought disasters due to longer duration. The range of the longest continuous drought occurred in the 21st century had widely increased compared with that in the 1980s and the 1990s. Our findings may be helpful for water resources management and reducing the risk of drought disasters in China.

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    Relative soil moisture in China’s farmland
    Guofeng ZHU, Hanxiong PAN, Yu ZHANG, Huiwen GUO, Leilei YONG, Qiaozhuo WAN, Huiying MA, Sen LI
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (3): 334-350.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1601-6
    Abstract155)   HTML6)    PDF (3326KB)(68)      

    Based on the data of relative soil moisture in 653 agricultural meteorological stations during the period of 1993?2013 in China, the characteristics and regularity of spatial and temporal variation of relative soil moisture in China’s farmland were analyzed and discussed using geostatistical methods. The results showed that the relative soil moisture of China’s farmland has shown a fluctuant increasing trend since 1993. The relative soil moisture of China’s farmland is more than 60% in general, its distribution area has been expanded northward and westward with the summer monsoon since mid-April and began to shrink eastward and southward in late October. The value of relative soil moisture increases with the increase of soil depth. On an interannual scale, the relative soil moisture of farmland increased fastest in summer and autumn, and its variation range decreased with the increase of soil depth. The relative soil moisture was positively correlated with precipitation, and negatively correlated with potential evaporation and temperature. The correlation between relative soil moisture and various meteorological factors weakened as soil depth increased. The meteorological factors have a great influence on relative soil moisture of dry land in spring, summer and autumn and they also have a greater impact on relative soil moisture of paddy fields in winter.

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    Assessing the oscillation of channel geometry and meander migration cardinality of Bhagirathi River, West Bengal, India
    Bag Rakhohori, Mondal Ismail, Bandyopadhyay Jatisankar
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (4): 613-634.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1618-z
    Abstract153)   HTML6)    PDF (13896KB)(29)      

    Lateral migration of the Bhagirathi River temporally creates unavoidable geomorphic hazards in West Bengal, India. The Bhagirathi River flows SW for ~67.30 km between the confluence point of Ajay and Jalangi rivers in East Burdwan and Nadia districts of West Bengal. The course of Bhagirathi is notably migration prone and cultivates problematic changes along its course over time. In the study, we have looked into its migration tendency and unpredictability for past 238 years and then predicted the lateral shifting of river centerline using temporal satellite imageries - Landsat-5 (TM) of 1987 (8, December), 1995 (28, January), 2005 (7, January) and LISS-IV satellite imagery (2017, 5 January);SOI Toposheet - 1968-1969 (79A/2, 79A/3, 79A/6 and 79A/7) and Rennell’s map of 1779. Other highlights are the quest of fluvial features, oxbow lakes, mid-channel bars, channel migration rate, meander geometry, channel sinuosity in different parts of river course and the parts that experience intensive bank erosion. The entire river course has been subdivided into three segments; viz. reaches A, B and C. Investigation displays that degree of sinuosity decreases from its anterior course (1968) to the existing course (2017). Reach-specific outputs display that reach B is highly sinuous (SI value 1.94 in 2017) and SI increases temporarily, whereas for reaches A and C it decreases with time. The rate of migration is higher in reach B than that in reaches C and A. The study displays a notably decreasing trend of migration in comparison with its previous lateral migration and shows that the migration nature over time is intensively inconsistent and unpredictable except very few portions of the river course. The nature of deposition within the river channel shows an unstable behavior during the entire period of the study. Meander geometry depicts a rapid change of river course innate to meander bends and shows a higher rate of migration by meander loop cut-off rather than lateral migration that reflects the inconsistency, erosion vulnerability and unpredictable nature of migration. The present work offers a valuable source to comprehend channel changes in Bhagirathi River and serve as an efficacious base for river-bank migration and erosion hazard planning and management.

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    The relationship between water level change and river channel geometry adjustment in the downstream of the Three Gorges Dam
    Yunping YANG, Mingjin ZHANG, Zhaohua SUN, Jianqiao HAN, Jianjun Wang
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (12): 1975-1993.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1575-9
    Abstract148)   HTML1)    PDF (1568KB)(44)      

    In this study, data measured from 1955-2016 were analysed to study the relationship between the water level and river channel geometry adjustment in the downstream of the Three Gorges Dam (TGD) after the impoundment of the dam. The results highlight the following facts: (1) for the same flow, the low water level decreased, flood water level changed little, lowest water level increased, and highest water level decreased at the hydrological stations in the downstream of the dam; (2) the distribution of erosion and deposition along the river channel changed from “erosion at channels and deposition at bankfulls” to “erosion at both channels and bankfulls;” the ratio of low-water channel erosion to bankfull channel erosion was 95.5% from October 2002 to October 2015, with variations between different impoundment stages; (3) the low water level decrease slowed down during the channel erosion in the Upper Jingjiang reach and reaches upstream but sped up in the Lower Jingjiang reach and reaches downstream; measures should be taken to prevent the decrease in the channel water level; (4) erosion was the basis for channel dimension upscaling in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River; the low water level decrease was smaller than the thalweg decline; both channel water depth and width increased under the combined effects of channel and waterway regulations; and (5) the geometry of the channels above bankfulls did not significantly change; however, the comprehensive channel resistance increased under the combined effects of riverbed coarsening, beach vegetation, and human activities; as a result, the flood water level increased markedly and moderate flood to high water level phenomena occurred, which should be considered. The Three Gorges Reservoir effectively enhances the flood defense capacity of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River; however, the superposition effect of tributary floods cannot be ruled out.

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    Characterizing the changing environment of cropland in the Songnen Plain, Northeast China, from 1990 to 2015
    Yuan ZHANG, Shuying ZANG, Li SUN, Binghe YAN, Tianpeng YANG, Wenjia YAN, E Michael MEADOWS, Cuizhen WANG, Jiaguo QI
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (5): 658-674.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1620-3
    Abstract147)   HTML13)    PDF (8022KB)(143)      

    Quantitative characterization of environmental characteristics of cropland (ECC) plays an important role in maintaining sustainable development of agricultural systems and ensuring regional food security. In this study, the changes in ECC over the Songnen Plain, a major grain crops production region in Northeast China, were investigated for the period 1990-2015. The results revealed significant changes in climate conditions, soil physical properties and cropland use patterns with socioeconomic activities. Trends in climate parameters showed increasing temperature (+0.49°C/decade, p < 0.05) and decreasing wind speed (-0.3 m/s/decade, p < 0.01) for the growing season, while sunshine hours and precipitation exhibited non-significant trends. Four topsoil parameters including soil organic carbon (SOC), clay, bulk density and pH, indicated deteriorating soil conditions across most of the croplands, although some do exhibited slight improvement. The changing amplitude for each of the four above parameters ranged within -0.052 to 0.029 kg C/kg, -0.38 to 0.30, -0.60 to 0.39 g/cm3, -3.29 to 2.34, respectively. Crop production significantly increased (44.0 million tons) with increasing sown area of croplands (~2.5 million ha) and fertilizer application (~2.5 million tons). The study reveals the dynamics of ECC in the Songnen Plain with intensive cultivation from 1990 to 2015. Population growth, economic development, and policy reform are shown to strongly influence the spatiotemporal changes in cropland characteristics. The study potentially provides valuable scientific information to support sustainable agroecosystem management in the context of global climate change and national socioeconomic development.

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    Sensitivity of arid/humid patterns in China to future climate change under a high-emissions scenario
    Danyang MA, Haoyu DENG, Yunhe YIN, Shaohong WU, Du ZHENG
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (1): 29-48.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1582-5
    Abstract145)   HTML5)    PDF (2422KB)(36)      

    Changes in regional moisture patterns under the impact of climate change are an important focus for science. Based on the five global climate models (GCMs) participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5), this paper projects trends in the area of arid/humid climate regions of China over the next 100 years. It also identifies the regions of arid/humid patterns change and analyzes their temperature sensitivity of responses. Results show that future change will be characterized by a significant contraction in the humid region and an expansion of arid/humid transition zones. In particular, the sub-humid region will expand by 28.69% in the long term (2070-2099) relative to the baseline period (1981-2010). Under 2°C and 4°C warming, the area of the arid/humid transition zones is projected to increase from 10.17% to 13.72% of the total of China. The humid region south of the Huaihe River Basin, which is affected mainly by a future increase in evapotranspiration, will retreat southward and change to a sub-humid region. In general, the sensitivity of responses of arid/humid patterns to climate change in China will intensify with accelerating global warming.

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    Big and small histories: A review of the tetralogy on the history of Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS
    Jun SUN, Yujun PAN
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (12): 2016-2018.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1578-6
    Abstract144)   HTML2)    PDF (197KB)(55)      
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    Spatiotemporal heterogeneity and influencing mechanism of ecosystem services in the Pearl River Delta from the perspective of LUCC
    Rubo ZHOU, Meizhen LIN, Jianzhou GONG, Zhuo WU
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (5): 831-845.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1631-0
    Abstract144)   HTML7)    PDF (3914KB)(61)      

    Land use/land cover change (LUCC) has considerable impact on ecosystem services. It is essential to quantify the spatiotemporal heterogeneity of ecosystem services from the perspective of LUCC, which will benefit regional land management and ecological protection. We analyzed land use change in the Pearl River Delta from 2000 to 2015, and we used a spatially explicit integrated modeling tool (InVEST) for quantification of ecosystem services-water yield, carbon storage, soil retention, and food supply. The results revealed increases in the areas of grassland and built-up land, and decreases in the areas of woodland, cropland, water body, and unused land during 2000 to 2015, which have caused increase in water yield and carbon storage, while decrease in soil retention and food supply. The dynamic changes of woodland, grassland, cropland, and built-up land were the main driving factors in the relationship of trade-offs and synergies among the four ecosystem services, which are ubiquitous. Those all illustrate the importance of considering ecosystem services in decision making related to land use and land management.

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    Anthropogenic effect on forest landscape pattern and Cervidae habitats in northeastern China
    Wen WU, Yuehui LI, Yuanman HU, Yu CHANG, Zaiping XIONG
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (7): 1098-1112.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1647-5
    Abstract141)   HTML9)    PDF (778KB)(94)      

    Species abundance and habitat distribution are two important aspects of species conservation studies and both are affected by similar environmental factors. Forest resource inventory data in 2010 were used to evaluate the patterns of habitat for target species of Cervidae in six typical forestry bureaus of the Yichun forest area in the Lesser Xing’an Mountains, northeastern China. A habitat suitability index (HSI) model was used based on elevation, slope, aspect, vegetation and age of tree. These five environmental factors were selected by boosted regression tree (BRT) analysis from 14 environmental variables collected during field surveys. Changes in habitat caused by anthropogenic activities mainly involving settlement and road factors were also considered. The results identified 1780.49 km2 of most-suitable and 1770.70 km2 of unsuitable habitat areas under natural conditions, covering 16.38% and 16.29% of the entire study area, respectively. The area of most-suitable habitat had been reduced by 4.86% when human interference was taken into account, whereas the unsuitable habitat area had increased by 11.3%, indicating that anthropogenic disturbance turned some potential habitats into unsuitable ones. Landscape metrics indicated that average patch area declined while patch density and edge density increased. This suggests that as habitat becomes fragmented and its quality becomes degraded by human activities, cervid populations will be threatened with extirpation. The study helped identify the spatial extent of habitat influenced by anthropogenic interference for the local cervid population. As cervid species clearly avoid human activities, more attention should be paid on considering the way and intensity of human activities for habitat management as fully as possible.

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    Land consolidation engineering and modern agriculture: A case study from soil particles to agricultural systems
    Yansui LIU, Xiaoyu ZHENG, Yongsheng WANG, Zhi CAO, Yuheng LI, Wenhao WU, Zhengjia LIU, Huaihua LIU, Rui LI
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (12): 1896-1906.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1570-1
    Abstract140)   HTML5)    PDF (735KB)(46)      

    Land consolidation engineering is one of the very important ways to improve the quality of farmland and the level of agricultural productivity. Studies of land consolidation and crop cultivation still mainly focus on single land functional optimization or crop breeding and yields. However, whether the improved crop varieties were sown on healthy and fertile soils is still a question. This paper introduces new ideas and engineering measures for sandy land rehabilitation and modern agricultural development in the Mu Us Sandy Land, Shaanxi Province, Western China. The important roles of particles and aggregates in soil reconstruction were confirmed following three innovative microscopic theories, including micro-structure, micro-morphology and micro-mechanism. New soil was constructed based on the physical complementarity of sandy, clay and loess particles in the Yulin area, northern Shaanxi Province. Field experiments were carried out to study the appropriate mixture ratio of different soils and their suitability for different crops. The improved crop varieties were sown on healthy and fertile soils, which were chosen by coupling according to its soil ecological suitability and crop physiological adaptability. The fertility improvement practices in the new constructed soils with different crops integrated water and fertilizer management measures, which were also provided in the experiment. Overall, an integrated land optimization configuration with improved and optimized crop variety selection was suggested for engineering sandy land-oriented consolidation from the soil particles to the agricultural system.

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    Effects of current climate, paleo-climate, and habitat heterogeneity in determining biogeographical patterns of evergreen broad-leaved woody plants in China
    Yue XU, Zehao SHEN, Lingxiao YING, Runguo ZANG, Youxu JIANG
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (7): 1142-1158.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1650-x
    Abstract136)   HTML7)    PDF (2272KB)(52)      

    Understanding biogeographic patterns and the mechanisms underlying them has been a main issue in macroecology and biogeography, and has implications for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem sustainability. Evergreen broad-leaved woody plants (EBWPs) are important components of numerous biomes and are the main contributors to the flora south of 35°N in China. We calculated the grid cell values of species richness (SR) for a total of 6265 EBWP species in China, including its four growth-forms (i.e., tree, shrub, vine, and bamboo), and estimated their phylogenetic structure using the standardized phylogenetic diversity (SPD) and net relatedness index (NRI). Then we linked the three biogeographical patterns that were observed with each single environmental variable representing the current climate, the last glacial maximum (LGM)-present climate variability, and habitat heterogeneity, using ordinary least squares regression with a modified t-test to account for spatial autocorrelation. The partial regression method based on a general linear model was used to decompose the contributions of current and historical environmental factors to the biogeographical patterns observed. The results showed that most regions with high numbers of EBWP species and phylogenetic diversity were distributed in tropical and subtropical mountains with evergreen shrubs extending to Northeast China. Current mean annual precipitation was the best single predictor. Topographic variation and its effect on temperature variation was the best single predictor for SPD and NRI. Partial regression indicated that the current climate dominated the SR patterns of Chinese EBWPs. The effect of paleo-climate variation on SR patterns mostly overlapped with that of the current climate. In contrast, the phylogenetic structure represented by SPD and NRI was constrained by paleo-climate to much larger extents than diversity, which was reflected by the LGM-present climate variation and topography-derived habitat heterogeneity in China. Our study highlights the importance of embedding multiple dimensions of biodiversity into a temporally hierarchical framework for understanding the biogeographical patterns, and provides important baseline information for predicting shifts in plant diversity under climate change.

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    Threshold sediment flux for the formation of river deltas in Hainan Island, southern China
    Gaocong LI, Liang ZHOU, Yali QI, Shu GAO
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (1): 146-160.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1589-y
    Abstract134)   HTML3)    PDF (7708KB)(9)      

    The knowledge of geomorphological evolution from an estuary to a river delta is necessary to form the formulation of comprehensive land-ocean interaction management strategies. In this study, the dominant factor controlling the geomorphological variability and the threshold sediment flux (TSF) to form a river delta in Hainan Island, southern China, including accommodation space, sediment supply, and reworking forces, was investigated by the method of big data analytics. The results indicated the 25 estuaries in consideration can be divided into three geographical groups, i.e. the multi-factors-controlled northern mixed estuaries, wave-dominated western estuaries with river deltas, and typhoon-dominated eastern coastal lagoon estuaries. For alluvial plain (AP) estuaries, the order of magnitude of TSFs is the smallest (101 kt·yr-1), for barrier-lagoon (BL) ones is the highest (> 102 kt·yr-1), and for drowned valley (DV) ones is moderate (102kt·yr-1). The river deltas associated with DV systems should be relatively large, and those related to BLs should be small, with the AP deltas being between the above mentioned types. The present study provides a technique to evaluate the role played by TSF for the formation of river deltas in micro-tidal and wave-dominated and typhoon-influenced coastal environments.

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    The differentiation and evolutionary models of industrial bases in China
    Fengjun JIN, Linlin CHEN, Yu YANG, Hui HONG
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (12): 1757-1780.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1564-z
    Abstract132)   HTML8)    PDF (1623KB)(98)      

    The rapid progress of China’s industrialization has been manifested in space as the formation and evolution of a series of industrial bases. Employing data from the years 1985, 2001 and 2010, this paper carries out differentiation, screening, and categorization of industrial bases in China. It then analyses the evolutional characteristics of these industrial bases and explores different paths of growth according to their scale or types, and summarizes the general pattern for their formation and evolution. The results of this study indicate that China’s industrial bases as a whole have gone through three spatial stages since the founding of the PRC in 1949: decentralized development before reform and opening up in 1978, gradual concentration in eastern coastal regions during the early period of reform and opening up, and balanced and diversified development since the beginning of the 21st century. By 2010, China had a total of 251 industrial bases and had thereby established the overall spatial map of its industrialization. As industrial bases expand in scale, their industrial structures develop from homogenization to diversification, and then again from diversification to competitive optimization. Leading industries in the vast majority of industrial bases constantly evolve along the track of light industries, basic materials industries, and advanced manufacturing industries. Meanwhile, the key factors in their evolution and development transition from traditional factors of production like resources and labor to new ones like capital and information, but there are significant differences in terms of influencing factors and growth paths between large, medium, and small bases. Small industrial bases primarily rely on natural resources to maintain development through a single leading industry, medium industrial bases gradually become more comprehensive in their industrial compositions, and large industrial bases evolve in the direction of a combination of basic materials industries and equipment manufacturing industries.

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    Comparative research on regional differences in urbanization and spatial evolution of urban systems between China and India
    Jiaming LI, Yu YANG, Jie FAN, Fengjun JIN, Wenzhong ZHANG, Shenghe LIU, Bojie FU
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (12): 1860-1876.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1568-8
    Abstract127)   HTML4)    PDF (3453KB)(87)      

    As two rising great powers, China and India have undergone similar development processes, but they also exhibit significant differences in development paths and patterns. The significant differences in political systems, economic systems, and developmental environment between the two countries have attracted great attention from scholars. This research focuses on the regional differences and spatial evolution processes in urbanization and urban systems between the two countries from a geographical perspective. Based on the demographic censuses of both countries and the urban population data from the United Nations, this paper systematically compared and analyzed the spatial characteristics of urbanization and urban systems in China and India using various methods including spatial analysis, parameter estimation, and nonparametric estimation. The results indicate that: (1) Since the 1990s, the regional differences in urbanization in China have transformed from south-north differences to coastal-inland differences, whereas the north-south differences in India have been stable. (2) In recent years, the correlation between population density and urbanization rate kept increasing in China, while such correlation has been decreasing in India. (3) The economic reform posed significantly different effects on the spatial evolution of the urban systems in the two countries. The economic reform changed the major driving force for urban development in China from geographical and historical factors to the spatial structure of the economic system. However, in India, the driving forces for urban development have always been geographical and historical factors, and the economic reform even decreased the effect of the spatial structure of the economic system on urban development.

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    Cultural evolution and spatial-temporal distribution of archaeological sites from 9.5-2.3 ka BP in the Yan-Liao region, China
    Yuying YUAN
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (3): 449-464.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1609-y
    Abstract124)   HTML3)    PDF (1749KB)(55)      

    With basic information from 8353 archaeological sites, this study describes a holistic spatial-temporal distribution pattern of archaeological sites of the prehistoric culture sequence from 9.5 ka BP (ka BP = thousands of years before 0 BP, where “0 BP” is defined as the year AD 1950) to 2.3 ka BP in the region that extends from the Yanshan Mountains to the Liaohe River Plain (i.e., the Yan-Liao region) in northern China. Based on spatial statistics analysis - including the spatial density of the sites and Geographic Information System nearest-neighbour analysis, combined with a review of environmental and climatic data - this paper analyses cultural evolution, the spatial-temporal features of the archaeological sites and human activities against the backdrop of climatic and environmental changes in this region. The results reveal that prehistoric cultural evolution in the Yan-Liao region is extensively influenced by climatic and environmental changes. The Xinglongwa, Zhaobaogou and Fuhe cultures, which primarily developed during a habitable period from 8.5 ka BP to 6.0 ka BP with strong summer monsoons, have similar maximum density values, spatial patterns and subsistence strategies dominated by hunting-gathering. Significant changes occurred in the Hongshan and Lower Xiajiadian cultures, with a significant increase in numbers and densities of sites and a slump in average nearest-neighbour ratio when the environment began to deteriorate starting in 6.0 ka BP. Additionally, with the onset of a weak summer monsoon and the predominance of primitive agriculture, sites of these two cultures present a different type of concentric circle-shaped pattern in space. As the environment continuously deteriorated with increasing aridity and the spread of steppe, more sites were distributed towards the south, and primitive agriculture was replaced by livestock husbandry in the Upper Xiajiadian culture. The most densely populated areas of the studied cultures are centralized within a limited area. The Laohahe River and Jiaolaihe River basins formed the core area in which most archaeological sites were distributed during the strong summer monsoon period and the first few thousand years of the weak summer monsoon period.

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    Quantitative measurement and development evaluation of logistics clusters in China
    Sijing LIU, Guoqi LI, Fengjun JIN
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (12): 1825-1844.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1566-x
    Abstract121)   HTML1)    PDF (5530KB)(71)      

    The logistics clusters are the result of concentration, scale and specialization of logistics activities, and their quantitative measurement and development evaluation provide an important foundation for improving the land use efficiency and achieving economies of scale. Taking 289 cities at prefecture-level and above as research objects, this paper collected macro-statistical data of transport, postal and warehousing industry during 2000-2014, business registration data of more than 290 thousand logistics enterprises, and 170 thousand logistics points of interest (POI). With the integration of multi-index and multi-source data, the evolution process and spatial pattern of logistics clusters in China were explored with the methods of Location Quotient (LQ), Horizontal Cluster Location Quotient (HCLQ), Logistics Employment Density (LED) and modified Logistics Establishments’ Participation (LEP). The development levels, types and modes of different logistics clusters were quantified. Several important findings are derived from the study. (1) The logistics clusters are mainly located on the east side of the Hu Huanyong Line, and the accumulative pattern evolves from group to block structure, featuring wide coverage and high concentration. The evolution of logistics clusters has two stages of rapid convergence and stable change, resulting in gradual increase in the development level and efficiency of logistics clusters and in emergence of spillover effect. (2) 21 mature logistics clusters are distributed in the core and sub-cities of the main metropolitan areas of 16 provincial-level administrative divisions, conforming to the government logistics and transport planning. 43 emerging logistics clusters are distributed in 21 provincial administrative divisions, and different types of cities have huge disparities which highlight the differentiation of the market behaviors and government planning among them. (3) The logistics clusters present differentiated development modes with the change of scales. In urban agglomerations scale, the nested “center-periphery” structures with “main nucleus-secondary cores-general nodes” are clarified. The polar nuclear development, networked and balanced development, single core and multipoint, multi-core multipoint hub-spoke development patterns are formed in different provincial administrative divisions.

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    Are Chinese resource-exhausted cities in remote locations?
    Wei SUN, Lingxiao MAO
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (12): 1781-1792.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1565-y
    Abstract120)   HTML3)    PDF (1168KB)(72)      

    Numerous domestic scholars have argued that a remote location is the major factor preventing the transformation and sustainable development of resource-exhausted cities. Research to date, however, has not presented relevant evidence to support this hypothesis or explained how to identify the concept of ‘remoteness’. Resource-exhausted cities designated by the State Council of China were examined in this study alongside the provincial capital cities that contain such entities and three regional central cities that are closely connected to this phenomenon: Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Spatial and temporal distances are used to calculate and evaluate the location remoteness degrees (LRDs) of resource-exhausted cities, in terms of both resource types and regions. The results indicate that resource-exhausted cities are indeed remote from the overall samples. Based on spatial distances, the LRDs are α1 = 1.36 (i.e., distance to provincial capital city) and β1 = 1.14 (i.e., distance to regional central city), but when based on temporal distances, α2 = 2.02 (i.e., distance to provincial capital city) and β2 = 1.44 (i.e., distance to regional central city). Clear differences are found in the LRDs between different regions and resource types, with those in western China and forest industrial cities the most obviously remote. Finally, the numbers of very remote resource-exhausted cities based on spatial and temporal distances (i.e., α > 1.5 ∩ β > 1.5) are 14 and 19, respectively, encompassing 17.9% and 24.4% of the total sampled. Similarly, 25 and 30 not remote resource-exhausted cities based on spatial and temporal distances (i.e., α ≤1.0 ∩ β ≤ 1.0) encompass 32.1% and 38.5% of the total, respectively. This study provided supporting information for the future development and policy making for resource-exhausted cities given different LRDs.

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    Detecting spatio-temporal changes of arable land and construction land in the Beijing-Tianjin corridor during 2000-2015
    Liying GUO, Liping DI, Qing TIAN
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (5): 702-718.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1622-1
    Abstract120)   HTML11)    PDF (5183KB)(114)      

    Rapid peri-urbanization has become a new challenge for sustainable urban-rural development worldwide. To clarify how unprecedented urban sprawl at the metropolitan fringe impacts urban-rural landscape, this study took the Beijing-Tianjin corridor of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei metropolitan area, one of the largest urban clusters in China, as a typical example. By using Landsat-based landscape metrics and a practical methodology, we investigated the landscape changes and discussed the potential reasons in the context of rapid peri-urbanization of China. Specifically, multi-temporal land use maps derived from Landsat images were used to calculate landscape metrics and analyze their characteristics along the urban-rural gradients. The practical methodology was used to monitor spatio-temporal characteristics of landscape change in large metropolitan areas. The results showed that landscape patterns in the area had changed greatly from 2000 to 2015 with characteristics of construction land sprawl and arable land shrinkage. The intensity and scale of landscape changes varied along the urban-rural gradients. Sampled plots in urbanized areas and rural areas demonstrated distinguishable landscape patterns and significant differences. Urban areas had more heterogeneous and fragmented landscapes than rural areas. Peri-urban areas in general experienced higher levels of land diversification than rural areas. Rural residential land appeared to be more aggregated near Beijing and Tianjin cities. Besides, our findings also indicated that urban expansion was largely responsible for landscape patterns. The findings of this study potentially provide strategical insights into landscape planning around mega cities and sustainable coordinated urban-rural development.

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