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.
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.
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.
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.
The Chinese urban system is currently experiencing a fundamental shift, as it moves from a size-based hierarchy to a network-based system. Contemporary studies of city networks have tended to focus on economic interactions without paying sufficient attention to the issue of knowledge flow. Using data on co-authored papers obtained from China Academic Journal Network Publishing Database (CAJNPD) during 2014-2016, this study explores several features of the scientific collaboration network between Chinese mainland cities. The study concludes that: (1) the spatial organization of scientific cooperation amongst Chinese cities is shifting from a jurisdiction-based hierarchical system to a networked system; and (2) several highly intra-connected city regions were found to exist in the network of knowledge, and such regions had more average internal linkages (14.21) than external linkages (8.69), and higher average internal linkage degrees (14.43) than external linkage degrees (10.43); and (3) differences existed in terms of inter-region connectivity between the Western, Eastern, and Central China regional networks (the average INCD of the three regional networks were 109.65, 95.81, and 71.88). We suggest that China should engage in the development of regional and sub-regional scientific centers to achieve the goal of building an innovative country. Whilst findings reveal a high degree of concentration in those networks - a characteristic which reflects the hierarchical nature of China’s urban economic structure - the actual spatial distribution of city networks of knowledge flow was found to be different from that of city networks based on economic outputs or population.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Poverty has been a focus of Chinese government for a long time. It is therefore of great significance to investigate both the mechanisms and spatial patterns of regional impoverishment in order to adequately target Chinese anti-poverty goals. Based on the human-environment relationship and multidimensional poverty theory, this study initially develops a three-dimensional model encompassing human, society, and environmental factors to investigate the mechanisms of rural impoverishment as well as to construct an indicator system to evaluate the comprehensive poverty level (CPL) in rural areas. A back propagation neural network model was then applied to measure CPL, and standard deviation classification was used to identify counties that still require national policy-support (CRNPSs) subsequent to 2020. The results of this study suggest that CPL values conform to a decreasing trend from the southeast coast towards the inland northwest of China. Data also show that 716 CRNPSs will be present after 2020, mainly distributed in high-arid areas of the Tibetan Plateau, the transitional zones of the three-gradient terrain, as well as karst areas of southwest China. Furthermore, CRNPSs can be divided into four types, that is, key aiding counties restricted by multidimensional factors, aiding counties restricted by human development ability, aiding counties restricted by both natural resource endowment and socioeconomic development level, and aiding counties restricted by both human development ability and socioeconomic development level. We therefore propose that China should develop and adopt scientific and targeted strategies to relieve the relative poverty that still exist subsequent to 2020.
Knowledge on urban land-use change and its driving forces has vital significance in the practice of urban planning and management. However, the characteristics of historical, long-term changes and their quantitative relationships with the urban environment are still poorly understood. Based on multi-source data, including remote sensing imageries, large-scale topographic maps, historical maps, multi-temporal city maps, and other urban thematic maps, high-quality spatial information on urban land use in the built-up area of Changchun has been extracted for 1898, 1932, 1954, 1976, 1990, 2002, and 2012 by means of geographic information systems and remote sensing. We found that the land-use structure and spatial configuration has undergone tremendous alterations according to urban function in the 100-year history of Changchun city. The built-up area of Changchun expanded from 2.26 km2 in 1898 to 328.12 km2 in 2012, increasing about 144 times over the past century. Historically, the development of Changchun can be categorized into three stages: the initial forming stage, the old industrial development stage, and the modern metropolis development stage. Commercial and industrial land expanded rapidly following the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, with an increase from 1.74 km2 in 1954 to 15.91 km2 in 2012, and from 16.45 km2 in 1954 to 107.05 km2 in 2012, respectively. Although there was substantial growth in residential land use (from 1.81 km2 in 1898 to 113.95 km2 in 2012), the area percentage of residential land decreased continuously (from 80.09% in 1898 to 34.73% in 2012). Moreover, it was noted that the spatial configuration and structural percentage for commercial, industrial, and residential lands and others had tremendous divergences at different stages. These divergences of land-use structure occurred between the stages and were associated with social regimes and the functional orientation of urban society across the 100 years of historical development. Socio-economics, population growth, and planning policies from specific stages, especially after 1949, had strong effects on the divergence of urban structure.
Aboveground biomass in grasslands of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has displayed an overall increasing trend during 2003-2016, which is profoundly influenced by climate change. However, the responses of different biomes show large discrepancies, in both size and magnitude. By applying partial least squares regression, we calculated the correlation between peak aboveground biomass and mean monthly temperature and monthly total precipitation in the preceding 12 months for three different grassland types (alpine steppe, alpine meadow, and temperate steppe) on the central and eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The results showed that mean temperature in most preceding months was positively correlated with peak aboveground biomass of alpine meadow and alpine steppe, while mean temperature in the preceding October and February to June was significantly negatively correlated with peak aboveground biomass of temperate steppe. Precipitation in all months had a promoting effect on biomass of alpine meadow, but its correlations with biomass of alpine steppe and temperate steppe were inconsistent. It is worth noting that, in a warmer, wetter climate, peak aboveground biomass of alpine meadow would increase more than that of alpine steppe, while that of temperate steppe would decrease significantly, providing support for the hypothesis of conservative growth strategies by vegetation in stressed ecosystems.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The interprovincial terrestrial physical geographical entities are the key areas of regional integrated management. In this paper, we analyzed the spatial patterns of the interprovincial terrestrial physical geographical names (ITPGN) from three aspects: numerical features, spatial variance and spatial agglomeration. The influencing factors of the distribution of ITPGN and the implications for the regional management were further discussed. GIS technology was used to visualize the distribution of ITPGN, analyze the spatial agglomeration and the influencing factors of ITPGN. A total of 11,325 ITPGN, including 4243 water ITPGN and 7082 terrain ITPGN, were extracted from the database of “China’s Second National Survey of Geographical Names (2014-2018)”, and the mountain geographical names were the largest type in ITPGN. Hunan Province had the largest number of the names in China, and Shanghai had the smallest number of the names. The spatial variance of the terrain ITPGN was larger than that of the water ITPGN, and the ITPGN showed a significant agglomeration phenomenon in the southern part of China. In addition, the relative elevation and the population had an impact on the distribution of the ITPGN. The largest number of the geographical names occurred in the regions where the relative elevation was between 1000-2000 meters, and where the population was between 40-50 million. Based on the analysis, it was suggested that the government should take the ITPGN as management units, optimize management strategies based on the characteristics of different types of ITPGN, strengthen the naming of unnamed interprovincial terrestrial physical geographical entities and balance the interests in the controversial ITPGN. This study demonstrated that GIS and spatial analysis techniques were useful for the research of ITPGN and the results could provide targeted management suggestions to realize coordinated development in the interprovincial regions.
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.
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.
The red imported fire ant (RIFA, Solenopsis invicta), a notorious invasive insect, has received considerable attention owing to its impacts on native biodiversity, agriculture, and human health. Under global warming, the inhabitable area of the RIFA may be enlarged. However, few studies have focused on the potential range expansion of the RIFA in East Asia. Using a process-based physiological model, we simulated the potential range of the RIFA in China based on gridded temperature datasets for the current (2004-2012) and future (2090-2100) climates under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and RCP 8.5. It was found that the southeastern part of China (below 32°N) is suitable for RIFA proliferation. The present distribution area of the RIFA corresponds well with the potential range simulated by the model. In the RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 warming scenarios, the inhabitable area of the RIFA along the northern boundary would on average extend 101.3±85.7 (mean±SD) and 701.2±156.9 km, respectively, by the end of the 21st century. Therefore, future climate change would significantly affect the inhabitable area of the RIFA. Our results provide the basis for local quarantine officials to curtail accidental introductions of this insect, especially in the certain and possible infestation zones.
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.
Model simulation and scenario change analysis are the core contents of the future land-use change (LUC) study. In this paper, land use status data of the Three Gorges Reservoir Region (TGRR) in 1990 was used as base data. The relationship between driving factors and land-use change was analyzed by using binary logistic stepwise regression analysis, based on which land use in 2010 was simulated by CLUE-S model. After the inspection and determination of main parameters impacting on driving factors of land use in the TGRR, land use of this region in 2030 was simulated based on four scenarios, including natural growth, food security, migration-related construction and ecological conservation. The results were shown as follows: (1) The areas under ROC curves of land-use types (LUTs) were both greater than 0.8 under the analysis and inspection of binary logistic model. These LUTs include paddy field, dryland, woodland, grassland, construction land and water area. Therefore, it has a strong interpretation ability of driving factors on land use, which can be used in the estimation of land use probability distribution. (2) The Kappa coefficients, verified from the result of land-use simulation in 2010, were shown of paddy field 0.9, dryland 0.95, woodland 0.97, grassland 0.84, construction land 0.85 and water area 0.77. So the results of simulation could meet the needs of future simulation and prediction. (3) The results of multi-scenario simulation showed a spatial competitive relationship between different LUTs, and an influence on food security, migration-related construction and ecological conservation in the TGRR, including some land use actions such as the large-scale conversion from paddy field to dryland, the occupation on cultivated land, woodland and grassland for rapid expansion of construction land, the reclamation of woodland and grassland into cultivated land, returning steep sloping farmland back into woodland and grassland. Therefore, it is necessary to balance the needs of various aspects in land use optimization, to achieve the coordination between socio-economy and ecological environment.
This study developed a comprehensive system to evaluate the intensity of cropland use and evolution of cropland use in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain. Delphi-entropy methods were adopted to determine the weight of the index, and the GeoDetector model was established to explore the influencing factors. The results are summarized as follows: (1) The intensity of inputs, degree of utilization, and production increased continuously, but the intensity of continuous conditions experienced an overall decline followed by a rebound towards the end of the study period. The number of counties with high and moderately high intensity increased by 56.8% and 14.6%, respectively, from 1996 to 2011. The number of counties with moderately low and low intensity declined by 35.9 % and 11.9 %, respectively. Areas with significant increases in intensity were mainly distributed in northeast Hebei Province, northwest Shandong Province, and north Jiangsu Province. The intensity is high in northern Jiangsu and Anhui; the output effect remained above moderate intensity mainly near Beijing, Tianjin, Tangshan, and counties in the suburbs of Shijiazhuang. (2) Natural disasters, elevation, slope, and road networks were the main factors influencing the intensity of cropland use in this region, with influence values of 0.158, 0.143, 0.129, and 0.054, respectively. Areas with moderately high and high levels of intensity were distributed in low-lying areas. Uneven distribution of precipitation, seasonal drought, and flood disasters can directly affect the stability index of croplands and reduce the intensity of cropland use. Developed road networks are associated with moderately high intensity. Our results suggest recommendations such as promoting agricultural intensification and large-scale management, promoting the construction of road networks, improving early warning systems for drought and flood disasters, and promoting moderate and intensive use of arable land, and focusing on restoration and sustainable use of cropland.
The continuing use of petrochemicals in mineral nitrogen (N) production may be affected by supply or cost issues and climate agreements. Without mineral N, a larger area of cropland is required to produce the same amount of food, impacting biodiversity. Alternative N sources include solar and wind to power the Haber-Bosch process, and the organic options such as green manures, marine algae and aquatic azolla. Solar power was the most land-efficient renewable source of N, with using a tenth as much land as wind energy, and at least 100th as much land as organic sources of N. In this paper, we developed a decision tree to locate these different sources of N at a global scale, or the first time taking into account their spatial footprint and the impact on terrestrial biodiversity while avoiding impact on albedo and cropland, based on global resource and impact datasets. This produced relatively few areas suitable for solar power in the western Americas, central southern Africa, eastern Asia and southern Australia, with areas most suited to wind at more extreme latitudes. Only about 2% of existing solar power stations are in very suitable locations. In regions such as coastal north Africa and central Asia where solar power is less accessible due to lack of farm income, green manures could be used, however, due to their very large spatial footprint only a small area of low productivity and low biodiversity was suitable for this option. Europe in particular faces challenges because it has access to a relatively small area which is suitable for solar or wind power. If we are to make informed decisions about the sourcing of alternative N supplies in the future, and our energy supply more generally, a decision-making mechanism is needed to take global considerations into account in regional land-use planning.
It is necessary for undergraduates majoring in geography to learn the history of geographic thought. Although there are different cultural and educational backgrounds between China and the West, teaching methods such as text teaching, students’ presentations and group learning are suitable for most of teachers and students even from different countries and regions. The blended method is helpful to popularize history of geographic thought and improve the level of teaching and learning. Owing to lack of the class on the history of geographic thought in countries like China, the authors try to explore a blended method for the first-year geography undergraduates and to assess the effects of this teaching based on some questionnaires. The students have different benefits and responses to this class. A special group consisting of one teacher and several undergraduates does the research and coauthors the paper through making questionnaire, interviewing and analyzing materials from 67 freshmen majoring in human geography and geography science (teacher-training) in China. For the undergraduates especially from the countries like China, it is well worth making the history of geographic thought become a necessary and interesting class.
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.