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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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    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 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 vitalization in China: A perspective of land consolidation
    Hualou LONG, Yingnan ZHANG, Shuangshuang TU
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (4): 517-530.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1599-9
    Abstract70)   HTML5)    PDF (448KB)(160)      

    The core objective of rural vitalization is to systemically establish a coupling pattern of various rural development elements including population, land and industry. As one of the prerequisites, land resources is required to be optimally allocated via land consolidation. Consequently, land consolidation contributes greatly to population agglomeration, industrial development and resources support under the context of combating rural decline. Based on the key elements affecting rural development, this paper elaborates the connotation of rural vitalization and land consolidation in the new era as well as their relationships. Furthermore, the paper analyzes the alternative paths for achieving rural vitalization via land consolidation, and discusses the future directions of land consolidation and rural vitalization. The conclusions are drawn as follows: (1) To cope with the loss and decline of the intrinsic elements in rural areas, rural vitalization is a development strategy aimed at realizing economic, political, cultural and ecological rejuvenation in rural area by reshaping socio-economic morphology and spatial pattern in rural territory. (2) From the perspective of rural vitalization, land consolidation is endowed with new connotation, which should not only target at activating the key elements of rural development, but also place emphasis on coordinating material space and spirit core as well as integrating the restructuring of the physical space and the rural governance system. (3) Land consolidation should be compatible with regional natural conditions and the current stage of socio-economic development. According to the principle of regional planning and classification strategy, the appropriate models and paths should be adopted to promote the benign interactions of population, land and industry based on engineering techniques and ecological means. (4) Under the background of national strategy of rural vitalization, it is necessary to reshape the value orientation of land consolidation based on a scientific understanding of urban-rural relations and rural territorial functions, coordinate land consolidation planning and rural vitalization planning under the unified spatial planning system, and explore the new model combining land consolidation and multifunctional agriculture.

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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    How forest gaps shaped plant diversity along an elevational gradient in Wolong National Nature Reserve?
    Li CHEN, Wangya HAN, Dan LIU, Guohua LIU
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (7): 1081-1097.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1646-6
    Abstract114)   HTML18)    PDF (1204KB)(94)      

    Understanding the underlying ecological processes that control plant diversity within (α-diversity) and among (β-diversity) forest gaps is important for managing natural forest ecosystems, and it is also a prerequisite for identifying the formation and maintenance mechanisms of forest plant communities. In this study, we focused on the interrelationships among habitat type (gap/non-gap plots), gap size, elevation and environmental factors, and we explored their effects on plant diversity (α-diversity and β-diversity). To do this, a total of 21 non-gap (i.e., closed canopy) plots (100 m2) and 63 gap plots, including 21 with large gaps (200-410 m2), 21 with medium gaps (100-200 m2) and 21 with small gaps (38.5- 100 m2),were selected along an elevational gradient in a subalpine coniferous forest of southwestern China. Using structural equation models (SEMs), we analyzed how forest gaps affected plant diversity (α-diversity and β-diversity) along an elevational gradient. The results showed that (1) as elevation increased, unimodal patterns of α-diversity were found in different-sized gaps, and β-diversity showed a consistent sinusoidal function pattern in different-sized gaps. The gap size was positively related to α-diversity, but this effect disappeared above 3500 masl. Moreover, the patterns of α-diversity and β-diversity in non-gap plots were irregular along the elevational gradient. (2) SEMs demonstrated that many environmental factors, such as the annual mean air temperature (AMAT), ultraviolet-A radiation (365 nm, UV-A365), ultraviolet-B1 radiation (297 nm, UV-B297), moss thickness (MT), soil carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N ratio), NH4-N and NO3-N, were significantly affected by elevation, which then affected α-diversity and β-diversity. The photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD), UV-A365 and UV-B297 were significantly higher in plots with forest gaps than in the non-gap plots. Moreover, the PPFD and UV-A365 were positively and directly affected by gap size. Surprisingly, except for the NH4-N and the C/N ratios, the below-ground environmental factors showed little or no relationships with forest gaps. All of these effects contributed to plant diversity. Overall, the above-ground environmental factors were more sensitive to gap-forming disturbances than the below-ground environmental factors, which affected α-diversity and β-diversity. The predicted pathway in the SEMs of the elevational effects on α-diversity and β-diversity was relatively complicated compared with the effects of forest gaps. These results can provide valuable insights into the underlying mechanisms driving the diversity-habitat relationship in the subalpine coniferous forests of southwestern China.

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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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    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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    Hierarchy, clusters, and spatial differences in Chinese inter-city networks constructed by scientific collaborators
    Haitao MA, Chuanglin FANG, Sainan LIN, Xiaodong HUANG, Chengdong XU
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (12): 1793-1809.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1579-5
    Abstract92)   HTML4)    PDF (1168KB)(90)      

    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.

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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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    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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    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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    The effects of urbanization on ecosystem services for biodiversity conservation in southernmost Yunnan Province, Southwest China
    Fangyan CHENG, Shiliang LIU, Xiaoyun HOU, Xue WU, Shikui DONG, COXIXO Ana
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (7): 1159-1178.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1651-9
    Abstract105)   HTML8)    PDF (4878KB)(84)      

    Urbanization can profoundly influence the ecosystem service for biodiversity conservation. However, few studies have investigated this effect, which is significant for maintaining regional sustainable development. We take the rapidly developing, mountainous and biodiversity hotspot region, Jinghong, in southern Yunnan Province as the case study. An integrated ecosystem service model (PANDORA) is used to evaluate this regional BESV (ecosystem service value for biodiversity conservation). The modeled BESV is sensitive to landscape connectivity changes. From the 1970s to 2010, regional urban lands increased from 18.64 km2 to 36.81 km2, while the BESV decreased from $6.08 million year-1 to $5.32 million year-1. Along with distance gradients from the city center to the fringe, BESV varies as an approximate hump-shaped pattern. Because correlation analysis reveals a stronger influence of landscape composition on spatial BESV estimates than the landscape configuration does, we conclude that the projected urban expansion will accelerate the BESV reduction. Of the projected urban land, 95% will show a decreasing BESV trend by approximately $2 m-2 year-1. To prevent this, we recommend compact urban planning for the mountainous city.

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    Geographical patterns and anti-poverty targeting post-2020 in China
    Yuanzhi GUO, Yang ZHOU, Zhi CAO
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (12): 1810-1824.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1580-z
    Abstract111)   HTML3)    PDF (3878KB)(81)      

    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.

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    Integration of InVEST-habitat quality model with landscape pattern indexes to assess mountain plant biodiversity change: A case study of Bailongjiang watershed in Gansu Province
    Jie GONG, Yuchu XIE, Erjia CAO, Qiuyan Huang, Hongying LI
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (7): 1193-1210.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1653-7
    Abstract100)   HTML8)    PDF (2760KB)(80)      

    Mountains in western China, hosted rich biodiversity and millions of people and inhabitant with vital ecosystem services, had experienced the most serious biodiversity loss with fragile ecological problems. Even though increasing attentions had been paid to this issue, we still lacked efficient methods to assess the change of plant biodiversity at medium/large scale due to the poor data and co-existing multiple habitat types. This study proposed an integrated method combining InVEST-habitat quality model, NPP and landscape pattern indexes to analyze the spatial heterogeneity of plant biodiversity and its spatiotemporal change on raster cell scale. The results indicated that plant biodiversity service was high in Bailongjiang watershed with obvious spatial pattern variations. The land area containing higher plant biodiversity were 3161 km2, which mainly distributed in the National Nature Reserve and forestry area. While the areas with lower plant biodiversity accounted for 37.67% and mainly distributed in the valleys between Zhouqu-Wudu-Wenxian County, the valley of Minjiang in Tanchang County and alpine mountain snow-covered regions. During 1990-2010, plant biodiversity level tended to increase and the higher plant biodiversity area increased from 14.13% to 17.15% due to ecological restoration and afforestation, while plant biodiversity decreased in the area with intensive human activities, such as cultivated land, urban and rural land. The results showed that combining InVEST-habitat quality model, NPP and landscape pattern indexes can effective reveal mountain plant biodiversity change. The study was useful for plant biodiversity conservation policy-making and human activity management for the disaster-impacted mountainous areas in China.

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    Identifying multispecies dispersal corridor priorities based on circuit theory: A case study in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China
    Yijie YIN, Shiliang LIU, Yongxiu SUN, Shuang ZHAO, Yi AN, Shikui DONG, COXIXO Ana
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (7): 1228-1242.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1655-5
    Abstract115)   HTML7)    PDF (3613KB)(73)      

    Ecological corridor networks can efficiently improve regional landscape connectivity. Corridors for multiple faunal species movements are receiving increasing attention and graph theory is considered a promising way to explore landscape connectivity. In Xishuangbanna, the circuit theory was applied to explore the corridor networks for biodiversity for the first time. In addition, disturbances caused by the road network and the protection efficiency of National Nature Reserves and planned area for corridors were evaluated. Results indicated that the regional corridor networks could be estimated using a modified circuit method and Zonation model. Spatially, the key corridors were concentrated in the central-western, southeastern and northern regions. We detected 66 main intersections between key corridors and the road buffer. Of these points, 65% are forest, 23% grassland and 12% farmland. More than half of the area of National Nature Reserves constituted the top 50% of the corridors, and the planned corridor areas could efficiently protect some key corridors. However, these reserves only protected about 17% of regional key corridors, and the corridor conservation area in the western and northern regions were absent. The issues addressed in our study aided in the elucidation of the importance of regional landscape connectivity assessments and operational approaches in conservation planning.

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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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Spatiotemporal differentiation of changes in maize phenology in China from 1981 to 2010
    Yujie LIU, Ya QIN, Quansheng GE
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2019, 29 (3): 351-362.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1602-5
    Abstract118)   HTML3)    PDF (1945KB)(65)      

    Spatio-temporal changes in the differentiation characteristics of eight consecutive phenological periods and their corresponding lengths were quantitatively analyzed based on long-term phenological observation data from 114 agro-meteorological stations in four maize growing zones in China. Results showed that average air temperature and growing degree-days (GDD) during maize growing seasons showed an increasing trend from 1981 to 2010, while precipitation and sunshine duration showed a decreasing trend. Maize phenology has significantly changed under climate change: spring maize phenology was mainly advanced, especially in northwest and southwest maize zones, while summer and spring-summer maize phenology was delayed. The delay trend observed for summer maize in the northwest maize zone was more pronounced than in the Huang-Huai spring-summer maize zone. Variations in maize phenology changed the corresponding growth stages length: the vegetative growth period (days from sowing date to tasseling date) was generally shortened in spring, summer, and spring-summer maize, although to different degrees, while the reproductive growth period (days from tasseling date to mature date) showed an extension trend. The entire growth period (days from sowing date to mature date) of spring maize was extended, but the entire growth periods of summer and spring-summer maize were shortened.

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    Urban structural evolution over a century in Changchun city, Northeast China
    Wenhui KUANG, Fengqin YAN
    Journal of Geographical Sciences    2018, 28 (12): 1877-1895.   doi: 10.1007/s11442-018-1569-7
    Abstract88)   HTML3)    PDF (2612KB)(65)      

    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.

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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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    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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