Table of Content

    15 October 2014, Volume 24 Issue 5 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Research Articles
    Water resource utilization efficiency and spatial spillover effects in China
    Caizhi SUN, Liangshi ZHAO, Wei ZOU, Defeng ZHENG
    2014, 24 (5):  771-788.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1119-x
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    Based on provincial panel data of water footprint and grey water footprint, and with the help of data envelopment analysis model considering and without considering the undesirable output, this paper estimates the water resources utilization efficiency in China from 1997 to 2011. The spatial weighting matrix based on economy-spatial distance function is established to discuss spatial autocorrelation of water resources utilization efficiency. With the help of absolute β-convergence model, this paper concludes that there exists β-convergence in the water resources utilization efficiency. Under the conditions of considering and without considering the undesirable output, it takes about 52.6 and 5.6 years respectively to achieve the extent of half of convergence. By mean of the spatial Durbin econometric model, this paper studies spatial spillover effects of the provincial water resources utilization efficiency in China. The results are as follows. 1) With considering and without considering the undesirable output, there is significant spatial correlation in provincial water resource efficiency in China. 2) Under the two cases, the spatial autoregressive coefficients (ρ) are 0.278 and 0.507 respectively, at 1% significance level. There exist the spatial spillover effects of provincial water resources utilization efficiency. 3) With considering the undesirable output, these factors of the education funds, the transportation infrastructure, and the industrial and agricultural water consumption proportion have positive impacts. These factors of foreign direct investment, the industry value-added water consumption per ten thousand yuan, per capita water consumption, and the total precipitation have negative impacts. 4) Without considering the undesirable output, the factor of GDP per laborer has a greater positive significant influence on the water resources utilization efficiency. However the facts of industry value-added water consumption in ten thousand yuan and the transportation infrastructure have no significant influence. 5) Regardless of undesirable output of water resources utilization efficiency, the assessment of the present real water resources utilization in China will be distorted and policy-making will be misled. The water efficiency measure considering environmental factors (such as gray water footprint) is more reasonable.

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    Radiative forcing over China due to albedo change caused by land cover change during 1990-2010
    Jun ZHAI, Jun ZHAI, Ronggao LIU, Guosong ZHAO, Lin HUANG
    2014, 24 (5):  789-801.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1120-4
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    Land cover change affects surface radiation budget and energy balance by changing surface albedo and further impacts the regional and global climate. In this article, high spatial and temporal resolution satellite products were used to analyze the driving mechanism for surface albedo change caused by land cover change during 1990-2010. In addition, the annual-scale radiative forcing caused by surface albedo changes in China’s 50 ecological regions were calculated to reveal the biophysical mechanisms of land cover change affecting climate change at regional scale. Our results showed that the national land cover changes were mainly caused by land reclamation, grassland desertification and urbanization in past 20 years, which were almost induced by anthropogenic activities. Grassland and forest area decreased by 0.60% and 0.11%, respectively. The area of urban and farmland increased by 0.60% and 0.19%, respectively. The mean radiative forcing caused by land cover changes during 1990-2010 was 0.062 W/m2 in China, indicating a warming climate effect. However, spatial heterogeneity of radiative forcing was huge among different ecological regions. Farmland conversing to urban construction land, the main type of land cover change for the urban and suburban agricultural ecological region in Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan region, caused an albedo reduction by 0.00456 and a maximum positive radiative forcing of 0.863 W/m2, which was presented as warming climate effects. Grassland and forest conversing to farmland, the main type of land cover change for the temperate humid agricultural and wetland ecological region in Sanjiang Plain, caused an albedo increase by 0.00152 and a maximum negative radiative forcing of 0.184 W/m2, implying cooling climate effects.

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    The effect of environmental factors on spatial variability in land use change in the high-sediment region of China’s Loess Plateau
    Ya LUO, Shengtian YANG, Changsen ZHAO, Xiaoyan LIU, Changming LIU, Linna WU, Haigen ZHAO, Yichi ZHANG
    2014, 24 (5):  802-814.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1121-3
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    In areas with topographic heterogeneity, land use change is spatially variable and influenced by climate, soil properties, and topography. To better understand this variability in the high-sediment region of the Loess Plateau in which soil loss is most severe and sediment diameter is larger than in other regions of the plateau, this study builds some indicators to identify the characteristics of land use change and then analyze the spatial variability as it is affected by climate, soil property, and topography. We build two indicators, a land use change intensity index and a vegetation change index, to characterize the intensity of land use change, and the degree of vegetation restoration, respectively. Based on a subsection mean method, the two indicators are then used to assess the spatial variability of land use change affected by climatic, edaphic, and topographic elements. The results indicate that: 1) Land use changed significantly in the period 1998-2010. The total area experiencing land use change was 42,302 km2, accounting for 22.57%of the study area. High-coverage grassland, other woodland, and forest increased significantly, while low-coverage grassland and farmland decreased in 2010 compared with 1998. 2) Land use change occurred primarily west of the Yellow River, between 35 and 38 degrees north latitude. The four transformation types, including (a) low-coverage grassland to medium-coverage grassland, (b) medium-coverage grassland to high-coverage grassland, (c) farmland to other woodland, and (d) farmland to medium-coverage grassland, were the primary types of land use change, together constituting 60% of the area experiencing land use change. 3) The spatial variability of land use change was significantly affected by properties of dryness/wetness, soil conditions and slope gradient. In general, land use changed dramatically in semi-arid regions, remained relatively stable in arid regions, changed significantly in clay-rich soil, remained relatively stable in clay-poor soil, changed dramatically in steeper slopes, and remained relatively stable in tablelands and low-lying regions. The increase in vegetation coincided with increasing changes in land use for each physical element. These findings allow for an evaluation of the effect of the Grain to Green Program, and are applicable to the design of soil and water conservation projects on the Loess Plateau of China.

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    Detecting climate change effects on forest ecosystems in Southwestern Romania using Landsat TM NDVI data
    2014, 24 (5):  815-832.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1122-2
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    Nowadays, Southwestern Romania faces a large-scale aridization of the climate, revealed by the rise of temperatures and the decline of the amount of precipitations, with negative effects visible, among others, in the desiccation of forest vegetation. The present study means to identify the changes that occurred, quality-wise, in the past two decades (1990-2011) in forest vegetation in Southwestern Romania, and to establish the link between those changes and extant thermal stress in the region, whose particular features are high average annual and seasonal temperatures. In order to capture the evolution in time of climate aridization, a first step consisted in using climate data, the temperature and precipitation parameters from three weather stations; these parameters were analyzed both individually and as aridity indexes (De Martonne and UNEP). In order to quantify the changes in forest vegetation, NDVI indexes were used and analyzed, starting off from Landsat satellite images, acquired at three distinct moments in time, 1990, 2000 and 2011. In order to identify the link between the changes of NDVI index values and regional thermal stress, a yardstick of climate changes, statistical correlations were established between the peak values of average annual temperatures, represented in space, and negative changes in the NDVI index, as revealed by the change-detection analysis. The results obtained indicated there is an obvious (statistically significant) connection between thermal stress and the desiccation (degradation) of forest species in the analyzed area, with false acacia (Robinia Pseudoacacia) the main species to be impacted.

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    Increasing free-air 0℃ isotherm height in Southwest China from 1960 to 2010
    Mingjun ZHANG, Lei DONG, Shengjie WANG, Aifang ZHAO, Fang QIANG, Meiping SUN, Qiong WANG
    2014, 24 (5):  833-844.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1123-1
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    Based on the radiosonde data observed at 14 stations in Southwest China from 1960 to 2010, as well as the corresponding surface air temperature, the long-term change of free-air 0℃ isotherm height in Southwest China and the relationships between surface air temperature and 0℃ isotherm height are discussed. The results indicated that the spatial distribution of 0℃ isotherm height is generally related with latitude, but the huge massif or plateau may complicate the latitude pattern. The two main regimes influencing the spatial patterns of 0℃ isotherm height in Southwest China are latitude and huge massif. The annual 0℃ isotherm height has increased by 35 m per decade in the recent decades, which is statistically significant at the 0.001 level. Generally, the increasing trend can be examined for each seasonal series, especially in winter (53 m per decade). The diversity of trend magnitudes for annual and seasonal series can also be detected at a spatial view, but generally 0℃ isotherm height correlated well with surface air temperature.

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    Variations in the starting date of the pre-summer rainy season in South China, 1736-2010
    Lingling DING, Quansheng GE, Jingyun ZHENG, Zhixin HAO
    2014, 24 (5):  845-857.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1124-0
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    The starting dates of the pre-summer rainy season during historical times (1736- 1911) in Fuzhou and Guangzhou of South China, were determined and reconstructed on the basis of historical documents in the Yu-Xue-Fen-Cun archive, together with observed features of precipitation during the pre-summer rainy season. In addition, starting dates of the pre-summer rainy season from 1953 in Fuzhou and from 1952 in Guangzhou were reconstructed for the instrumental period. These data allowed for analyses of inter-annual and inter-decadal changes in the starting dates of the pre-summer rainy season in South China over the past 300 years. Results show that the mean starting date of the pre-summer rainy season in South China was the first pentad of May; in addition, periodicities in the starting dates of 2-3 years, 10 years, and 40 years were detected during the period 1736-1911, and of 2-3 years, 10 years, and 22 years during the instrumental period. From 1736 to 1911, the earliest starting dates at Fuzhou and Guangzhou both occurred at the fourth pentad of April, while the latest starting dates were at the sixth pentad of May in Fuzhou and the first pentad of June in Guangzhou. During the instrumental period, the earliest and latest starting dates were at the fourth pentad of April and the first pentad of June, respectively, in both Fuzhou during 1953-2010 and Guangzhou during 1952-2010. The maximum difference between neighboring decades during 1736-1911 was 2.2 and 1.6 pentads in Fuzhou and Guangzhou, respectively, and during the instrumental period it was 2.5 and 2.4 pentads in Fuzhou and Guangzhou, respectively.

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    Quantitative measuring and influencing mechanism of urban and rural land intensive use in China
    Guangdong LI, Chuanglin FANG, Bo PANG
    2014, 24 (5):  858-874.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1125-z
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    Land use issue is an important constraining force to limit economic sustainable development of China. Urban and rural rapid expansion depletes valued land resources under the background of rapid urbanization. An extensive use pattern might cause a serious waste of land resources. The study on influencing mechanism of land intensive use (LIU) in China at the county level is a key tool for effective LIU practice and policy-making. This paper uses OLS model, Spatial Panel Lagged model and Spatial Panel Error model to quantitatively analyze the influencing mechanisms of five class factors and 17 variables supported by GIS (Geographic Information System) and MATLAB. And a comprehensive data set was developed including physical geography and socio-economic information of 2286 counties. Meanwhile, the spatiotemporal pattern of LIU has discussed by means of GIS. The results show that Spatial Panel Data models are slightly superior to OLS model in terms of significance and confidence level. Regression results of these models indicate that industrialization, urbanization, economic development level, location, transportation and policy have significant impact on LIU of counties. The variables of physical geography are less significant than socio-economic variables. An ignored variable of historical factor, however, became the best significant factor. In the future, the LIU at the county level should take advantage of the new situation by enhancing favorable factors and reducing disadvantageous ones, which can be acquired by improving the entire level and quality of industrialization and urbanization. We argued that an efficient and complete land market and operating system should be built to reflect market-oriented activities at the first place, then, differential LIU regulation policies and measurements should be optimized according to regional differences. In the meantime, we should pay close attention to the carrying capacity of local resources and environments when conducting LIU practices.

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    Economic development and energy efficiency in Jilin Province, China
    Huimin ZHANG, Fangdao QIU, Qiang WEI, Lianjun TONG, Xinyue YE, Yeqing CHENG
    2014, 24 (5):  875-888.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1126-y
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    The relationship between economic development and energy consumption is revealed by employing cointegration theory, the index decomposition method, and a log-linear regression approach based on a case study of Jilin Province, China. The results suggest: 1) the economic development and energy consumption are interdetermined, whose relationship is positive and long-term. The economic development is highly depending on the energy in Jilin Province. 2) Under the condition of other unchanged factors, the change of industrial energy efficiency contributes to the energy saving, while that of industrial structure increases the energy consumption. 3) The industrial structure change enhances the energy intensity, but the energy utility efficiency change lowers it. From the view of contribution to the energy consumption, the contribution of industrial structure was more than that of the energy utility efficiency in 2000-2011. 4) In 2000-2011, the comprehensive energy intensity change and hydroelectricity energy intensity change were related to all industrial structures’ change, and the influencing factors about structure of oil energy intensity change were more than those of coal energy intensity change; from the impact degree, agricultural proportion decreased exerted an positive and greater effect on lowering the energy intensity of comprehensive energy and hydroelectricity, and industrial one did on coal and natural gas. Some conclusions can be drawn as follows: the major way to promote the coordinated development of the industrial economy and energy consumption is to optimize the industrial structure by increasing the proportion of the tertiary industry and low energy consumption industrial sectors and to enhance the energy utility efficiency.

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    Research on the suitability of population distribution at the provincial scale in China
    YANG Yanzhao, FENG Zhiming, WANG Lu, YOU Zhen
    2014, 24 (5):  889-906.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1127-x
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    The relationship between population distribution and resources, environment and social-economic development has a significant influence on the human development. This paper set up a set of index system and model methods for the assessment of the coordination between population and resources, environment and social-economic development, and it quantitatively evaluated this coordination at the provincial scale in 2000 and 2010 respectively. Based on this set of index system, the suitability degree and the spatial-temporal pattern of population distribution at the provincial scale were carefully characterized. The restriction of population distribution at the provincial scale was graded and classified, and the coordinated development strategy of population, resources, environment and social economy was finally put forward. The results showed that: (1) The environmental suitability of population distribution at the provincial scale was generally high in China, which tended to be stable from 2000 to 2010. (2) The restriction of water and land resources at the provincial scale was generally strong in China, but it tended to be weak from 2000 to 2010. (3) The coordination degree between the social-economic development and population distribution at the provincial scale was mostly at a middle level, which was in the positive upward path from 2000 to 2010. (4) The suitability of population distribution at the provincial scale was mostly at a middle level, all of which was rising from 2000 to 2010. (5) The coordination degree between population distribution and resources, environment and social-economic development at the provincial scale was divided into four grades, including basic coordination, relative coordination, awaited coordination and urgent-needed coordination. (6) The basic ways to promote the coordinated development of population, resources and environment in different regions in China can be summarized as: implementing the strategy of population agglomeration and evacuation, guiding the orderly flow of population, optimizing the spatial distribution of population and drawing up the spatial planning of population development.

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    Spatial-temporal patterns of China’s interprovincial migration, 1985-2010
    LI Yang, LIU Hui, TANG Qing, LU Dadao, XIAO Ningchuan
    2014, 24 (5):  907-923.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1128-9
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    Migration plays an increasing role in China's economy since mobility rose and economic restructuring has proceeded during the last three decades. Given the background of most studies focusing on migration in a particular period, there is a critical need to analyze the spatial-temporal patterns of migration. Using bicomponent trend mapping technique and interprovincial migration data during the periods 1985-1990, 1990-1995, 1995-2000, 2000-2005, and 2005-2010 we analyze net-, in-, out-migration intensity, and their changes over time in this study. Strong spatial variations in migration intensity were found in China's interprovincial migration, and substantial increase in migration intensity was also detected in eastern China during 1985-2010. Eight key destinations are mostly located within the three rapidly growing economic zones of eastern China (Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Metropolitan Region), and they are classified into three types: mature, emerging, and fluctuant origins, while most key origins are relatively undeveloped central and western provinces, which are exactly in accordance with China's economic development patterns. The results of bicomponent trend mapping indicate that, in a sense, the migration in the south was more active than the north over the last three decades. The result shows the new changing features of spatial-temporal patterns of China's interprovincial migration that Fan and Chen did not find out in their research. A series of social-economic changes including rural transformation, balanced regional development, and labor market changes should be paid more attention to explore China's future interprovincial migration.

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    Orginal Article
    Evolving a core-periphery pattern of manufacturing industries across Chinese provinces
    Qiliang MAO, Fei WANG, Jun LI, Suocheng DONG
    2014, 24 (5):  924-942.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1129-8
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    This paper, concerning uneven development in China, empirically analyzes the core-periphery gradient of manufacturing industries across provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities), and assesses the extent to which these provinces have changed in recent years. Since China’s reform and opening-up, the spatial structure of the economy has presented a significant core-periphery pattern, the core evidently skewing towards east-coastal areas. With the deepening of market reforms and expansion of globalization, industrial location is gradually in line with the development advantages of provinces. The core provinces specialize in those industries characterized by strong forward and backward linkages, as well as a high consumption ratio, a high degree of increasing returns to scale, and labor or human-capital intensity. However, it is the opposite with regard to peripheral provinces, in addition, energy intensive industries are gradually concentrating in these areas. To a certain degree, the comparative advantage theory and new economic geography identify the underlying forces that determine the spatial distribution of manufacturing industries in China. This paper indicates that the industrialization of regions along different gradients becomes unsynchronized will be a long-term trend. Within a certain period, regions are bound to develop industrial sectors in line with their respective characteristics and development stage. A core-periphery pattern of industries also indicates that industrial development differentials across regions arise because of not only the uneven distribution of industries but also the inconsistent evolving trends of industrial structure for each province.

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    Review Articles
    Soil salinization research in China:Advances and prospects
    LI Jianguo, PU Lijie, HAN Mingfang, ZHU Ming, ZHANG Runsen, XIANG Yangzhou
    2014, 24 (5):  943-960.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-014-1130-2
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    With the environmental deterioration caused by the advance of climate change, soil salinization is a serious and growing global problem. Currently about 7% of the world's land surface is threatened by salinization. China is a country whose soils are severely affected by this problem, which, due to its extensive area, and wide distribution poses a serious threat to regional agricultural development. In this review, we summarize the framework for soil salinization research in China over the past 70 years, assess the weaknesses of existing research in both a domestic and international context, highlight the trends and key findings of global research about saline soils over the past 30 years, and propose six major fields and directions for future research on saline soil.

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