Urban land cover has major impacts on a city’s ecosystem services and the inherent quality of its urban residential environment. The spatio-temporal distribution of impervious surface area and green areas in Chinese cities has exhibited a significantly marked difference in comparison with USA cities. This study focused on monitoring and comparing the spatio-temporal dynamics, land cover patterns and characteristics of functional regions in six Chinese (n=3) and USA (n=3) cities. The study data were collated from Landsat TM/MSS imagery during the period 1978-2010. Results indicate that Chinese cities have developed compactly over the past three decades, while development has been notably dispersed among USA cities. Mean vegetation coverage in USA cities is approximately 2.2 times that found amongst Chinese urban agglomerations. Land use types within Chinese cities are significantly more complex, with a higher density of impervious surface area. Conversely, the central business district (CBD) and residential areas within USA cities were comprised of a lower proportion of impervious surface area and a higher proportion of green land. Results may be used to contribute to future urban planning and administration efforts in both China and the USA.
The quantity and spatial pattern of farmland has changed in China, which has led to a major change in the production potential under the influence of the national project of ecological environmental protection and rapid economic growth during 1990-2010. In this study, the production potential in China was calculated based on meteorological, terrain elevation, soil and land-use data from 1990, 2000 and 2010 using the Global Agro-ecological Zones model. Then, changes in the production potential in response to farmland changes from 1990 to 2010 were subsequently analyzed. The main conclusions were the following. First, the total production potential was 1.055 billion tons in China in 2010. Moreover, the average production potential was 7614 kg/ha and showed tremendous heterogeneity in spatial pattern. Total production in eastern China was high, whereas that in northwestern China was low. The regions with high per unit production potential were mainly distributed over southern China and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Second, the obvious spatiotemporal heterogeneity in farmland changes from 1990 to 2010 had a significant influence on the production potential in China. The total production potential decreased in southern China and increased in northern China. Furthermore, the center of growth of the production potential moved gradually from northeastern China to northwestern China. The net decrease in the production potential was 2.97 million tons, which occupied 0.29% of the national total actual production in 2010. Third, obvious differences in the production potential in response to farmland changes from 1990 to 2000 and from 2000 to 2010 were detected. The net increase in the production potential during the first decade was 10.11 million tons and mainly distributed in the Northeast China Plain and the arid and semi-arid regions of northern China. The net decrease in the production potential during the next decade was 13.08 million tons and primarily distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River region and the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain. In general, the reason for the increase in the production potential during the past two decades might be due to the reclamation of grasslands, woodlands and unused land, and the reason for the decrease in the production potential might be urbanization that occupied the farmland and Green for Grain Project, which returned farmland to forests and grasslands.
Surface albedo is a primary causative variable associated with the process of surface energy exchange. Numerous studies have examined diurnal variation of surface albedo at a regional scale; however, few studies have analyzed the intra-annual variations of surface albedo in concurrence with different land cover types. In this study, we amalgamated surface albedo product data (MCD43) from 2001 to 2008, land-use data (in 2000 and 2008) and land cover data (in 2000); quantitative analyses of surface albedo variation pertaining to diverse land cover types and the effect of the presence/absence of ground snow were undertaken. Results indicate that intra-annual surface albedo values exhibit flat Gaussian or triangular distributions depending upon land cover types. During snow-free periods, satellite observed surface albedo associated with the non-growing season was lower than that associated with the growing season. Satellite observed surface albedo during the presence of ground snow period was 2-4 times higher than that observed during snow-free periods. Surface albedo reference values in typical land cover types have been calculated; notably, grassland, cropland and built-up land were associated with higher surface albedo reference values than barren while ground snow was present. Irrespective of land cover types, the lowest surface albedo reference values were associated with forested areas. Proposed reference values may prove extremely useful in diverse research areas, including ecological modeling, land surface process modeling and radiation energy balance applications.
The aim of this study is to establish several important factors representing land use intensification in cultivated land (denoted by CII), using a multi-dimensional approach to achieve realistic and practical cultivated land use policies in China. For this reason, the theoretical framework was first built to explain the changes of land use intensification in the cultivated land, and then the variables and index were further developed for the purpose of characterizing the dynamic trends and driving forces of the land use intensification in the cultivated land at the provincial level. The study results indicate that the extent of CII significantly increased during the period of 1996 to 2008, due to the extensive use of fertilizers, machinery and pesticide, increased labor and capital input, and intensified land use. Moreover, the principal component regression results show that the productivity of cultivated land, economic benefits of cultivated land, labor productivity, and land use conversion are the main factors affecting the village development. The first three factors play a positive role, while the last one has a negative effect on the land use intensification in the cultivated land. According to these results, the main policies for sustainable intensification in cultivated land are proposed. First, the sustainable pathways for intensification should be adopted to reduce the unsustainable uses of chemical fertilizer, agricultural chemicals, etc. Second, the conditions for agricultural production should be further improved to increase the cultivated land productivity. Third, it is very necessary and helpful for improving labor productivity and land use efficiency from the viewpoint of accelerated the cultivated land circulation. The last step is to positively affect the production activities of peasants by means of reforming the subsidy standards.
Based on the daily precipitation from a 0.5°×0.5° gridded dataset and meteorological stations during 1961-2011 released by National Meteorological Information Center, the reliability of this gridded precipitation dataset in South China was evaluated. Five precipitation indices recommended by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) were selected to investigate the changes in precipitation extremes of South China. The results indicated that the bias between gridded data interpolated to given stations and the corresponding observed data is limited, and the proportion of the number of stations with bias between -10% and 0 is 50.64%. The correlation coefficients between gridded data and observed data are generally above 0.80 in most parts. The average of precipitation indices shows a significant spatial difference with drier northwest section and wetter southeast section. The trend magnitudes of the maximum 5-day precipitation (RX5day), very wet day precipitation (R95), very heavy precipitation days (R20mm) and simple daily intensity index (SDII) are 0.17 mm·a-1, 1.14 mm·a-1, 0.02 d·a-1 and 0.01 mm·d-1·a-1, respectively, while consecutive wet days (CWD) decrease by -0.05 d·a-1 during 1961-2011. There is spatial disparity in trend magnitudes of precipitation indices, and approximate 60.85%, 75.32% and 75.74% of the grid boxes show increasing trends for RX5day, SDII and R95, respectively. There are high correlations between precipitation indices and total precipitation, which is statistically significant at the 0.01 level.
Data of flood, drought, hailstorms, and low temperature events in Xinjiang from 1949 to 2012 were analyzed with the diffusion method to assess the risk of the most common types of disasters in Xinjiang. It was proved that the frequency and intensity of meteorological disasters of the study area showed an increasing trend associated with global warming. Among the four types of disasters, surpass probability of drought was the largest, followed by hailstorm, low temperature and flood in turn. Moreover, the wavelet method analysis revealed that greater oscillations had occurred since 2000, which may be associated with the occurrence of extreme climatic changes. The spatial distribution of frequencies reveals that the northern slope of Tianshan Mountains is a multiple disaster area, the southern slope of Tianshan is the area where more floods and hailstorms occur, and the west of Turpan-Hami Basin is the area wind is prevalent. The relationships between disaster-affected areas and corresponding meteorological and socio-economic indexes were also analyzed. It indicated that there were significant positive correlations between the areas affected and the most meteorological and socio-economic indicators except the grain acreage.
This paper examines the changes in the time series of water discharge and sediment load of the Yellow River into the Bohai Sea. To determine the characteristics of abrupt changes and multi-scale periods of water discharge and sediment load, data from Lijin station were analyzed, and the resonance periods were then calculated. The Mann-Kendall test, order clustering, power-spectrum, and wavelet analysis were used to observe water discharge and sediment load into the sea over the last 62 years. The most significant abrupt change in water discharge into the sea occurred in 1985, and an abrupt change in sediment load happened in the same year. Significant decreases of 64.6% and 73.8% were observed in water discharge and sediment load, respectively, before 1985. More significant abrupt changes in water discharge and sediment load were observed in 1968 and 1996. The characteristics of water discharge and sediment load into the Bohai Sea show periodic oscillation at inter-annual and decadal scales. The main periods of water discharge are 9.14 years and 3.05 years, whereas the main periods of sediment load are 10.67 years, 4.27 years, and 2.78 years. The significant resonance periods between water discharge and sediment load are observed at the following temporal scales: 2.86 years, 4.44 years, and 13.33 years. Water discharge and sediment load started to decrease after 1970 and has decreased significantly since 1985 for several reasons. Firstly, the precipitation of the Yellow River drainage area has reduced since 1970. Secondly, large-scale human activities, such as the building of reservoirs and floodgates, have increased. Thirdly, water and soil conservation have taken effect since 1985.
The distribution of plant species and relationships between species and soil factors in the east central part of Gurbantunggut Desert was studied to provide more insight into the flora and determine differences in vegetation across various parts of the desert. Two-way Cluster Analysis showed that the vegetation in the area could be divided into three groups, the first group was dominated by the shrub species, Ephedra przewalskii and the grass species, Carex physodes mainly in areas of flat grounds and gentle slopes; the second group was dominated by C. physodes, Artemisia songorica and A. xerophytica mainly on the slope of sand dunes and the third group was dominated by the shrub species, Haloxylon persicum mainly on the top of sand dunes. There was no difference in plant density between Groups 1 and 2 but there was a significant decrease in Group 3. Soil water under vegetation Group 3 was much lower than that in the other two groups at all soil depths. The EC, organic matter, total P and soluble Na, Ca and Mg varied very similarly with soil water. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) satisfactorily assessed the species-soil relations in the area. The distribution of plant species was strongly correlated with the soil factors of water content, organic matter, EC and nutrients. The variations in species occurrence explained by the three CCA axes were about 70%, indicating that some explanatory site variables may exist outside our studied parameters. Soil texture is suggested to be included in future studies to improve the explanation of CCA.
The Forest Landscape Model (FLM) is an efficiency tool of quantified expression of forest ecosystem’s structure and function. This paper, on the basis of identifying FLM, according to the stage of development, summarizes the development characteristics of the model, which includes the theoretical foundation of mathematical model, FLM of stand-scale, primary development of spatial landscape model, rapid development of ecosystem process model as the priority, and developing period of structure and process driven by multi-factor. According to the characteristics of different FLMs, this paper classifies the existing FLM in terms of mechanism, property and application, and elaborates the identifications, advantages and disadvantages of different types of models. It summarizes and evaluates the main application fields of existing models from two aspects which are the changes of spatial pattern and ecological process. Eventually, this paper presents FLM’s challenges and directions of development in the future, including: (1) more prominent service on the practical strategy of forest management’s objectives; (2) construction of multi-modules and multi-plugin to satisfy landscape research demand in various conditions; (3) adoption of high resolution’s spatial-temporal data; (4) structural construction of multi-version module; (5) improving the spatial suitability of model application.