China is a disaster prone country, and a comprehensive understanding of change of disasters is very important for China’s agricultural development. In this study, statistical techniques and geographic information system tools are employed to quantify the main agriculture disasters changes and effects on grain production in China during the period of 1990-2011. The results show that China’s grain production was severely affected by disasters including drought, flood, hail, frost and typhoon. The annual area covered by these disasters reached up to 48.7×106 ha during the study period, which accounted for 44.8% of the total sown area, and about 55.1% of the per unit area grain yield change was caused by disasters. In addition, all of the disasters showed high variability, different changing trends, and spatial distribution. Drought, flood, and hail showed significantly decreasing trends, while frost and typhoon showed increasing trends. Drought and flood showed gradual changes and were distributed across the country, and disasters became more diversified from north to south. Drought was the dominated disaster type in northern China, while flood was the most important disaster type in the southern part. Hail was mainly observed in central and northern China, and frost was mainly distributed in southern China. Typhoon was greatly limited to the southeast coast. Furthermore, the resilience of grain production of each province was quite different, especially in several major grain producing areas, such as Shandong, Liaoning, Jilin and Jiangsu, where grain production was seriously affected by disasters. One reason for the difference of resilience of grain production was that grain production was marginalized in developed provinces when the economy underwent rapid development. For China’s agricultural development and grain security, we suggest that governments should place more emphasis on grain production, and invest more money in disaster prevention and mitigation, especially in the major grain producing provinces.
The sediment discharge from the Yangtze River Basin has a stepwise decreasing trend in recent years. The impounding of the Three Gorges Reservoir exacerbated this decreasing trend and affected the change of the suspended sediment concentration (SSC) in the Yangtze River Estuary through the transmission effect. The SSC data of the Yangtze River Estuary during 1959-2012 showed that: (1) The SSC in the South Branch of the Yangtze River in the estuary and in the off-shore sea area displayed decreasing trends and decreased less towards the sea. At the same time, the difference in decreasing magnitude between SSC and sediment discharge became bigger towards the sea. (2) For the North Branch the preferential flow did not change much but the SSC tended to decrease, which was mainly caused by the decrease of SSC in the South Branch and China East Sea. (3) Due to the decreased runoff and the relatively strengthened tide, the peak area of the SSC in the bar shoal section in 2003-2012 moved inward for about 1/6 longitude unit compared with that in 1984-2002, and the inward-moving distance was in the order of flood season > annual average > dry season. (4) In the inlet of the South Passage, the SSC decreased mainly because the increase caused by resuspension and shore-groove exchange was less than the decrease caused by the sharp SSC decrease in the basin and the sea areas. The reverse was true in the middle section, where the SSC showed an increasing trend. (5) In the inlet of the North Passage, under the combined influence of decreased flow split and sediment split ratios, the decreased SSC in the basin and the sea area and decreased amount of resuspension, the SSC displayed a decreasing trend. In the middle section, because the increased amount caused by sediment going over the dyke was markedly more than the decreased amount caused by external environments, the SSC tended to increase. Holistically, the sharp decrease in sediment discharge caused synchronized SSC decreases in the Yangtze River Estuary. But there were still areas, where the SSC displayed increasing trends, indicating synchronicity and difference in the response of SSC to the sharp decrease in sediment discharge from the basin.
Evaluating the effectiveness of protecting nature assets is a vital component of responsive, pro-active management of protected areas. It is important to protect reserves of geological (including fossils) assets as a means to also protect national and natural heritage. At the end of 2013, 2669 protected areas had been established in China and 123 of them are reserves for nature assets. This paper builds an evaluation framework for protection effectiveness of these assets. The current elements and characteristics for effective protection are analyzed, along with an analysis of existing problems so as to construct a scientific approach to protect these assets. The influencing elements and characteristics for effective protection of nature asset reserves are included in an index evaluation system for effective protection in such areas, which contains four parts-target layer, evaluation criteria, evaluation indexes, and evaluation parameters-based on related documents and files. For the target layer, it includes nature asset evaluation and management evaluation. In the end, it is discussed how to build a comprehensive evaluation model and achieve an effective quantitative evaluation.
Depended on the analysis of ground snow situation, soil moisture loss speed and soil structure after planting crops of Mu Us Sandy Land remedied with feldspathic sandstone in the fallow period, it is concluded that feldspathic sandstone mixed with sand improved the sand stabilization in the governance of Mu Us Sandy Land in the fallow period. The sandy land remedied with feldspathic sandstone had big snow coverage, 25%-75% higher than normal sand; soil moisture losses slowed down, and moisture content rose by over 3 times; soil structure had been improved, and water stable aggregate content increased by 6.52%-18.04%; survival rate of protection forest increased to 85%; and ground flatness is less than 1%. The above conditions weakened sand rising conditions of Mu Us Sandy Land in the fallow period and formed two protective layers of snow cover and soil frozen layer under cold weather so as to prevent against wind erosion.
To control soil erosion and restore the degraded environment in the Loess Plateau, a large number of measures related to soil and water conservation have been employed that have profoundly affected catchment properties. This study constructed three indicators to characterize changes to the catchment slope, proposed both a method for a regression analysis of adjacent images and a sequence model, and applied multisource remotely sensed images and GIS spatial clustering analysis technologies to extract thematic information and comprehensively analyze the catchment change characteristics. The results indicate that the catchment slope properties changed significantly. At catchment scale, the average values of ARC, DVC and ART were 6.43%, 25.57% and 4.30%, respectively. There were six clustering types of catchment slope property changes. The maximum and minimum of the average similarities of the clustering types were 0.992 and 0.935. Each slope control measures had a distinct effect on catchment slope; the dominating factor of each clustering type was identified as: Type 1: D-VC, Type 2: D-VCLU, Type 3: D-LUVC, Type 4: D-TAVC, Type 5: D-TAC and Type 6: D-MFC. Type 5 and Type 1 covered the largest areas, respectively occupying 37.28% and 31.01%. Catchment slope property changes also had distinct types that depended on their geomorphological conditions. These findings provide a useful basis from which to further study catchment slope hydrological and soil erosion processes.
Before the emergence of modern modes of transport, the traditional road infrastructure was the major historical means of carrying out nationwide socio-economic exchange. However, the history of transport infrastructure has received little attention from researchers. Given this background, the work reported here examined the long-term development of transport networks in China. The national road network was selected for study and the 3500 years from 1600 BC to 1900 AD was chosen as the study period. Indicators were designed for the maturity level of road networks and an accessibility model was developed for the paths of the shortest distance. The evolution of the road network in China since the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC) was described and its major features were summarized to reveal long-term regularities. The maturity level of the road network and its accessibility was assessed and regions with good and poor networks were identified. The relationship between China’s natural, social, and economic systems and the road network were discussed. Our analysis shows that the road network in China has a number of long-term regularities. The continuously expanding road network follows a path of inland expansion especially towards the border areas. However, its coverage and accessibility are characterized by a core-peripheral configuration, which has close relationships with, not only the natural conditions, but also national defense and warfare. The centralization of national power, national land governance, postal transport, the transport of specialized cargos, and international trade are also related to the development of the road network. This research draws attention to the evolving regularities of transport networks.
Studying the change in population distribution and density can provide important basis for regional development and planning. The spatial patterns and driving factors of the change in population density in China were not clear yet. Therefore, using the population census data in 2000 and 2010, this study firstly analyzed the change of population density in China and divided the change in all 2353 counties into 4 types, consisting of rapid increase, slow increase, slow decrease and rapid decrease. Subsequently, based on the partial least square (PLS) regression method, we recognized the significant factors (among 11 natural and social-economic factors) impacting population density change for the whole country and counties with different types of population change. The results showed that: (1) compared to the population density in 2000, in 2010, the population density in most of the counties (over 60%) increased by 21 persons per km2 on average, while the population density in other counties decreased by 13 persons per km2. Of all the 2353 counties, 860 and 589 counties respectively showed rapid and slow increase in population density, while 458 and 446 counties showed slow and rapid decrease in population density, respectively. (2) Among the 11 factors, social-economic factors impacted population density change more significantly than natural factors. The higher economic development level, better medical condition and stronger communication capability were the main pull factors of population increase. The dense population density was the main push factor of population decrease. These conclusions clarified the spatial pattern of population change and its influencing factors in China over the past 10 years and could provide helpful reference for the future population planning.
Rural tourism has become an important driving force of rural urbanization in China. As the main reception base and important tourism attraction, tourism village is the core element of the tourism destination system. Integrating the method of PRA (Participatory Rural Assessment), GIS technology and high-resolution remote sensing images, this study aims to analyze the spatial morphology evolution of rural settlements induced by tourism through a comparative study of three tourism villages in Yesanpo tourism area. The results suggest the emergence of a “core-periphery” pattern of the spatial evolution of rural settlements. The closer to the core scenic spot, the higher degree of land-use intensity the village shows, as well as the more mature tourism function and greater change in landscape pattern. In particular, Gougezhuang shows an increase of the floor area ratio from 0.17 to 0.44, with the most mature tourism function and the lowest authenticity index of 0.448. Liujiahe has gone through the largest increase in construction land area from 17.3564 ha to 34.1128 ha, with moderately mature tourism function and relatively stable authenticity index of 0.566. Shangzhuang has the lowest construction land scale and intensity, with the poorest tourism function and most well-preserved landscape authenticity index of 0.942. Overall, in terms of the spatial morphology, the three villages show the characteristics of “modern town”, “semi-urbanization” and “traditional village” respectively, in corresponding to three land development types: “intensive reconstruction type”, “enclave extension type” and “in situ utilization type”. The spatial evolution patterns of these three villages imply the spatial characteristics of the touristization of traditional villages in different stages, and also have great representative value for the management of rural settlements in tourism areas in China.