Land use transition refers to changes in land use morphology, including dominant morphology and recessive morphology, of a particular region over a period of time driven by various factors. Recently, issues related to land use transition in China have attracted interest among a wide variety of researchers as well as government officials. This paper examines the patterns of land use transition and their dynamic mechanism in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain during 2000-2010. First, the spatio-temporal patterns of land use transition, their characteristics and the laws governing them were analyzed. Second, based on the established conceptual framework for analyzing the dynamic mechanism of land use transition, a spatial econometric regression analysis method was used to analyze the dynamic mechanism of the five types of major land use transition in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain at the county level. Land use pattern changes in the study area were characterized by an increase in construction land, water body and forested land, along with a decrease in farmland, unused land and grassland. The changes during 2000-2005 were much more significant than those during 2005-2010. In terms of factors affecting land use transitions, natural factors form the basis, and they have long-term effects. Socio-economic factors such as population and GDP, however, tend to determine the direction, structure, size and layout of land use transition over shorter time periods. Land law and policy factors play a mandatory guiding and restraining role in land use transitions, so as to improve the overall efficiency of land use. Land resource engineering is also an important tool to control land use transitions. In general, the five types of major land use transition were the result of the combined action of various physical, social and economic factors, of which traffic condition and location condition had the most significant effects, i.e. they were the common factors in all land use transitions. Understanding the spatio-temporal process of land use transitions and their dynamic mechanisms is an important foundation for utilizing land resources, protecting regional ecological environment and promoting sustainable regional socio-economic development.
Urbanization is a complex process reflecting the growth, formation and development of cities and their systems. Measuring regional urbanization levels within a long time series may ensure healthy and harmonious urban development. Based on DMSP/OLS nighttime light data, a human-computer interactive boundary correction method was used to obtain information about built-up urban areas in the Bohai Rim region from 1992 to 2012. Consequently, a method was proposed and applied to measure urbanization levels using four measurement scale units: administrative division, land-sea location, terrain feature, and geomorphological types. Our conclusions are: 1) The extraction results based on DMSP/OLS nighttime light data showed substantial agreement with those obtained using Landsat TM/ETM+ data on spatial patterns. The overall accuracy was 97.70% on average, with an average Kappa of 0.79, indicating that the results extracted from DMSP/OLS nighttime light data were reliable and could well reflect the actual status of built-up urban areas. 2) Bohai Rim’s urbanization level has increased significantly, demonstrating a high annual growth rate from 1998 to 2006. Areas with high urbanization levels have relocated evidently from capital to coastal cities. 3) The distribution of built-up urban areas showed a certain degree of zonal variation. The urbanization level was negatively correlated with relief amplitude and altitude. A high level of urbanization was found in low altitude platforms and low altitude plains, with a gradual narrowing of the gap between these two geomorphological types. 4) The measurement method presented in this study is fast, convenient, and incorporates multiple perspectives. It would offer various directions for urban construction and provide reference values for measuring national-level urbanization.
Sustainable urbanization is not only an important research topic in the field of urbanization, but also the development direction of new-type urbanization. In this paper, we construct an index system to evaluate sustainable urbanization potential with the entropy method. Results show that potential values of sustainable urbanization in most cities are not high. Cities with higher sustainable urbanization potential values are mainly located in the central part of Northeast China. Environmental potential of sustainable urbanization is the main contributor to sustainable urbanization potential in Northeast China. There is no absolute relationship between city size and potential value, large city does not always mean greater potential. Correlation analysis shows that urbanization rate cannot reflect the sustainable urbanization potential of a region. Population urbanization is not the ultimate goal of sustainable urbanization. Unilateral pursue urbanization rate cannot improve the potential of sustainable urbanization. Towards sustainable urbanization, governments in Northeast China should revitalize local economy, pay more attention to the rural areas and develop low-carbon economy or ecological economy. Finally, this paper highlights the importance of choosing more integrated methodology or new models for measuring sustainable urbanization potential in view of the shortcomings of one method.
Forest vegetation carbon patterns are significant for evaluating carbon emission and accumulation. Many methods were used to simulate patterns of forest vegetation carbon stock in previous studies, however, uncertainty apparently existed between results of different methods, even estimates of same method in different studies. Three previous methods, including Atmosphere-vegetation interaction model 2 (AVIM2), Kriging, Satellite-data Based Approach (SBA), and a new method, High Accuracy Surface Modeling (HASM), were used to simulate forest vegetation carbon stock patterns in Jiangxi Province in China. Cross-validation was used to evaluate methods. The uncertainty and applicability of the four methods on provincial scale were analyzed and discussed. The results showed that HASM had the highest accuracy, which improved by 50.66%, 33.37% and 28.58%, compared with AVIM2, Kriging and SBA, respectively. Uncertainty of simulation of forest biomass carbon stock was mainly derived from modeling error, sampling error and statistical error of forest area. Total forest carbon stock, carbon density and forest area of Jiangxi were 288.62 Tg, 3.06 kg/m2 and 94.32×109 m2 simulated by HASM, respectively.
The Greater Khingan Mountains (Daxinganling) are China’s important ecological protective screen and also the region most sensitive to climate changes. To gain an in-depth understanding and reveal the climate change characteristic in this high-latitude, cold and data-insufficient region is of great importance to maintaining ecological safety and corresponding to global climate changes. In this article, the annual average temperature, precipitation and sunshine duration series were firstly constructed using tree-ring data and the meteorological observation data. Then, using the climate tendency rate method, moving-t-testing method, Yamamoto method and wavelet analysis method, we have investigated the climate changes in the region during the past 307 years. Results indicate that, since 1707, the annual average temperature increased significantly, the precipitation increased slightly and the sunshine duration decreased, with the tendency rates of 0.06℃/10a, 0.79 mm/10a and -5.15 h/10a, respectively (P≤0.01). Since the 21st century, the period with the greatest increase of the annual average temperature (also with the greatest increase of precipitation) corresponds to the period with greatest decrease of sunshine duration. Three sudden changes of the annual average temperature and sunshine duration occurred in this period while two sudden changes of precipitation occurred. The strong sudden-change years of precipitation and sunshine duration are basically consistent with the sudden-change years of annual average temperature, suggesting that in the mid-1860s, the climatic sudden change or transition really existed in this region. In the time domain, the climatic series of this region exhibit obvious local variation characteristics. The annual average temperature and sunshine duration exhibit the periodic variations of 25 years while the precipitation exhibits a periodic variation of 20 years. Based on these periodic characteristics, one can infer that in the period from 2013 to 2030, the temperature will be at a high-temperature stage, the precipitation will be at an abundant-precipitation stage and the sunshine duration will be at an less-sunshine stage. In terms of spatial distribution, the leading distribution type of the annual average temperature in this region shows integrity, i.e., it is easily higher or lower in the whole region; and the second distribution type is more (or less) in the southwest parts and less (or more) in the northeast parts. Precipitation and sunshine duration exhibit complex spatial distribution and include four spatial distribution types. The present study can provide scientific basis for the security investigation of homeland, ecological and water resources as well as economic development programming in China’s northern borders.
The temporal-spatial geographic distribution of archaeological sites and its feature between 10.0-2.8 ka BP (ka BP= thousands of years before 0 BP, where “0 BP” is defined as the year AD 1950) were determined, based on GIS spatial analysis in the Poyang Lake Basin. The relationship between geographic distribution of sites of different periods under subsistence existence of ancient civilizations, climate and environmental change was investigated. The results revealed numerous archaeological sites of the Neolithic Age (10.0-3.6 ka BP). The sites were mainly located in the northern part of the Poyang Lake Basin, a hilly and mountainous area with many river terraces suitable for the development of human civilization. The number of archaeological sites rapidly increased during the Shang and Zhou dynasties (3.6-2.8 ka BP) and spread widely on the floodplains of the middle and lower reaches of Ganjiang River and onto the west, south, and southeast beach areas of the Poyang Lake. Holocene records of climate change suggested that it was possible that climate fluctuations had a great impact on human evolution in the study area. Before 3.6 ka BP, westward and northward expansion of Neolithic cultures in the Poyang Lake watershed occurred under the background of climate amelioration (becoming warmer and wetter). The ancient people lived in the hilly areas with high elevation. The simple mode of a fishing and gathering economy was mostly suited to this area in the early Neolithic Age. The scope of human activities was expanded and cultural diversity developed in the late Neolithic Age. However, with population growth and increasing survival pressure in a dry-cold climatic stage after 3.6 ka BP, this simple living mode had to be abandoned, and various forms of economy, the majority being agriculture, were developed on flood plains of the lower reaches of numerous rivers around Poyang Lake. This promoted flourishing of the Bronze culture of South China.
With intense urbanization and sustained population growth, securing food production with limited land sources has increasingly become a pressing issue. Based on an analysis of international cereal (i.e., barley, buckwheat, maize, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, soybean, and wheat) trade and differences in yields of the cereal between export and import countries over the period of 2007 to 2011, we explore the great potential of land saving through the international cereal trade. By ‘land saving’, we refer to the reduced global total of lands required to produce a necessary amount of cereal when cereal is exported from a country with relatively large yield of the cereal to a country with relatively small yield of the cereal. Our scenario analysis suggests that international cereal trade would help mitigate the shortage of domestic arable land for many island countries (e.g., Japan) and countries in the arid Middle East and North Africa (e.g., Syria and Morocco). Furthermore, international cereal trade has the potential to generate ‘land saving’ of 50,092,284 ha of land per year, which is roughly the size of Spain. Drawing upon the definition of a similar concept - virtual water (Hoekstra and Hung 2002), we define virtual land as the area of land resources used for the production of goods. Through introducing the concept of virtual land, we believe land resources that are traditionally considered as stationary resources can flow with anthropogenic socioeconomic activities. The largest virtual-land flows (> 3,000,000 ha/year) exist between the United States (US) to China, Brazil to China, the US to Japan, the US to Mexico, and Argentina to China. However, not all virtual-land flows necessarily result in land saving. Thus, more endeavors are needed to plan the virtual-land flows for a larger land saving at the global scale.