Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2019, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (5): 719-729.doi: 10.1007/s11442-019-1623-0

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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 LI1(), Yi LI2, Pengcan FAN1,3, Jian SUN1, Yansui LIU1,3,*()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Geomatics, Xi’an University of Science and Technology, Xi’an 710054, China
    3. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2018-08-20 Accepted:2018-10-26 Online:2019-05-25 Published:2019-04-19
  • Contact: Yansui LIU;
  • About author:

    Author: Li Yurui (1983-), PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in rural geography and land engineering.E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China, No.2017YFC0504701;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571166, No.41731286


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.

Key words: land consolidation, watershed, land use, landscape, Yan'an City, Loess Plateau