Climate and Environmental Change

Land use change and its corresponding ecological responses: a review

  • 1. College of Resource and Environment, Southwest Agricultural University, Chongqing 400716, China;

    2. Chongqing Key Lab. of Digital Agriculture, Chongqing 400716, China

Received date: 2005-03-18

  Revised date: 2005-05-10

  Online published: 2005-09-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.49771073; Key Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.K2952-J1-203


This paper reviews the research on land use change and its corresponding ecological responses. Patterns of land use changes in spatio-temporal level are produced by the interaction of biophysical and socio-economic processes. Nowadays, the studies derived from different socioeconomic conditions and scales show that at short-term scale, human activities, rather than natural forces, have become a major force in shaping the environment, while biophysical factors control the trends and processes of land use change under the macro environmental background. Providing a scientific understanding of the process of land use change, the impacts of different land use decisions, and the ways that decisions are affected by a changing environment and increasing ecological variability are the priority areas for research: (1) explanation of scale dependency of drivers of land use change; (2) quantification of driving factors of land use change; (3) incorporation of biophysical feedbacks in land use change models; and (4) underlying processes and mechanisms of ecological impacts of land use change.

Cite this article

SHAO Jingan, NI Jiupai, WEI Chaofu, XIE Deti . Land use change and its corresponding ecological responses: a review[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2005 , 15(3) : 305 -328 . DOI: 10.1360/gs050305