Land Use Change

The coupling characteristics and mechanism of farmland and rural housing land transition in China

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    3. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Long Hualou (1971-), Ph.D and Professor, specialized in land change science and rural transformation development. E-mail:

Received date: 2011-12-09

  Revised date: 2012-01-15

  Online published: 2012-05-04

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171149; No.41130748; Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KZCX2-YW-QN304


Land use transition refers to the changes in land use morphology (both dominant morphology and recessive morphology) of a certain region over a certain period of time driven by socio-economic change and innovation, and it usually corresponds to the transition of socio-economic development phase. In China, farmland and rural housing land are the two major sources of land use transition. This paper analyzes the spatio-temporal coupling characteristics of farmland and rural housing land transition in China, using high-resolution Landsat TM (Thematic Mapper) data in 2000 and 2008, and the data from the Ministry of Land and Resources of China. The outcomes indicated that: (1) during 2000-2008, the correlation coefficient of farmland vs. rural housing land change is -0.921, and it shows that the change pattern of farmland and rural housing land is uncoordinated; (2) the result of Spearman rank correlation analysis shows that rural housing land change has played a major role in the mutual transformation of farmland and rural housing land; and (3) it shows a high-degree spatial coupling between farmland and rural housing land change in southeast China during 2000-2008. In general, farmland and rural housing land transition in China is driven by socio-economic, bio-physical and managerial three-dimensional driving factors through the interactions among rural population, farmland and rural housing land. However, the spatio-temporal coupling phenomenon and mechanism of farmland and rural housing land transition in China are largely due to the “dual-track” structure of rural-urban development.

Cite this article

LONG Hualou, LI Tingting . The coupling characteristics and mechanism of farmland and rural housing land transition in China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2012 , 22(3) : 548 -562 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-012-0946-x


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