Ecology and Environment

Changes in rice cropping systems in the Poyang Lake Region, China during 2004-2010

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Department of Botany and Microbiology, Center for Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma, Norman 73019, OK, USA

Received date: 2011-09-28

  Revised date: 2011-12-30

  Online published: 2012-07-10

Supported by

National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), No.2009CB421106; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40901285


Rice cropping systems not only characterize comprehensive utilization intensity of agricultural resources but also serve as the basis to enhance the provision services of agro-ecosystems. Yet, it is always affected by external factors, like agricultural policies. Since 2004, seven consecutive No.1 Central Documents issued by the Central Government have focused on agricultural development in China. So far, few studies have investigated the effects of these policies on the rice cropping systems. In this study, based upon the long-term field survey information on paddy rice fields, we proposed a method to discriminate the rice cropping systems with Landsat data and quantified the spatial variations of rice cropping systems in the Poyang Lake Region (PLR), China. The results revealed that: (1) from 2004 to 2010, the decrement of paddy rice field was 46.76 km2 due to the land use change. (2) The temporal dynamics of NDVI derived from Landsat historical images could well characterize the temporal development of paddy rice fields. NDVI curves of single cropping rice fields showed one peak, while NDVI curves of double cropping rice fields displayed two peaks annually. NDVI of fallow field fluctuated between 0.15 and 0.40. NDVI of the flooded field during the transplanting period was relatively low, about 0.20?0.05, while NDVI during the period of panicle initiation to heading reached the highest level (above 0.80). Then, several temporal windows were determined based upon the NDVI variations of different rice cropping systems. (3) With the spatial pattern of paddy rice field and the NDVI threshold within optimum temporal windows, the spatial variation of rice cropping systems was very obvious, with an increased multiple cropping index of rice about 20.2% from 2004 to 2010. The result indicates that agricultural policies have greatly enhanced the food provision services in the PLR, China.

Cite this article

LI Peng, FENG Zhiming, JIANG Luguang, LIU Yujie, XIAO Xiangming . Changes in rice cropping systems in the Poyang Lake Region, China during 2004-2010[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2012 , 22(4) : 653 -668 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-012-0954-x


Bouvet A, Le Toan T, Lam-Dao N, 2009. Monitoring of the rice cropping system in the Mekong Delta using ENVISAT/ASAR dual polarization data. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 47(2):517-526.
Ding Y, 1961. Cultivation of rice in China. Beijing: China Agriculture Press. (in Chinese)
Dobermann A, Witt C, Dawe D et al., 2002. Site-specific nutrient management for intensive rice cropping systemsin Asia. Field Crops Research, 74(1): 37-66.
FAOSTAT, 2009. Statistical Database of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Rome.
Gilbert M, Xiao X M, Chaitaweesub P et al., 2007. Avian influenza, domestic ducks and rice agriculture in Thailand. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 119(3/4): 409-415.
Heerink N, Qu F, Kuiper M et al., 2007. Policy reforms, rice production and sustainable land use in China: Amacro-micro analysis. Agricultural Systems, 94(3): 784-800.
Huang Y, Sass R L, Fisher J et al., 1998. Model estimates of methane emission from irrigated rice cultivation of China. Global Change Biology, 4(8): 809-821.
Li D, Liu M, Cheng Y et al., 2011. Methane emissions from double-rice cropping system under conventional andno tillage in southeast China. Soil and Tillage Research, 113(2): 77-81.
Li P, Jiang L, Feng Z et al., 2011. Spatial pattern of food provision in Poyang Lake Region, China. Journal of Natural Resources, 26(2): 190-200. (in Chinese)
Liew S C, Kam S P, Tuong T P et al., 1998. Application of multitemporal ERS-2 synthetic aperture radar in delineatingrice cropping systems in the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 36(5): 1412-1420.
Liu J Y, Liu M L, Tian H Q et al., 2005. Spatial and temporal patterns of China's cropland during 1990-2000: Ananalysis based on Landsat TM data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 98(4): 442-456.
Martin V, Pfeiffer D U, Zhou X et al., 2011. Spatial Distribution and Risk Factors of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in China. PLoS pathogens, 7(3): e1001308. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1001308.
National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), 2009. National plan for expansion of grain productioncapacity by 50 billion kilograms during 2009-2020. Beijing.
Peng D, Huete A R, Huang J et al., 2010. Detection and estimation of mixed paddy rice cropping patterns with MODIS data. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 13(1): 13-23.
Sakamoto T, Van Nguyen N, Ohno H et al., 2006. Spatio-temporal distribution of rice phenology and croppingsystems in the Mekong Delta with special reference to the seasonal water flow of the Mekong and Bassac rivers.Remote Sensing of Environment, 100(1): 1-16.
Sakamoto T, Van Phung C, Kotera A et al., 2009. Analysis of rapid expansion of inland aquaculture and triplerice-cropping areas in a coastal area of the Vietnamese Mekong Delta using MODIS time-series imagery.Landscape and Urban Planning, 92(1): 34-46.
Silva L M M, Rodrigues C D F, 2001. New development in rice cropping systems and its effects on yield: A shortappointment of the Portuguese situation. In: Chataigner J (ed.). Workshop on the New Development in Rice Agronomy and Its Effects on Yield and Quality in Mediterranean Areas, Montpellier: CIHEAM-IAMM, 1-5.
Tong C, Hall C A S, Wang H, 2003. Land use change in rice, wheat and maize production in China (1961-1998). Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 95(2/3): 523-536.
Torbick N, Salas W, Hagen S et al., 2011a. Monitoring rice agriculture in the Sacramento Valley, USA, withmulti-temporal PALSAR and MODIS imagery. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observationsand Remote Sensing (JSTARS), 4(2): 451-457.
Torbick N, Salas W, Xiao X et al., 2011b. Integrating SAR and optical imagery for regional mapping of paddyrice attributes in the Poyang Lake watershed, China. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 37(1): 17-26.
Tucker C J, 1979. Red and photographic infrared linear combinations for monitoring vegetation. Remote Sensingof Environment, 8(2): 127-150.
Van Niel T G, McVicar T R, 2003. A simple method to improve field-level rice identification: Toward operationalmonitoring with satellite remote sensing. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 43(4):379-387.
Van Niel T G, McVicar T R, 2004. Determining temporal windows for crop discrimination with remote sensing:A case study in south-eastern Australia. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 45(1-3): 91-108.
Xiao X, Boles S, Frolking S et al., 2002a. Observation of flooding and rice transplanting of paddy rice fields atthe site to landscape scales in China using VEGETATION sensor data. International Journal of Remote Sensing,23(15): 3009-3022.
Xiao X, Boles S, Frolking S et al., 2002b. Landscape-scale characterization of cropland in China using VEGETATION sensor data and Landsat TM imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 23(18):3579-3594.
Xiao X, Boles S, Frolking S et al., 2006. Mapping paddy rice agriculture in South and Southeast Asia usingmulti-temporal MODIS images. Remote Sensing of Environment, 100(1): 95-113.
Xiao X, Boles S, Liu J et al., 2005. Mapping paddy rice agriculture in southern China using multi-temporal MODIS images. Remote Sensing of Environment, 95(4): 480-492.
Xiao X, He L, Salas W et al., 2002. Quantitative relationships between field-measured leaf area index of paddyrice fields and VEGETATION-sensor-derived vegetation index at the farm scale. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 23(18): 3595-3604.
Yang H, Li X B, 2000. Cultivated land and food supply in China. Land Use Policy, 17(2): 73-88.
Yu J, Zhang W, Wang D, 2011. The temporal and spatial evaluation on China's agricultural policy output since1978. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 21(3): 475-488.
Zhang J, Feng Z M, Yang Y Z, 2006. Current grain yield reduction at different spatial scales in China. Resources Science, 28(6): 28-32. (in Chinese)