Table of Content

    15 February 2012, Volume 22 Issue 1 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Climate and Environmental Change
    Spatial and temporal change in the potential evapotranspiration sensitivity to meteorological factors in China (1960?2007)
    LIU Changming, ZHANG Dan, LIU Xiaomang, ZHAO Changsen
    2012, 22 (1):  3-14 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0907-4
    Abstract ( )   PDF (532KB) ( )   Save

    Potential evapotranspiration (E0), as an estimate of the evaporative demand of the atmosphere, has been widely studied in the fields of irrigation management, crop water demand and predictions in ungauged basins (PUBs). Analysis of the sensitivity of E0 to meteorological factors is a basic research on the impact of climate change on water resources, and also is important to the optimal allocation of agricultural water resources. This paper dealt with sensitivity of E0 over China, which was divided into ten drainage systems, including Songhua River basin, Liaohe River basin, Haihe River basin, Yellow River basin, Yangtze River basin, Pearl River basin, Huaihe River drainage system, Southeast river drainage system, Northwest river drainage system and Southwest river drainage system. In addition, the calculation method of global radiation in Penman-Monteith formula was improved by optimization, and the sensitivities of Penman-Monteith potential evapotranspiration to the daily maximum temperature (STmax), daily minimum temperature (STmin), wind speed (SU2), global radiation (SRs) and vapor pressure (SVP) were calculated and analyzed based on the long-term meteorological data from 653 meteorological stations in China during the period 1960-2007. Results show that: (1) the correlation coefficient between E0 and pan evaporation increased from 0.61 to 0.75. E0 had the decline trends in eight of ten drainage systems in China, which indicates that “pan evaporation paradox” commonly exists in China from 1960 to 2007. (2) Spatially, Tmax was the most sensitive factor in Haihe River basin, Yellow River basin, Huaihe River drainage system, Yangtze River basin, Pearl River basin and Southeast river drainage system, and VP was the most sensitive factor in Songhua River Basin, Liaohe River basin, Northwest river drainage system while Rs was the most sensitive factor in Southwest river drainage system. For the nation-wide average, the most sensitive factor was VP, followed by Tmax, Rs, U2 and Tmin. In addition, the changes in sensitivity coefficients had a certain correlation with elevation. (3) Temporally, the maximum values of STmax and SRs occurred in July, while the maximum values of STmin, SVP and SU2 occurred in January. Moreover, trend analysis indicates that STmax had decline trends, while STmin, SU2, SRs and SVP had increasing

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    Glacier area shrinkage in China and its climatic background during the past half century
    ZHANG Mingjun, WANG Shengjie, LI Zhongqin, WANG Feiteng
    2012, 22 (1):  15-28 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0908-3
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    Based on the glacier area variation records in the typical regions of China monitored by remote sensing, as well as the meteorological data of air temperature and precipitation from 139 stations and the 0℃ isotherm height from 28 stations, the glacier area shrinkage in China and its climatic background in the past half century was discussed. The initial glacier area calculated in this study was 23,982 km2 in the 1960s/1970s, but the present area was only 21,893 km2 in the 2000s. The area-weighted shrinking rate of glacier was 10.1%, and the interpolated annual percentage of area changes (APAC) of glacier was 0.3% a-1 since 1960. The high APAC was found at the Ili River Basin and the Junggar Interior Basin around the Tianshan Mountains, the Ob River Basin around the Altay Mountains, the Hexi Interior Basin around the Qilian Mountains, etc. The retreat of glacier was affected by the climatic background, and the influence on glacier of the slight-increased precipitation was counteracted by the significant warming in summer.

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    Spatio-temporal responses of cropland phenophases to climate change in Northeast China
    LI Zhengguo, TANG Huajun, YANG Peng, WU Wenbin, CHEN Zhongxin, ZHOU Qingbo, ZHANG Li, ZOU Jinqiu
    2012, 22 (1):  29-45 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0909-2
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    We investigated the responses of cropland phenophases to changes of agricultural thermal conditions in Northeast China using the SPOT-VGT Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) ten-day-composed time-series data, observed crop phenophases and the climate data collected from 1990 to 2010. First, the phenological parameters, such as the dates of onset-of-growth, peak-of-growth and end-of-growth as well as the length of the growing season, were extracted from the smoothed NVDI time-series dataset and showed an obvious correlation with the observed crop phenophases, including the stages of seedling, heading, maturity and the length of the growth period. Secondly, the spatio-temporal trends of the major thermal conditions (the first date of ≥10℃, the first frost date, the length of the temperature-allowing growth period and the accumulated temperature (AT) of ≥10℃) in Northeast China were illustrated and analyzed over the past 20 years. Thirdly, we focused on the responses of cropland phenophases to the thermal conditions changes. The results showed that the onset-of-growth date had an obvious positive correlation with the first date of ≥10℃ (P < 0.01), especially in the northern part of the Songnen Plain, the eastern part of the Sanjiang Plain and the middle and eastern parts of Jilin Province. For the extracted length of growing season and the observed growth period, notable correlations were found in almost same regions (P < 0.05). However, there was no obvious correlation between the end-of-growth date and the first frost date in the study area. Opposite correlations were observed between the length of the growing season and the AT of ≥10℃. In the northern part of the Songnen Plain, the eastern part of the Sanjiang Plain and the middle part of Jilin and Liaoning Provinces, the positive correlation coefficients were higher than the critical value of 0.05, whereas the negative correlation coefficients reached a level of 0.55 (P < 0.05) in the middle and southern parts of Heilongjiang Province and some parts of the Sanjiang Plain. This finding indicated that the crop growth periods were shortened because of the elevated temperature; in contrast, the extended growth period usually meant a crop transformation from early- or middle-maturing varieties into middle or late ones.

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    Feasibility analysis of widely accepted indicators as key ones in river health assessment
    FENG Yan, KANG Bin, YANG Liping
    2012, 22 (1):  46-56 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0910-9
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    Index systems on river health assessment are difficult for using in practice, due to the more complex and professional indicators adopted. In the paper, some key indicators which can be applied for river health assessment in general were selected, based on the analysis of 45 assessment index systems with 902 variables within around 150 published papers and documents in 1972-2010. According to the fields covered by the variables, they were divided into four groups: habitat condition, water environment, biotic status and water utilization. The adopted number and the accepted degrees in the above systems of each indicator were calculated after the variables were combined into the indicators, some of the widely accepted indicators which can reflect different aspects of river condition were selected as key indicators in candidate. Under the correlation analysis amongst the key indicators in candidate, 8 indicators were finally suggested as the key indicators for assessing river health, which were: coverage rate of riparian vegetation, reserved rate of wetland, river continuity, the changing rate of water flow, the ratio of reaching water quality standard, fish index of biotic integrity, the ratio of water utilization and land use.

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    Spatial distribution patterns of wetland plants in relation to environmental gradient in the Honghe National Nature Reserve, Northeast China
    ZHOU Demin, LUAN Zhaoqing, GUO Xiaoyu, LOU Yanjing
    2012, 22 (1):  57-70 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0911-8
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    Quantifying correlation between the spatial patterns of natural wetland plants and environmental gradient gives better understanding of wetland habitats, which is the fundamental for the strategy making on the protection and restoration of natural wetlands. In this study, the spatial patterns of wetland plants and the environmental gradient of wetland habitats were assessed in the Honghe National Nature Reserve (HNNR) in Northeast China, a wetland of international importance on the Ramsar list. Biophysical parameters' values of wetland plants were obtained by field sampling methods, and wetland mapping at the community scale was completed using remote sensing techniques. Digital delineation of the surface water system, hydrological zoning and wetness index were produced by spatial analysis methods in Geographic Information System. An ecological ordination method and two clustering methods were used to quantify the relationship between the spatial distribution patterns of wetland plants and the corresponding environmental gradients. Such quantitative analyses also present the specific diversity of different types of wetland plants based on the environmental attributes of their habitats. With the support from modern geo-information techniques, the experimental results indicate how four ecotypes of wetland plants spatially transit from forest swamp, shrub wetland and meadow into marsh wetland with increasing wetness index and water table. And they also show how wetland spatial distribution patterns are controlled by an environmental gradient of wetness. Another key finding of this research work is that our results present the exact fundamental differences between marsh and non-marsh plants of 11 wetland plant communities within the core study area. Hence, this case study gives a good sample for better understanding of the complex correlation between the spatial patterns of wetland plants and their environmental attributes using advanced digital analysis methods. It is also useful to show how to integrate geoinformatic techniques with statistical analysis methods based on the field data base.

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    Spatial distribution and temporal trends in potential evapotranspiration over Hengduan Mountains region from 1960 to 2009
    ZHU Guofeng, HE Yuanqing, PU Tao, WANG Xufeng, JIA Wenxiong, LI Zongxing, XIN Huijuan
    2012, 22 (1):  71-85 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0912-7
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    Based on the meteorological data of 20 stations in the Hengduan Mountains region during 1961-2009, the annual and seasonal variation of potential evapotranspiration was analyzed in combination with the Penman-Monteith model. With the method of Spline interpolation under ArcGIS, the spatial distribution of potential evapotranspiration was presented to research the regional difference, and the correlation analysis was used to discuss the dominant factor affecting the potential evapotranspiration. The results indicated that the annual potential evapotranspiration showed a decreasing tendency since the 1960s, especially from the 1980s to 1990s, while it showed an increasing tendency since 2000. Regional potential evapotranspiration showed a rate of -0.17 mm a-1. Potential evapotranspiration in north, middle and south of the Hengduan Mountains exhibited decreasing trends over the studied period, and its regional trend was on the decline from southwest to northeast.

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    Human-Environment Interactions
    Environmental ethics and regional sustainable development
    ZHENG Du, DAI Erfu
    2012, 22 (1):  86-92 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0913-6
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    The scientific environmental ethics plays a key role in the recognition of the human- environment interactions. Modern environmental ethics is the philosophical re-thinking of modern human race environmental behavior. The development of environmental ethics theory, as well as its application in reality, determines the viewpoints of environmental ethics. Sustainable development implies harmony on human-environment interactions and inter- generation responsibility, with emphasis on a harmonious relationship among population, resources, environment and development, so as to lay a sustainable and healthy foundation of resources and environment for future generations. The harmonious society construction in China that is raised by the Chinese central government should be covered by environmental ethics. The connotation of open environmental ethics includes a respect for nature, care for the individual human race, and respect for the development of future generations, which means giving consideration to natural values, individual and human race benefits and welfare across generations. The role of environmental ethics in regional development consists of cognition, criticism, education, inspiration, adjusting, legislation and promoting environmental regulations. The major problems in regional development are extensive resource exploration, fast population growth, irrational industrial structure, unfair welfare distribution and the twofold effects of science and technology development. The formulation of environmental ethics that aims at regional sustainable development, can not only harmonize the relationship of population, resource, environment and economic development, but also guide behavior selection, push social and political system transformation, strengthen the legal system, and raise environmental awareness of the public.

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    Energy production and consumption prediction and their response to environment based on coupling model in China
    LI Qiang, REN Zhiyuan
    2012, 22 (1):  93-109 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0914-5
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    The paper presents the prediction of total energy production and consumption in all provinces and autonomous regions as well as determination of the variation of gravity center of the energy production, consumption and total discharge of industrial waste water, gas and residue of China via the energy and environmental quality data from 1978 to 2009 in China by use of GM(1,1) model and gravity center model, based on which the paper also analyzes the dynamic variation in regional difference in energy production, consumption and environmental quality and their relationship. The results are shown as follows. 1) The gravity center of energy production is gradually moving southwestward and the entire movement track approximates to linear variation, indicating that the difference of energy production between the east and west, south and north is narrowing to a certain extent, with the difference between the east and the west narrowing faster than that between the south and the north. 2) The gravity center of energy consumption is moving southwestward with perceptible fluctuation, of which the gravity center position from 2000 to 2005 was relatively stable, with slight annual position variation, indicating that the growth rates of all provinces and autonomous regions are basically the same. 3) The gravity center of the total discharge of industrial waste water, gas and residue is characterized by fluctuation in longitude and latitude to a certain degree. But, it shows a southwestward trend on the whole. 4) There are common ground and discrepancy in the variation track of the gravity center of the energy production & consumption of China, and the comparative analysis of the gravity center of them and that of total discharge of industrial waste water, gas and residue shows that the environmental quality level is closely associated with the energy production and consumption (especially the energy consumption), indicating that the environment cost in economy of energy is higher in China.

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    Temporospatial changes of carbon footprint based on energy consumption in China
    CHUAI Xiaowei, LAI Li, HUANG Xianjin, ZHAO Rongqin, WANG Wanjing, CHEN Zhigang
    2012, 22 (1):  110-124 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0915-4
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    Study on regional carbon emission is one of the hot topics under the background of global climate change and low-carbon economic development, and also help to establish different low-carbon strategies for different regions. On the basis of energy consumption and land use data of different regions in China from 1999 to 2008, this paper established carbon emission and carbon footprint models based on total energy consumption, and calculated the amount of carbon emissions and carbon footprint in different regions of China from 1999 to 2008. The author also analyzed carbon emission density and per unit area carbon footprint for each region. Finally, advices for decreasing carbon footprint were put forward. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) Carbon emissions from total energy consumption increased 129% from 1999 to 2008 in China, but its spatial distribution pattern among different regions just slightly changed, the sorting of carbon emission amount was: Eastern China > Northern China > Central and Southern China > Southwest China > Northwest China. (2) The sorting of carbon emission density was: Eastern China > Northeast China > Central and Southern China > Northern China > Southwest China > Northwest China from 1999 to 2003, but from 2004 Central and Southern China began to have higher carbon emission density than Northeast China, the order of other regions did not change. (3) Carbon footprint increased significantly since the rapid increasing of carbon emissions and less increasing area of productive land in different regions of China from 1999 to 2008. Northern China had the largest carbon footprint, and Northwest China, Eastern China, Northern China, Central and Southern China followed in turn, while Southwest China presented the lowest area of carbon footprint and the highest percentage of carbon absorption. (4) Mainly influenced by regional land area, Northern China presented the highest per unit area carbon footprint and followed by Eastern China, and Northeast China; Central and Southern China, and Northwest China had a similar medium per unit area carbon footprint; Southwest China always had the lowest per unit area carbon footprint. (5) China faced great ecological pressure brought by carbon emission. Some measures should be taken both from reducing carbon emission and increasing carbon absorption.

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    Spatiotemporal dynamics of electric power consumption in Chinese Mainland from 1995 to 2008 modeled using DMSP/OLS stable nighttime lights data
    HE Chunyang, MA Qun, LI Tong, YANG Yang, LIU Zhifeng
    2012, 22 (1):  125-136 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0916-3
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    Electric power consumption (EPC) is one of the basic indices for evaluating electric power use. Obtaining timely and accurate data on the spatiotemporal dynamics of EPC is crucial for understanding and practical deployment of electric power resources. In this study, an EPC model was developed using stable nighttime lights time-series data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Linescan System (DMSP/OLS). The model was used to reconstruct the spatial patterns of EPC in Chinese Mainland at the county level from 1995 to 2008. In addition, the spatiotemporal dynamics of EPC were analyzed, and the following conclusions were drawn. (1) The EPC model reliably represented the spatiotemporal dynamics of EPC in Chinese Mainland with approximately 70% accuracy. (2) The EPC in most regions of Chinese Mainland was at low to moderate levels, with marked temporal and spatial variations; of high-level EPC, 58.26% was concentrated in eastern China. Six urban agglomerations (Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan region, Shanghai-Nanjing-Hangzhou region, Pearl River Delta, Shandong Peninsula, middle-south of Liaoning Province, and Sichuan Basin) accounted for 10.69% of the total area of Chinese Mainland but consumed 39.23% of the electricity. (3) The EPC of most regions in Chinese Mainland increased from 1995 to 2008, and 64% of the mainland area showed a significant increase in EPC. Moderate increases in EPC were found in 61.62% of eastern China and 80.65% of central China from 1995 to 2008, whereas 75.69% of western China showed no significant increase in EPC. Meanwhile, 77.27%, 89.35%, and 66.72% of the Shanghai-Nanjing-Hangzhou region, Pearl River Delta, and Shandong Peninsula, respectively, showed high-speed increases in EPC. Moderate increases in EPC occurred in 71.12% and 72.13% of the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan region and middle-south of Liaoning Province, respectively, while no significant increase occurred in 56.34% of the Sichuan Basin.

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    Applications of GIS
    A quantitative assessment of the distribution and extent of urban clusters in China
    ZHANG Qian, HU Yunfeng, LIU Jiyuan, LIU Yue, REN Wangbing, LI Jun
    2012, 22 (1):  137-151 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0917-2
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    Urban clusters are the expected products of high levels of industry and urbanization in a country, as well as being the basic units of participation in global competition. With respect to China, urban clusters are regarded as the dominant formation for boosting the Chinese urbanization process. However, to date, there is no coincident, efficient, and credible methodological system and set of techniques to identify Chinese urban clusters. This research investigates the potential of a computerized identification method supported by geographic information techniques to provide a better understanding of the distribution of Chinese urban clusters. The identification method is executed based on a geographic information database, a digital elevation model, and socio-economic data with the aid of ArcInfo Macro Language programming. In the method, preliminary boundaries are identified according to transportation accessibility, and final identifications are achieved from limiting city numbers, population, and GDP in a region with the aid of the rasterized socio-economic dataset. The results show that the method identifies nine Chinese urban clusters, i.e., Pearl River Delta, Lower Yangtze River Valley, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, Northeast China Plain, Middle Yangtze River Valley, Central China Plains, Western Taiwan Strait, Guanzhong and Chengdu-Chongqing urban clusters. This research represents the first study involving the computerized identification of Chinese urban clusters. Moreover, compared to other related studies, the study's approach, which combines transportation accessibility and socio-economic characteristics, is shown to be a distinct, effective and reliable way of identifying urban clusters.

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    MODIS-based air temperature estimation in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau and neighboring areas
    YAO Yonghui, ZHANG Baiping
    2012, 22 (1):  152-166 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0918-1
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    Climatic conditions are difficult to obtain in high mountain regions due to few meteorological stations and, if any, their poorly representative location designed for convenient operation. Fortunately, it has been shown that remote sensing data could be used to estimate near-surface air temperature (Ta) and other climatic conditions. This paper makes use of recorded meteorological data and MODIS data on land surface temperature (Ts) to estimate monthly mean air temperatures in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau and its neighboring areas. A total of 72 weather stations and 84 MODIS images for seven years (2001 to 2007) are used for analysis. Regression analysis and spatio-temporal analysis of monthly mean Ts vs. monthly mean Ta are carried out, showing that recorded Ta is closely related to MODIS Ts in the study region. The regression analysis of monthly mean Ts vs. Ta for every month of all stations shows that monthly mean Ts can be rather accurately used to estimate monthly mean Ta (R2 ranging from 0.62 to 0.90 and standard error between 2.25℃ and 3.23℃). Thirdly, the retrieved monthly mean Ta for the whole study area varies between 1.62℃ (in January, the coldest month) and 17.29 ℃ (in July, the warmest month), and for the warm season (May-September), it is from 13.1℃ to 17.29℃. Finally, the elevation of isotherms is higher in the central mountain ranges than in the outer margins; the 0℃ isotherm occurs at elevation of about 4500±500 m in October, dropping to 3500±500 m in January, and ascending back to 4500±500 m in May next year. This clearly shows that MODIS Ts data combining with observed data could be used to rather accurately estimate air temperature in mountain regions.

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    Land Use Change
    Marginal revenue of land and total factor productivity in Chinese agriculture: Evidence from spatial analysis
    HOU Linke, ZHANG Yanjie, ZHAN Jinyan, Thomas GLAUBEN
    2012, 22 (1):  167-178 .  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0919-0
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    This paper attempts to explore the temporal and spatial nature of the marginal revenue of land, total factor productivity (TFP) change and its three components: technical change (TC), technical efficiency change (TEC) and scale efficiency change (SEC) as seen in Chinese agricultural production from 1995 to 1999. Based on county-level data, the study utilized both stochastic frontier and mapping analyses methods. The results show that growth in the marginal revenue of land was diverse across various regions, where most gain occurred in eastern coastal zone, while loss was in Northwest and North China. China has experienced moderate decreases in annual TFP change (-0.26%) with considerable regional variations. Specifically, the administrative intervention in grain production and the deterioration of the agricultural technology diffusion system led to a moderate drop in annual TFP change. County-level mapping analyses took into account interregional variances in TFP and its components. Regarding components of TFP, TEC differences explain the majority of regional dispersions in TFP. As developed areas in China, the Huang-Huai-Hai region and the Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan economic zone face the challenges of land conversion and grain security amidst the process of urbanization.

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    Optimal land use allocation of urban fringe in Guangzhou
    GONG Jianzhou, LIU Yansui, CHEN Wenli
    2012, 22 (1):  179-191.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-012-0920-7
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    In response to the strong drive for social and economic development, local governments have implemented urban master plans, providing measures and timeframes to address the continuous demand for land and to alleviate urban problems. In this paper, a multi-objective model was constructed to discuss the problem, including economic benefits and ecological effectiveness, in terms of land use optimization. A genetic algorithm was then adopted to solve the model, and a performance evaluation and sensitivity analysis were conducted using Pareto optimality. Results showed that a set of tradeoffs could be acquired by the allocation of land use. In addition, the Pareto solutions proved the model to be efficient; for example, a limit of 13,500 ha of urban area conformed to plan recommendations. The reduction in crop land, orchard land, grassland, and unused land provided further efficiencies. These results implied that further potential regional land resources remain and that the urban master plan is able to support sustainable local development in the years to come, as well as verified that it is feasible to use land use allocation multi-objective modeling and genetic algorithms.

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