Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions ›› 2015, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (6): 722-729.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00722

• ARTICLES • Previous Articles    

Land use and land cover change processes in China's eastern Loess Plateau

JinChang Li1, HaiXia Liu1, Yong Liu1, ZhiZhu Su2, ZiQiang Du1   

  1. 1. Institute of Loess Plateau, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030006, China;
    2. Historical Culture School, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030006, China
  • Received:2014-12-15 Revised:2015-02-12 Published:2018-11-23
  • Contact: JinChang
  • Supported by:
    This study was supported by the Open Fund Project of the Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KLDD-2014-001), the Important Specialized Science and Technology Item of Shanxi Province, China (No. 20121101011), and the Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41271513, 41271030).

Abstract: Using Landsat remote sensing images, we analyzed changes in each land use type and transitions among different land use types during land use and land cover change (LUCC) in Ningwu County, located in the eastern Loess Plateau of China, from 1990 to 2010. We found that grassland, woodland, and farmland were the main land use types in the study area, and the area of each type changed slightly from 1990 to 2010, whereas the area of water, construction land, and unused land increased greatly. For the whole area, the net change and total change were insignificant due to weak human activity intensity in most of the study area, and the LUCC was dominated by quasi-balanced two-way transitions from 1990 to 2010. The insignificant overall amount of LUCC appears to have resulted from offsetting of rapid increases in population, economic growth, and the implementation of a program to return farmland to woodland and grassland in 2000. This program converted more farmland into woodland and grassland from 2000 to 2010 than from 1990 to 2000, but reclamation of woodland and grassland for use as farmland continued from 2000 to 2010, and is a cause for concern to the local government.

Key words: land use and land cover change, remote sensing, forest restoration, Ningwu County, Loess Plateau

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