Spatiotemporal change of ecologically functional land in China: A quantity-quality coupling perspective

Authors: Xuesong Kong*, , Chaohui Yin, Wuhan Univsersity, Yaolin Liu, Wuhan University, Jing Wang, Wuhan University, Zhifeng Jin, Wuhan University
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change, China
Keywords: Ecologically functional land; ecosystem stability; fragmentation; quality-based quantity; China
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Buchanan, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Understanding the linkages between the quantity and quality of ecologically functional land (EFL) change is essential for sustainable ecosystem management. This paper proposed a quality-based quantity (QBQ) method to evaluate the spatiotemporal change of EFL in China. Three Landsat images spanning over 20 years were used to investigate the gain and loss of EFL. We compared the differences and linkages between the net change and QBQ change of EFL at a county scale. The results showed that the EFL experienced great changes during 1995 to 2015. A total area of 96.65 Mha EFL was converted to other land, while 69.73 Mha was gained from others. Ecosystem degradation (70.75%) was the most important reason for EFL loss, followed by farmland occupation (26.05%) and construction land encroachment (3.20%). In particular, grassland degradation was the most serious ecological problem in western China. The QBQ change of EFL was more significant than net change. The fragmentation of forest and grassland was increasingly serious, and the stability of the ecosystem was also becoming worse over time. These results indicated that EFL degraded in both quantity and quality in China between 1995 and 2015. EFL conservation policies should focus not only on the dynamic loss and gain in quantity but also on how the change in quality linked to landscape patterns.

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