JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2012, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (8): 1327-1339.

### The Gradient Effect of Spatial Patterns and Evolution of Settlement in Nature Reserves—A Case Study in Maolan, Guizhou

LUO Guang-jie1,2,4, LI Yang-bin2, WANG Shi-jie3, LUO Xu-qiang1,4

1. 1. School of Geography and Tourism, Guizhou Normal College, Guiyang 550018, China;
2. School of Geographic and Environmental Science, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550001, China;
3. National Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Geochemistry Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550002, China;
4. Resources-Environmentand Disaster Institute, Guizhou Normal College, Guiyang 550018, China
• Received:2011-07-23 Revised:2011-12-18 Online:2012-08-20 Published:2012-08-20

Abstract: To study the dynamic status of human activities in nature reserves is of great significance to the construction and management of natural reserves. This study, taking three high-resolution remote sensing images as data source, and using GIS technology and landscape indices quantitative analysis method, analyzes the gradient effect of the space patterns and evolution of settlement (the central place of human activities) in the Maolan National Nature Reserve since 1963. The results show that: 1) In the Nature Reserve, from the core zone to the peripheral zone, the gradient effect of settlement size, grade and shape and its dynamic evolution is obvious. In the core zone of the Nature Reserve, the extent of settlements change has been generally small in the three periods; in the buffer zone of the Nature Reserve, changes of settlements area and shape were obviously different before and after 1987 (the establishment of the Nature Reserve), in the previous stage settlement increased largely and shape was regular, and the settlement area and the space shapes are in steady state after 1987; in the experimental zone, settlements area first decreased and then increased, the number and the degree of irregular shape of settlements have always increased, the spatial variation occurs mainly in smaller, lower-rank settlements; in the peripheral zone, since the establishment of the Nature Reserve, the settlements have expanded significantly, the rank has markedly increased, the shape tends to be irregular. 2) The adverse effects of environment from settlement is small in the core zone of the Nature Reserve, but that cannot be ignored; after establishing of the Nature Reserve, because of human activities being more restricted, human activity has released in the peripheral zone, settlements in the peripheral zone, the proportion that the land of degradation settlements transferring as arable land has largely increased (the rate of the area transferred (R) was 66.66), and the proportion of new settlements (occupied arable land) has reduced. 3) According to the characteristics of the evolution of spatial patterns of settlement and its impact on land cover in different gradient zones, for not affecting the natural environment in the core zone, the future planning and management in the Maolan Nature Reserve should consider to move out the Dongduo settlement. Meanwhile, the management for settlement land should be enhanced in the experimental zone to minimize the adverse effects of human activities on native ecosystems. 4) After the establishment of the Nature Reserve, from the core zone to the peripheral zone, landscape diversity decreased and the land use comprehensive index is closer to 200, the landscape matrix (forest) patches increased significantly and the ecological environment improved obviously. 5) The management of land use and ecological construction within 200-800 m away from the settlement in the buffer zone of the Nature Reserve should be strengthened.

CLC Number:

• K901.8