JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2019, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (7): 1391-1404.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20190704

• Resource Utilization and Management • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Land use pattern change and its topographic gradient effect in the mountainous areas: A case study of Jinggangshan city

ZANG Yu-zhu1,2, LIU Yan-sui1,2, YANG Yuan-yuan1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2018-11-13 Online:2019-07-28 Published:2019-07-28

Abstract: Topography is one of the most important natural environment factors that determines land use pattern, especially in the mountainous areas. Jinggangshan city is located in the Luoxiao Mountains, where the land use activity is extremely limited by terrain conditions. Taking Jinggangshan city as a case study, we selected DEM data and remote sensing data during 1995-2015 to explore the relations between topographical factors and land use pattern. Altitude, slope and terrain niche were chosen as indicators to explain how topographical conditions influence land use spatial pattern, land use change and landscape pattern. Results indicated that land use spatial pattern was affected by the topographical factors. Cultivated land, construction land and water areas were concentrated in plains and gentle rolling hills with altitude <400 m and slope <15°, while forest and meadow were mainly distributed in mountains with altitude >400 m and slope >15°. Moreover, land use transitions had close relations with terrain factors, which mainly occurred in plains and gentle rolling hills with altitude <800 m and slope <15°. The major land use changes during 1995-2015 were featured with 992 km2 decrease of forest land and 352 km2 increase of construction land. In addition, topographical conditions contributed to the variation of landscape pattern. Patches distributed multitudinously and intensively in plain and gentle rolling hills, which resulted in higher values of landscape diversity index, interspersion juxtaposition index, patch density and land use structure entropy. However, there were scattered and single patches in mountainous areas, so the largest patch index and contagion index were usually high. The terrain difference was an important factor influencing land use structure, land use transition and landscape pattern. It should be taken into full consideration when people determine to change the land use types, especially in the mountainous areas. The reallocation of land resources plays an important role in promoting poverty alleviation and rural development, but it may also jeopardize the natural environment and ecological system. It must be emphasized that people should take appropriate measures to optimize land use types according to local natural conditions. Only in this way can we realize sustainable development.

Key words: topographic gradient effect, land use change, Jinggangshan city, poor mountainous areas, landscape pattern