Spatial Pattern Change of the Cultivated Land before and after the Second National Land Survey in China
2017, 32 (2):
The quantity of the cultivated land is related to the food security and the basic national conditions of China as well as many macro decisions, and thus it has received great concerns from home and abroad. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of cultivated land, makes it as a basic national policy, and sets up a Cultivated Land Protection Red Line of 0.12 billion hectare (1.8 billion mu). However, the area of the China’s cultivated land remains a mystery, especially when the Second National Land Survey released in 2013 disclosed an increase of more than 13.33 million hectare (0.2 billion mu) under the background that the area of cultivated land has been declining for decades. In this paper, we carry out comparative analysis on the data of the cultivated land area before and after the Second National Land Survey at different spatial scales from the dimensions of the total area of the cultivated land and the area of different types of cultivated land. The results show that: 1) At the regional scale, the increased 13.33 million hectares (0.2 billion mu) of cultivated land in the Second National Land Survey mainly distribute in the Northeast China, the North China, and the Northwest China, that nearly half of the increase are in the Northeast region. The South China is the only region with cultivated land area reduction. At the provincial scale, the cultivated land area increased in 26 provinces, especially in the three provinces in Northeast China, Xinjiang and the Inner Mongolia. Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Guangdong and Shaanxi had decline of cultivated land area, especially Guangdong and Jiangsu. At the municipal scale, the spatial agglomeration of cultivated land increase is significant. The cities with increase of cultivated land concentrate in the Northeast China, and the cities with reduction of cultivated land concentrate in the Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta. At the county scale, the spatial agglomeration of cultivated land is obvious. Counties units with cultivated land increase are centralized in the Northeast China, and the counties with reduction of cultivated land concentrate in provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu and Yunnan. 2) Three types of cultivated land have increased. The dry land increased the most (53%), and the paddy field increased the least (10%). The paddy field and the irrigated land are increasing in the North and decreasing in the South, and the number provinces with increased land and decrease land are almost the same. Both the increase and the decrease of the dry land mainly distributed in the North. The spatial distribution of changes is very concentrate, that most increase occurred in the northeast and most decrease appeared in the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain. The center of the cultivated land continues to move northward, which exacerbate the spatial incoordination of water and soil resources and thus do harm to the quality of the cultivated land. In the future, the Chinese government should pay close attention to not only the quantity of cultivated land change, but also the improvement and protection of the quality of the cultivated land. The increased area of the cultivated land in the Second National Land Survey resulted from a variety of reasons. The main reason is that the technology and methods adopted in the Second National Land Survey disclosed the concealed area in the false report of the local government.
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