Abstract: As a local environmental issue with global importance, land use/land cover change (LUCC) has always been one of the key issues in geography and environmental studies with the expansion of regional case studies. While most of LUCC studies in China have focused on urban land use change, meanwhile, compared with the rapid change of urban land use in the coastal areas of eastern China, slow but distinct rural land use changes have also occurred in the mountainous areas of western China since the late 1980s. In this case through a study in Lijiang County of Yunnan Province, with the application of remote sensing data and geographic information system techniques, the process of rural land use change in mountain areas of western China was monitored through extensive statistical analysis of detailed regional data. The results showed significant increases in construction land, paddy field and dry land, and a decrease in dense forest land and waste grassland between 1986 and 2002. The conversions between dense forest land and sparse forest land, grassland, waste grassland and dry land were the primary processes of rural land use change. Sparse forest land had the highest rate of land use change, with glacier or snow-capped land the lowest; while human settlement and rural economic development were found to be the main driving forces of regional difference in the integrated land use change rate among the 24 towns of Lijiang County. Quantified through landscape metrics, spatial patterns of rural land use change were represented as an increase in landscape diversity and landscape fragmentation, and the regularization of patch shapes, suggesting the intensification of human disturbances and degradation of ecological quality in the rural landscape.
Keywords: Rural land use change; Spatial patterns; Change rate; Remote sensing; GIS; Lijiang; China
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Peng, J.; Wu, J.; Yin, H.; Li, Z.; Chang, Q.; Mu, T. Rural Land Use Change during 1986–2002 in Lijiang, China, Based on Remote Sensing and GIS Data. Sensors 2008, 8, 8201-8223.
Peng J, Wu J, Yin H, Li Z, Chang Q, Mu T. Rural Land Use Change during 1986–2002 in Lijiang, China, Based on Remote Sensing and GIS Data. Sensors. 2008; 8(12):8201-8223.
Peng, Jian; Wu, Jiansheng; Yin, He; Li, Zhengguo; Chang, Qing; Mu, Tianlong. 2008. "Rural Land Use Change during 1986–2002 in Lijiang, China, Based on Remote Sensing and GIS Data." Sensors 8, no. 12: 8201-8223.