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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(11), 14192-14215; doi:10.3390/ijerph121114192

Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China

1,2
,
1,†
and
3,4,†,*
1
Department of Land Resource Management, School of Public Administration, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), 388 Lumo Road, Hongshan District, Wuhan 430074, China
2
Key Labs of Law Evaluation of Ministry of Land and Resources of China, 388 Lumo Road, Hongshan District, Wuhan 430074, China
3
Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
4
Center for Applied Geographic Information Science, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yu-pin Lin
Received: 14 September 2015 / Revised: 3 November 2015 / Accepted: 4 November 2015 / Published: 9 November 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4737 KB, uploaded 10 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

Land use and land cover change is driven by multiple influential factors from environmental and social dimensions in a land system. Land use practices of human decision-makers modify the landscape of the land system, possibly leading to landscape fragmentation, biodiversity loss, or environmental pollution—severe environmental or ecological impacts. While landscape-level ecological risk assessment supports the evaluation of these impacts, investigations on how these ecological risks induced by land use practices change over space and time in response to alternative policy intervention remain inadequate. In this article, we conducted spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis in Ezhou City, China. Our study area is a national ecologically representative region experiencing drastic land use and land cover change, and is regulated by multiple policies represented by farmland protection, ecological conservation, and urban development. We employed landscape metrics to consider the influence of potential landscape-level disturbance for the evaluation of landscape ecological risks. Using spatiotemporal simulation, we designed scenarios to examine spatiotemporal patterns in landscape ecological risks in response to policy intervention. Our study demonstrated that spatially explicit landscape ecological risk analysis combined with simulation-driven scenario analysis is of particular importance for guiding the sustainable development of ecologically vulnerable land systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: land use and land cover change; landscape ecological risks; ecologically representative region; spatiotemporal simulation land use and land cover change; landscape ecological risks; ecologically representative region; spatiotemporal simulation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gong, J.; Yang, J.; Tang, W. Spatially Explicit Landscape-Level Ecological Risks Induced by Land Use and Land Cover Change in a National Ecologically Representative Region in China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 14192-14215.

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