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Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1957; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061957

Agricultural Oasis Expansion and Its Impact on Oasis Landscape Patterns in the Southern Margin of Tarim Basin, Northwest China

1,2,3,4
,
4,5,* , 4,5,* , 4,5
,
6
,
1,2
and
7
1
Institute of Arid Ecology and Environment, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China
2
Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
5
Cele National Station of Observation and Research for Desert-Grassland Ecosystems, Cele 848300, China
6
School of Hydropower and Information Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China
7
Xizang Agriculture and Animal Husbandey College, Tibet University, Lhasa 850000, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
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Abstract

Oasis landscape change and its pattern dynamics are considered one of the vital research areas on global land use and landscape change in arid regions. An agricultural oasis is the main site of food security and ecosystem services in arid areas. Recently, the dramatic exploitation of agricultural oases has affected oasis stability, inducing some ecological and environmental issues such as water shortage and land degradation. In this study, the Qira oasis on the southern margin of Tarim Basin, Northwest China, was selected as a study area to examine the spatiotemporal changes in an agricultural oasis and the influence on oasis landscape pattern. Based on the integration of Thematic Mapper, Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus, and GF-1 images, the agricultural Qira oasis has rapidly increased, with annual change rates of −0.3%, 1.6%, 3.7%, and 1.5% during 1970–1990, 1990–2000, 2000–2013, and 2013–2016, respectively. With the agricultural oasis expansion, the agricultural land has increased from 91.10 km2 in 1970 to 105.04 km2 in 2016. The percentage of farmland area has increased by 15.3% in 2016 compared with that in 1970. The natural vegetation is decreasing owing to the reclamation of desert–oasis ecotone. The oasis landscape change and pattern are mainly affected by agricultural expansion under water-saving technological utilization, land use policy, and regional economic development demand. The expansion of agricultural oasis is alarming due to human overexploitation. Thus, the government should adjust the layout of agricultural development and pay considerable attention to the oasis environment sustainability. This study can provide a valuable reference on the impact of climate change and human activities on a landscape. View Full-Text
Keywords: oasis; landscape change; agricultural oasis expansion; Tarim Basin oasis; landscape change; agricultural oasis expansion; Tarim Basin
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Liu, Y.; Xue, J.; Gui, D.; Lei, J.; Sun, H.; Lv, G.; Zhang, Z. Agricultural Oasis Expansion and Its Impact on Oasis Landscape Patterns in the Southern Margin of Tarim Basin, Northwest China. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1957.

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