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Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1011; doi:10.3390/su8101011

Rubber Plantation Expansion Related Land Use Change along the Laos-China Border Region

1
Research & Development Center for Grass and Environment, Beijing Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Beijing 100097, China
2
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 16 June 2016 / Revised: 24 September 2016 / Accepted: 27 September 2016 / Published: 11 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

Spatial-temporal changes of land use and land cover in Luang Namtha Province in northern part of Laos was analyzed using Landsat TM (Thematic Mapper)/ETM+ (Enhanced Thematic Mapper) images from 1990 to 2010 since the opening of the Boten border adjacent to China. The results showed that: (1) “forest land—cultivated land—grassland” was the primary landscape structure. Woodland was the major land cover type, while paddy field was the dominant land use type replaced by rubber plantation in 2010; (2) since the opening of the border crossings in 1994, the rate and intensity of land use change were accelerated and enhanced gradually, especially in the recent decade. Woodland decreased significantly, while shrubland, rubber plantation and swidden land increased obviously. Rubber plantation and swidden land showed the fastest growth derived from woodland and shrubland, indicating continuous human activities and slash-and-burn farming; and (3) during 1990–2010, swidden land was mainly located in northern mountainous areas with frequently increased changing spatial distribution in the recent decade. Rubber plantation was mainly distributed in the border region of China and Laos with the expansion from the border region into the non-frontier of Laos with Luang Namtha City as the center. Woodland reduction was so obvious along the Kunming-Bangkok highway. View Full-Text
Keywords: rubber plantation; land use and land cover change (LUCC); spatial-temporal pattern; swidden land; the border region of Laos and China rubber plantation; land use and land cover change (LUCC); spatial-temporal pattern; swidden land; the border region of Laos and China
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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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Liu, X.; Jiang, L.; Feng, Z.; Li, P. Rubber Plantation Expansion Related Land Use Change along the Laos-China Border Region. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1011.

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