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Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1123; doi:10.3390/su8111123

Variation in Cropping Intensity in Northern China from 1982 to 2012 Based on GIMMS-NDVI Data

1
Key Laboratory of Poyang Lake Wetland and Watershed Research, Ministry of Education, School of Geography and Environment, Jiangxi Normal University, No. 99 Ziyang Ave, Gaoxing District, Nanchang 330022, China
2
Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, Center for Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma, No. 101 David L. Boren Blvd, Norman, OK 73019, USA
3
Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
4
Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR), CAS, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sanzidur Rahman
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 24 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture and Development)
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Abstract

Cropping intensity is an important indicator of the intensity of cropland use and plays a very important role in food security. In this study, we reconstructed a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) time-series from 1982 to 2012 using the Savitzky-Golay (S-G) technique and used it to derive a multiple cropping index (MCI) combined with land use data. Spatial–temporal patterns of variation in the MCI of northern China were as follows: (1) The MCI in northern China increased gradually from north-west to south-east; from 1982 to 2012, the mean cropping index across grid-cells over the study area increased by 4.36% per 10 years (p < 0.001) with fluctuations throughout the study period; (2) The mean MCI across grid-cells over the whole of northern China increased from 107% to 115% with all provinces showing an increasing trend throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Aside from Tianjin, Hebei, Beijing, and Shandong, all provinces also displayed an increasing trend between the 1990s and 2000s. Arable slope played an important role in the variation of the MCI; regions with slope ≤3° and the regions with slope >3° were characterized by inverse temporal MCI trends; (3) Drivers of change in the MCI were diverse and varied across different spatial and temporal scales; the MCI was affected by the changing agricultural population, deployment of food policies, and methods introduced for maximizing farmer benefits. For the protection of national food security, measures are needed to improve the MCI. However, more attention should also be given to the negative impacts that these measures may have on agricultural sustainability, such as soil pollution by chemical fertilizers and pesticides. View Full-Text
Keywords: GIMMS-NDVI; multiple cropping index (MCI); variation; spatial–temporal patterns; northern China GIMMS-NDVI; multiple cropping index (MCI); variation; spatial–temporal patterns; northern China
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Ding, M.; Chen, Q.; Xiao, X.; Xin, L.; Zhang, G.; Li, L. Variation in Cropping Intensity in Northern China from 1982 to 2012 Based on GIMMS-NDVI Data. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1123.

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