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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(10), 991; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9100991

Effects of Urban Expansion on Forest Loss and Fragmentation in Six Megaregions, China

1
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Shenzhen Environmental Monitoring Center, No. 8, RD. Meiaoqi, Shangmeilin, Shenzhen 518049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Urban Ecology)
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Abstract

Urban expansion has significant effects on forest loss and fragmentation. Previous studies mostly focused on how the amount of developed land affected forest loss and fragmentation, but neglected the impacts of its spatial pattern. This paper examines the effects of both the amount and spatial pattern of urban expansion on forest loss and fragmentation. We conducted a comparison study in the six largest urban megaregions in China—Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH), Yangtze River Delta (YRD), Pearl River Delta (PRD), Wuhan (WH), Chengdu-Chongqing (CY), and Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan (CZT) urban megaregions. We first quantified both the magnitude and speed of urban expansion, and forest loss and fragmentation from 2000 to 2010. We then examined the relationships between urban expansion and forest loss and fragmentation by Pearson correlation and partial correlation analysis using the prefecture city as the analytical unit. We found: (1) urban expansion was a major driver of forest loss in the CZT, PRD, and CY megaregions, with 34.05%, 22.58%, and 19.65% of newly-developed land converted from forests. (2) Both the proportional cover of developed land and its spatial pattern (e.g., patch density) had significant impacts on forest fragmentation at the city level. (3) Proportional cover of developed land was the major factor for forest fragmentation at the city level for the PRD and YRD megaregions, but the impact of the spatial pattern of developed land was more important for the BTH and WH megaregions. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban growth; urbanization; land cover change; urban agglomeration; remote sensing; patch density; landscape change; urban ecology urban growth; urbanization; land cover change; urban agglomeration; remote sensing; patch density; landscape change; urban ecology
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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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Zhou, W.; Zhang, S.; Yu, W.; Wang, J.; Wang, W. Effects of Urban Expansion on Forest Loss and Fragmentation in Six Megaregions, China. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 991.

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