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Contrasting Trends of Forest Coverage between the Inland and Coastal Urban Groups of China over the Past Decades

School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Hohai University, Fochengxi Road 8, Nanjing 211100, China
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Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4451; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164451
Received: 21 July 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 15 August 2019 / Published: 17 August 2019
China is building forest urban groups through reforestation and afforestation. However, the fast process of urbanization inevitably conflicts with multiple vegetated areas around cities. Hence, it is critical to evaluate the changes in regional vegetation cover and its spatial pattern due to complex natural and anthropogenic factors. Nevertheless, systematic studies to quantify and compare the development of forest urban agglomerations were rarely reported. Based on a remote sensing landcover dataset from 1992 to 2015, this study investigated forest cover changes and the impacts on landscape pattern in several urban groups, and tried to explore their differences between the inland and coastal regions of China. The results showed that over the past 24 years, the forest coverage in the coastal urban agglomerations declined (103 km2/year) while it increased (26 km2/year) in the inland urban agglomerations. There was a certain conflict between forest and cropland for the coastal urban agglomerations where the forest area converted to cropland accounted for 61.9% of the total forest loss. The increase in forests coverage in inland urban agglomerations mainly came from grassland which nearly accounted for 66.47% of the total increase. The landscape diversity has also changed in areas where forests have changed significantly (e.g., Shanghai, Changzhi, and Jincheng). View Full-Text
Keywords: forest urban agglomeration; land cover change; landscape pattern; remote sensing forest urban agglomeration; land cover change; landscape pattern; remote sensing
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Zhu, Q.; Jin, J.; Wang, P.; Ji, Y.; Xiao, Y.; Guo, F.; Deng, C.; Qu, L. Contrasting Trends of Forest Coverage between the Inland and Coastal Urban Groups of China over the Past Decades. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4451.

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