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Open AccessArticle

Forest Fragmentation and Driving Forces in Yingkou, Northeastern China

by Lei Zhang 1, Yanfang Liu 1,2,* and Xiaojian Wei 3,4
School of Resource and Environment Sciences, Wuhan University, 129 Luoyu Road, Wuhan 430079, China
Collaborative Innovation Center of Geospatial Information Technology, Wuhan University, 129 Luoyu Road, Wuhan 430079, China
Key Laboratory of Watershed Ecology and Geographical Environment Monitoring, National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation, Nanchang 330013, China
School of Geomatics, East China University of Technology, 418 Guanglan Road, Nanchang 330013, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 374;
Received: 24 November 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
Forest fragmentation, the process of changing original large and intact forest patches into smaller and isolated areas, significantly influences the balance of surface physical environment, biodiversity, and species richness. Sufficient knowledge of forest fragmentation is necessary to maintain ecological balance and promote sustainable resource utilization. This study combines remote sensing, geographical information systems, and landscape metrics to assess forest fragmentation at landscape and pixel levels during different time periods (2000–2005, 2005–2010, and 2010–2015) in the Yingkou region. Spatial statistical analysis is also used to analyze the relationship between forest landscape fragmentation and its determinants (e.g., natural factors, socioeconomic factors, and proximity factors). Results show that forest patches became smaller, subdivided, and isolated during 2010–2015 at the total landscape level. Local changes occurred in the southwest of the study region or around the development area. Our data also indicate that shrinkage and subdivision were the main forest fragmentation processes during three times, and attrition became the main forest fragmentation process from 2010 to 2015. These changes were significantly influenced by natural factors (e.g., elevation and slope), proximity factors (e.g., distance to city and distance to province roads), and socioeconomic factors (e.g., gross domestic product). Results presented in this study provide valuable insights into the pattern and processes of forest fragmentation and present direct implications for the protection and reasonable utilization of forest resources. View Full-Text
Keywords: land-use change; forest fragmentation; driving forces; forest protection land-use change; forest fragmentation; driving forces; forest protection
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Zhang, L.; Liu, Y.; Wei, X. Forest Fragmentation and Driving Forces in Yingkou, Northeastern China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 374.

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