Over the last six decades, paddy fields on the Sanjiang Plain have experienced rapid expansion and aggregation. In our study, land use and land cover changes related to paddy fields were studied based on information acquired from topographic maps and remote-sensing images. Paddy field expansion and aggregation were investigated through landscape indices and trajectory codes. Furthermore, the possible causes of paddy field expansion and aggregation were explored. Results indicated that such fields have increased by approximately 42,704 ha·y−1
over the past six decades. Approximately 98% of paddy fields in 2015 were converted from other land use types. In general, the gravity center moved 254.51 km toward the northeast, at a rate of approximately 4.17 km·y−1
. The cohesion index increased from 96.8208 in 1954 to 99.5656 in 2015, and the aggregation index grew from 91.3533 in 1954 to 93.4448 in 2015, indicating the apparent aggregation of paddy fields on the Sanjiang Plain. Trajectory analyses showed that the transformations from marsh as well as from grassland to dry farmland and then into paddy fields were predominant. Climate warming provided a favorable environment for rice planting. Meanwhile, population growth, technological progress, and government policies drove paddy field expansion and aggregation during the study period.
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