E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "The Long-Term Perspective of Human Impact on Landscape for Environmental Change and Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Anna Maria Mercuri

Laboratorio di Palinologia e Paleobotanica, Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Viale Caduti in Guerra 127 – 41121 Modena, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: palynology; climate change; human impact; cultural landscape; Sahara
Guest Editor
Dr. Assunta Florenzano

Laboratorio di Palinologia e Paleobotanica, Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Viale Caduti in Guerra 127 – 41121 Modena, Italy
E-Mail
Interests: palynology; archaeological sites; pastoralism; cultural heritage; southern Italy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The knowledge of past environmental history strongly contributes to conscious and efficient environment conservation and management. Therefore, the long-term perspective of the dynamics which govern the human-climate ecosystem is becoming one of the main focuses of paramount interest in biological and earth system sciences. Modern biodiversity is the result of the long-term shaping that humans and climate made on vegetation, soils and landforms. Climate change and human impact are predicted to become significant risks to lose biodiversity.

Multidisciplinary bio-geo-archaeo investigations on the underlying processes of human impact on landscape are crucial to allow us to envisage possible future scenarios of biosphere responses to global warming and biodiversity losses. In particular, palaeoecology and ecology jointly facilitate the understanding of the effects of human impact on ecosystems answering to how plant species have reacted and still react to global changes. Palynology is among the best tools to study high-resolution sequences formed under natural and anthropic (cultural) forces.

This Special Issue seeks to engage an interdisciplinary dialogue on the dynamic interactions between nature and society, focussing on long-term environmental data as essential tool to better-informed landscape management decisions to gain an equilibrium between conservation and sustainable resources exploitation. Studies on environment, global change, archaeobotany, conservation, cultural landscape and human impact, with special focus on the research carried out by botanists in the different fields, are particularly encouraged.

Prof. Dr.  Anna Maria Mercuri
Dr. Assunta Florenzano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Palynology
  • Land use change
  • Landscape transformation
  • Paleoecology
  • Archaeology
  • Palaeoethnobotany
  • Climate change
  • Terrestrial Ecology
  • Restoration planning
  • Environmental Sustainability

Published Papers (12 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-12
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle The Tragedy of Forestland Sustainability in Postcolonial Africa: Land Development, Cocoa, and Politics in Côte d’Ivoire
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4611; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124611
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 23 November 2018 / Accepted: 23 November 2018 / Published: 5 December 2018
PDF Full-text (1696 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tropical countries are often blamed for not managing their natural resources sustainably. But what if overexploitation is inherent in political structures and policies—rooted in foreign colonial order—and is consistently detrimental in the contemporary use of forestlands? This article argues that post-colonial land development
[...] Read more.
Tropical countries are often blamed for not managing their natural resources sustainably. But what if overexploitation is inherent in political structures and policies—rooted in foreign colonial order—and is consistently detrimental in the contemporary use of forestlands? This article argues that post-colonial land development policies and related political interests seriously impede the sustainability of forest ecosystems in Côte d’Ivoire. Methodologically, the study builds on a historic contextualisation of forestland use policies in Sub-Saharan Africa, with Côte d’Ivoire serving as a case study. The results indicate that the increasing development of so-called rent crops clearly follows the historical dynamics of ‘land grabbing’ and a post-colonial agrarian model. This situation benefits agribusiness entrepreneurs and, more recently, sustainability standards. The study discusses the findings based on recent literature and empirical evidence. In conclusion, the post-colonial heritage and the manipulation of the related patterns by elites and policy-makers largely explains the present-day unsustainable forestland conversions in Côte d’Ivoire. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Forest Landscape Change and Preliminary Study on Its Driving Forces in Ślęża Landscape Park (Southwestern Poland) in 1883–2013
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4526; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124526
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
PDF Full-text (1711 KB)
Abstract
Changes in forest landscapes have been connected with human activity for centuries and can be considered one of the main driving forces of change from a global perspective. The spatial distribution of forests changes along with the geopolitical situation, demographic changes, intensification of
[...] Read more.
Changes in forest landscapes have been connected with human activity for centuries and can be considered one of the main driving forces of change from a global perspective. The spatial distribution of forests changes along with the geopolitical situation, demographic changes, intensification of agriculture, urbanization, or changes in land use policy. However, due to the limited availability of historical data, the driving forces of changes in forest landscapes are most often considered in relation to recent decades, without taking long-term analyses into account. The aim of this paper is to determine the level and types of landscape changes and make preliminary study on natural and socio-economic factors on changes in forest landscapes within the protected area, Ślęża Landscape Park, and its buffer zone using long-term analyses covering a period of 140 years (1883–2013). A comparison of historical and current maps and demographic data related to three consecutive periods of time as well as natural and location factors by using the ArcGIS software allows the selected driving forces of forest landscape transformations to be analyzed. We took into account natural factors such as the elevation, slope, and exposure of the hillside and socio-economic drivers like population changes, distances to centers of municipalities, main roads, and built-up areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Impact of Late Holocene Flood Management on the Central Po Plain (Northern Italy)
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3968; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113968
Received: 22 September 2018 / Revised: 27 October 2018 / Accepted: 28 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
PDF Full-text (5058 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fluvial environments have always played a crucial role in human history. The necessity of fertile land and fresh water for agriculture has led populations to settle in floodplains more frequently than in other environments. Floodplains are complex human–water systems in which the mutual
[...] Read more.
Fluvial environments have always played a crucial role in human history. The necessity of fertile land and fresh water for agriculture has led populations to settle in floodplains more frequently than in other environments. Floodplains are complex human–water systems in which the mutual interaction between anthropogenic activities and environment affected the landscape development. In this paper, we analyzed the evolution of the Central Po Plain (Italy) during the Medieval period through a multi-proxy record of geomorphological, archaeological and historical data. The collapse of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD) coincided with a progressive waterlogging of large floodplain areas. The results obtained by this research shed new light on the consequences that Post-Roman land and water management activities had on landscape evolution. In particular, the exploitation of fluvial sediments through flood management practices had the effect of reclaiming the swamps, but also altered the natural geomorphological development of the area. Even so, the Medieval human activities were more in equilibrium with the natural system than with the later Renaissance large-scale land reclamation works that profoundly modified the landscape turning the wetland environment into the arable land visible today. The analysis of fluvial palaeoenvironments and their relation with past human activities can provide valuable indications for planning more sustainable urbanized alluvial landscapes in future. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Historical Arable Land Change in an Eco-Fragile Area: A Case Study in Zhenlai County, Northeastern China
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3940; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113940
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 25 October 2018 / Accepted: 26 October 2018 / Published: 30 October 2018
PDF Full-text (3840 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Long-term land changes are cumulatively a major driver of global environmental change. Historical land-cover/use change is important for assessing present landscape conditions and researching ecological environment issues, especially in eco-fragile areas. Arable land is one of the land types influenced by human agricultural
[...] Read more.
Long-term land changes are cumulatively a major driver of global environmental change. Historical land-cover/use change is important for assessing present landscape conditions and researching ecological environment issues, especially in eco-fragile areas. Arable land is one of the land types influenced by human agricultural activity, reflecting human effects on land-use and land-cover change. This paper selected Zhenlai County, which is part of the farming–pastoral zone of northern China, as the research region. As agricultural land transformation goes with the establishment of settlements, in this research, the historical progress of land transformation in agricultural areas was analyzed from the perspective of settlement evolution, and the historical reconstruction of arable land was established using settlement as the proxy between their inner relationships, which could be reflected by the farming radius. The results show the following. (1) There was little land transformation from nonagricultural areas into agricultural areas until the Qing government lifted the ban on cultivation and mass migration accelerated the process, which was most significant during 1907–1912; (2) The overall trend of land transformation in this region is from northeast to southwest; (3) Taking the topographic maps as references, the spatial distribution of the reconstructed arable land accounts for 47.79% of the maps. When this proxy-based reconstruction method is applied to other regions, its limitations should be noticed. It is important to explore the research of farming radius calculations based on regional characteristics. To achieve land-system sustainability, long-term historical land change trajectories and characteristics should be applied to future policy making. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Analyzing Trends of Dike-Ponds between 1978 and 2016 Using Multi-Source Remote Sensing Images in Shunde District of South China
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3504; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103504
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 30 September 2018
PDF Full-text (12102 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dike-ponds have experienced significant changes in the Pearl River Delta region over the past several decades, especially since China’s economic reform, which has seriously affected the construction of ecological environments. In order to monitor the evolution of dike-ponds, in this study we use
[...] Read more.
Dike-ponds have experienced significant changes in the Pearl River Delta region over the past several decades, especially since China’s economic reform, which has seriously affected the construction of ecological environments. In order to monitor the evolution of dike-ponds, in this study we use multi-source remote sensing images from 1978 to 2016 to extract dike-ponds in several periods using the nearest neighbor classification method. A corresponding area weighted dike-pond invasion index (AWDII) is proposed to describe the spatial evolution of dike-ponds, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Furthermore, the evolution mechanisms of dike-ponds are determined, which can be attributed to both natural conditions and human factors. Our results show that the total area of dike-ponds in 2016 was significantly reduced and fragmentation had increased compared with the situation in 1978. The AWDII reveals that Shunde District has experienced three main phases, including steady development, rapid invasion and a reduction of invasion by other land use types. Most dike-ponds have now converted into built-up areas, followed by cultivated lands, mainly due to government policies, rural area depopulation, and river networks within Shunde. Our study indicates that the AWDII is applicable towards the evaluation of the dynamic changes of dike-ponds. The rational development, and careful protection, of dike-ponds should be implemented for better land and water resource management. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Vegetation History in the Toledo Mountains (Central Iberia): Human Impact during the Last 1300 Years
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2575; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072575
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 13 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 23 July 2018
PDF Full-text (4511 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mid-mountain ecosystems provide a broad diversity of resources, heterogeneous relief, and a mild climate, which are all very useful for human necessities. These features enable different strategies such as the terracing of the slopes as well as wide crop diversification. Their relations lead
[...] Read more.
Mid-mountain ecosystems provide a broad diversity of resources, heterogeneous relief, and a mild climate, which are all very useful for human necessities. These features enable different strategies such as the terracing of the slopes as well as wide crop diversification. Their relations lead to a parallel co-evolution between the environment and human societies, where fire and grazing become the most effective landscape management tools. This paper presents the results obtained from a multi-proxy study of the Bermú paleoenvironmental record, which is a minerotrophic mire located in the Quintos de Mora National Hunting Reserve (Toledo Mountains, central Spain). The bottom of this core has been dated in the Islamic period (ca. 711–1100 cal AD), and the study shows how the landscape that was built over time in the Toledo Mountains up to the present day is narrowly linked to human development. This study shows the increasing human pressure on the landscape, as well as the subsequent strategies followed by the plant and human communities as they faced diverse environmental changes. Thus, it is possible to attest the main role played by the humans in the Toledo Mountains, not only as a simple user, but also as a builder of their own reflexion in the environment. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Agricultural Oasis Expansion and Its Impact on Oasis Landscape Patterns in the Southern Margin of Tarim Basin, Northwest China
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1957; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061957
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 11 June 2018
PDF Full-text (10185 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Oasis landscape change and its pattern dynamics are considered one of the vital research areas on global land use and landscape change in arid regions. An agricultural oasis is the main site of food security and ecosystem services in arid areas. Recently, the
[...] Read more.
Oasis landscape change and its pattern dynamics are considered one of the vital research areas on global land use and landscape change in arid regions. An agricultural oasis is the main site of food security and ecosystem services in arid areas. Recently, the dramatic exploitation of agricultural oases has affected oasis stability, inducing some ecological and environmental issues such as water shortage and land degradation. In this study, the Qira oasis on the southern margin of Tarim Basin, Northwest China, was selected as a study area to examine the spatiotemporal changes in an agricultural oasis and the influence on oasis landscape pattern. Based on the integration of Thematic Mapper, Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus, and GF-1 images, the agricultural Qira oasis has rapidly increased, with annual change rates of −0.3%, 1.6%, 3.7%, and 1.5% during 1970–1990, 1990–2000, 2000–2013, and 2013–2016, respectively. With the agricultural oasis expansion, the agricultural land has increased from 91.10 km2 in 1970 to 105.04 km2 in 2016. The percentage of farmland area has increased by 15.3% in 2016 compared with that in 1970. The natural vegetation is decreasing owing to the reclamation of desert–oasis ecotone. The oasis landscape change and pattern are mainly affected by agricultural expansion under water-saving technological utilization, land use policy, and regional economic development demand. The expansion of agricultural oasis is alarming due to human overexploitation. Thus, the government should adjust the layout of agricultural development and pay considerable attention to the oasis environment sustainability. This study can provide a valuable reference on the impact of climate change and human activities on a landscape. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Profiling Human-Induced Vegetation Change in the Horqin Sandy Land of China Using Time Series Datasets
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041068
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 4 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (29239 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Discriminating the significant human-induced vegetation changes over the past 15 years could help local governments review the effects of eco-programs and develop sustainable land use policies in arid/semi-arid ecosystems. We used the residual trends method (RESTREND) to estimate the human-induced and climate-induced vegetation
[...] Read more.
Discriminating the significant human-induced vegetation changes over the past 15 years could help local governments review the effects of eco-programs and develop sustainable land use policies in arid/semi-arid ecosystems. We used the residual trends method (RESTREND) to estimate the human-induced and climate-induced vegetation changes. Two typical regions in the Horqin Sandy Land of China were selected as study areas. We first detected vegetation dynamics between 2000–2014 using Sen’s slope estimation and the Mann–Kendall test detection method (SMK) based on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) time series, then used RESTREND to profile human modifications in areas of significant vegetation change. RESTREND was optimized using statistical and trajectory analysis to automatically identify flexible spatially homogeneous neighborhoods, which were essential for determining the reference areas. The results indicated the following. (1) Obvious vegetation increases happened in both regions, but Naiman (64.1%) increased more than Ar Horqin (16.8%). (2) Climate and human drivers both contributed to significant changes. The two factors contributed equally to vegetation change in Ar Horqin, while human drivers contributed more in Naiman. (3) Human factors had a stronger influence on ecosystems, and were more responsible for vegetation decreases in both regions. Further evidences showed that the primary human drivers varied in regions. Grassland eco-management was the key driver in Ar Horqin, while farming was the key factor for vegetation change in Naiman. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spatio-Temporal Variation of Land-Use Intensity from a Multi-Perspective—Taking the Middle and Lower Reaches of Shule River Basin in China as an Example
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030771
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 11 March 2018
PDF Full-text (3617 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The long-term human activities could influence land use/cover change and sustainability. As the global climate changes, humans are using more land resources to develop economy and create material wealth, which causes a tremendous influence on the structure of natural resources, ecology, and environment.
[...] Read more.
The long-term human activities could influence land use/cover change and sustainability. As the global climate changes, humans are using more land resources to develop economy and create material wealth, which causes a tremendous influence on the structure of natural resources, ecology, and environment. Interference from human activities has facilitated land utilization and land coverage change, resulting in changes in land-use intensity. Land-use intensity can indicate the degree of the interference of human activities on lands, and is an important indicator of the sustainability of land use. Taking the middle and lower reaches of Shule River Basin as study region, this paper used “land-use degree (LUD)” and “human activity intensity (HAI)” models for land-use intensity, and analyzed the spatio-temporal variation of land-use intensity in this region from a multi-perspective. The results were as follows: (1) From 1987 to 2015, the land use structure in the study region changed little. Natural land was always the main land type, followed by semi-natural land and then artificial land. (2) The LUD in the study region increased by 35.36 over the 29 years. It increased the most rapidly from 1996 to 2007, and after 2007, it still increased, but more slowly. A spatial distribution pattern of “low land-use degree in east and west regions and high land-use degree in middle region” changed to “high land-use degree in east and middle regions and low land-use degree in west region”. (3) The human activity intensity of artificial lands (HAI-AL) in the study region decreased from 1987 to 1996, and then increased from 1996 to 2015. The human activity intensity of semi-artificial lands (HAL-SAL) in the study region increased over the 29 years, and more rapidly after 1996. (4) 1996–2007 was a transition period for the land-use intensity in the study region. This was related to the implementation of the socio-economy, policies such as “Integrated Development of Agricultural Irrigation and Immigrant Settlement in Shule River Basin (1996–2006)”, and technologies. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Modelling Soil Carbon Content in South Patagonia and Evaluating Changes According to Climate, Vegetation, Desertification and Grazing
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020438
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1381 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Southern Patagonia, a long-term monitoring network has been established to assess bio-indicators as an early warning of environmental changes due to climate change and human activities. Soil organic carbon (SOC) content in rangelands provides a range of important ecosystem services and supports
[...] Read more.
In Southern Patagonia, a long-term monitoring network has been established to assess bio-indicators as an early warning of environmental changes due to climate change and human activities. Soil organic carbon (SOC) content in rangelands provides a range of important ecosystem services and supports the capacity of the land to sustain plant and animal productivity. The objectives in this study were to model SOC (30 cm) stocks at a regional scale using climatic, topographic and vegetation variables, and to establish a baseline that can be used as an indicator of rangeland condition. For modelling, we used a stepwise multiple regression to identify variables that explain SOC variation at the landscape scale. With the SOC model, we obtained a SOC map for the entire Santa Cruz province, where the variables derived from the multiple linear regression models were integrated into a geographic information system (GIS). SOC stock to 30 cm ranged from 1.38 to 32.63 kg C m−2. The fitted model explained 76.4% of SOC variation using as independent variables isothermality, precipitation seasonality and vegetation cover expressed as a normalized difference vegetation index. The SOC map discriminated in three categories (low, medium, high) determined patterns among environmental and land use variables. For example, SOC decreased with desertification due to erosion processes. The understanding and mapping of SOC in Patagonia contributes as a bridge across main issues such as climate change, desertification and biodiversity conservation. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Carbon Neutral by 2021: The Past and Present of Costa Rica’s Unusual Political Tradition
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 296; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020296
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Costa Rica has pledged to become the first nation to become carbon neutral. This event raises the important question of how to understand this contemporary form of climate politics, given that Costa Rica has made an almost negligible contribution to the problem of
[...] Read more.
Costa Rica has pledged to become the first nation to become carbon neutral. This event raises the important question of how to understand this contemporary form of climate politics, given that Costa Rica has made an almost negligible contribution to the problem of global climate change. To understand this pledge, a case study spanning about 200 years situates the pledge within the country’s unique historical profile. An analysis of interview data, archival research, and secondary data reveals that the pledge is the latest instance in Costa Rica’s unusual political tradition. This political tradition dates back to the area’s experience as a Spanish colony and as a newly independent nation. Several events, including the abolition of the army, the work on green development, and being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize were all foundational in forming Costa Rica’s tradition as a place that leads by example and stands for peace and protection of nature. The carbon neutral pledge extends the political tradition that has been established through these earlier events. This case highlights the importance of understanding contemporary environmental politics through an analysis of long-term, historical data. Full article
Open AccessArticle Responses of Vegetation Cover to Environmental Change in Large Cities of China
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010270
Received: 3 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 20 January 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5542 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Vegetation cover is crucial for the sustainability of urban ecosystems; however, this cover has been undergoing substantial changes in cities. Based on climate data, city statistical data, nighttime light data and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset, we investigate the spatiotemporal variations
[...] Read more.
Vegetation cover is crucial for the sustainability of urban ecosystems; however, this cover has been undergoing substantial changes in cities. Based on climate data, city statistical data, nighttime light data and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset, we investigate the spatiotemporal variations of climate factors, urban lands and vegetation cover in 71 large cities of China during 1998–2012, and explore their correlations. A regression model between growing-season NDVI (G-NDVI) and urban land proportion (PU) is built to quantify the impact of urbanization on vegetation cover change. The results indicate that the spatiotemporal variations of temperature, precipitation, PU and G-NDVI are greatly different among the 71 cities which experienced rapid urbanization. The spatial difference of G-NDVI is closely related to diverse climate conditions, while the inter-annual variations of G-NDVI are less sensitive to climate changes. In addition, there is a negative correlation between G-NDVI trend and PU change, indicating vegetation cover in cities have been negatively impacted by urbanization. For most of the inland cities, the urbanization impacts on vegetation cover in urban areas are more severe than in suburban areas. But the opposite occurs in 17 cities mainly located in the coastal areas which have been undergoing the most rapid urbanization. Overall, the impacts of urbanization on G-NDVI change are estimated to be −0.026 per decade in urban areas and −0.015 per decade in suburban areas during 1998–2012. The long-term developments of cities would persist and continue to impact on the environmental change and sustainability. We use a 15-year window here as a case study, which implies the millennia of human effects on the natural biotas and warns us to manage landscapes and preserve ecological environments properly. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Back to Top