Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (7): 1130-1143.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201607004

• Land Use Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial pattern of land use intensity in China in 2000

Fang LIU1(), Huimin YAN1(), Jiyuan LIU1, Xiangming XIAO2,3, Yuanwei QIN2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, Center for Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma, Norman 73019, Oklahoma, USA
    3.Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • Received:2015-11-08 Revised:2016-04-11 Online:2016-07-25 Published:2016-07-27
  • Supported by:
    Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41430861;Science and Technology Service Network Initiative, No.KFJ-EW-STS-019]


In this paper, according to the intensity of human impacts, a national hierarchical land use intensity classification system was designed based on comprehensive and high-resolution spatial datasets. According to the degree and reversibility of surface disturbance by human activities, we obtained data for four main groups of artificial land, semi-artificial land, semi-natural land and natural land, which were further divided into 22 classes based on indicators such as human population density, and cropping intensity. Land use intensity in China with a 1-km spatial resolution was obtained. The area proportions of artificial land, semi-artificial land, semi-natural land and natural land were 0.71%, 19.36%, 58.93% and 21%, respectively. Besides, significant spatial variability was demonstrated at national, regional and provincial levels. The southeastern region with denser population had more classes of land use intensity and was more intensive than the northwestern region with sparse population. With the increase of longitude, a transition in dominated land use intensity type was detected from natural and semi-natural land to semi-natural and semi-artificial land. The land use intensity in provinces of eastern China was the highest, followed by those in central and western regions. The land use intensity types showed a remarkable spatial differentiation of clustered distribution. Compared with the previous studies, our research effectively characterizes the spatial heterogeneity of land use intensity, which can help us to get a better understanding of spatial pattern of human-environment interactions and its eco-environmental impacts, which can provide scientific basis for sustainable land use policies.

Key words: land use intensity, classification system, spatial differentiation, sustainability, China