Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (3): 471-487.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201703009

• Land Use and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Discussion on land use transition research framework

Xiaoqing SONG()   

  1. Institute of Land Resources and Urban-Rural Planning, School of Geographical Sciences,Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2016-08-03 Revised:2017-01-25 Online:2017-03-15 Published:2017-03-15
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41401191;The Guangdong Natural Science Foundation, No.2015A030313504;Young Innovation Talent Program in Guangdong, No.2014KQNCX109;Planning Program of Social Science in Guangzhou, No.15Q27;Science Research Program of Universities and Colleges in Guangzhou, No.1201430923


Land change has been a hot topic in geographical research. The overarching and convincing theories of land change science, however, have not emerged. Establishment of land use transition theory is of significance for the theory basis of land change science. This paper attempts to establish a research framework of land use transition based on summarizing the development and implications of land use transition research and clarifying the differences between land use transition and land use change. Results show that transition research of artificial ecosystems, such as cultivated land, rural housing land and urban land, is of significance. Land use transition is distinguished from land use change on several aspects, such as fundamental types, temporal scale, spatial scale, agents, driving forces, trajectory, and results or effects. Research framework of land use transition covers transition diagnosis, mechanism research and effects research. Key issues of transition diagnosis are the establishment of measuring indices and diagnosis principles of land use spatial and functional morphologies from the perspectives of quantity change, landscape pattern change and management pattern change, and of land use externality and land use policy development. Mechanism of land use transition behaves as cascading effects of underlying driving factors of land use change, including demographic, economic, technological, institutional, cultural, and location factors. Mechanism research should place emphasis on interaction between land use spatial transition and functional transition. Effects of land use transition covers at least 17 themes relating to social, economic and environmental dimensions. Cultivated land use transition in France in 1961-2011 confirms the research framework of land use transition and is beneficial to the innovation of cultivated land protection in China.

Key words: land use transition, land change science, pattern, function, research framework