Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (8): 1699-1710.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202008010

• Regional and Rural Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal changes of cotton production in China from 1950 to 2015

MA Chunyue1,2(), Mamat Sawut1,2,3(), YAO Jie4, Gulnur Isak1,2   

  1. 1. College of Resources and Environmental Science, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Oasis Ecology of Ministry of Education, Urumqi 830046, China
    3. Key Laboratory for Wisdom City and Environmental Modeling, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046, China
    4. Chongqing Yingxi Hengzong Information Technology Co. Ltd., Chongqing 400014, China
  • Received:2019-05-07 Revised:2020-02-17 Online:2020-08-25 Published:2020-10-25
  • Contact: Mamat Sawut;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41361016);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41461051)


Based on the distribution data of cotton production in China from 1950 to 2015, the study aims to investigate the spatio-temporal changes and gravity center migration path in cotton production, area and yield in China by methods of time-series trend and spatial analysis. Then, contribution rates of cotton area and yield to the changes of cotton production are quantified. The results indicate that: (1) China's cotton production and yield showed an overall upward trend over the past 65 years. Among them, the production increased by 521.44×104 t and the yield increased by 1381.83 kg/hm2. After five periods of violent fluctuations, stable development, and three ups and downs, the cotton area was basically the same compared with the year 1950. (2) There was a large regional gap between cotton yield and cotton area, but the overall trend was increasing. The variation trend of cotton yield per unit area was stable, among which the annual fluctuation of cotton production in the inland cotton area of northwest China was the largest. (3) From 1950 to 2015, nearly 87% of China's cotton-growing regions increased their production, about 63% of the regions decreased cotton area, and more than 70% of the regions increased cotton yield. The production and yield of the three major cotton areas have increased, but the growth rate has been decreasing. The northwest inland cotton area had the smallest shrinkage, and it was also the main area for China's cotton area growth. (4) China's cotton production has formed a "southeast-northwest" pattern. The main production area has changed from the Yellow River basin to the northwest inland; the cotton production and area center of gravity have moved to the northwest, with a total moving distance of 1947 km and 1398 km, respectively. From 2010 to 2015, the moving speed was the highest, reaching 140 km/a and 159 km/a, respectively; the production center of cotton in the northwest inland area moved from Hotan to Aksu. The basin cotton area was moved from Lu'an to Huanggang, and the Yellow River basin cotton area was moved from Handan to Liaocheng. (5) The contribution of national cotton production has gradually changed from yield dominance to area dominance. From the perspective of cotton regions, cotton areas in the Yangtze and Yellow river basins have gradually changed from yield dominance to area dominance, and the northwest inland cotton areas have been driven by area.

Key words: cotton, production, spatial analysis, spatio-temporal changes, contribution, China