Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2003, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (5): 643-650.doi: 10.11821/xb200305001

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Discussion on the Index Method of Regional Land Use Change

ZHU Huiyi, LI Xiubin   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2003-02-03 Revised:2003-05-11 Online:2003-09-25 Published:2003-09-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40271008; No.40271010


Recently, many sorts of index models have been widely adopted in the analysis of land use change in China. And they do play an important role in summarizing the rule of regional land use changes. However, according to the present research papers, there are some confusions and misuses in their applications, which root in faultiness, abnormity and misunderstanding of the indices or index calculation. By detailed exploration of the indices embedded in research materials, three classifications are identified on the basis of their application purposes: the change of regional land resources (change rate index and level change index), the direction of land use change (transition matrix and flow direction rate) and the spatial pattern of land use change (dynamic degree, relative change rate, adjacency degree, barycenter, frequency degree and importance degree). Then all the indices listed above are discussed under the purposed framework, including their concepts, calculation methods, application fields, misuses, and some application suggestions. This paper also gives a remark in the end that the research of land use change needs new breakthroughs in both theory and methodology. Index method is only a simple kind with limited functions, and much more efforts should be devoted to integrative, predictive methods in the coming days.

Key words: land use change, index method, resources change, change direction, spatial pattern