Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2005, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (2): 179-188.doi: 10.11821/xb200502001

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Rural Housing Land Transition in Transect of the Yangtse River

LONG Hualou1, LI Xiubin2   

  1. 1. Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Center, the Ministry of Land and Resources, Beijing 100035, China;
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2004-09-02 Revised:2005-01-04 Online:2005-03-25 Published:2010-09-09
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40201001; Programme of Excellent Young Scientists of the Ministry of Land and Resources; Knowledge Innovation Project of CAS, No.KZCX2-310


Each IGBP Transect has been designed around the variation of a major environmental factor as it influences terrestrial ecosystem structure and functioning. Most are organised around a gradient of either temperature or precipitation that varies continuously in geographical space. Transects are usually taken as tools for synthesis and integration. Synthesis and integration activities are essential for the practical application of transects research to management issues. Transect of the Yangtse River with obvious gradients both in the condition of physical environment and in the level of socioeconomic development is taken as a study area. There are 312 counties involving 11 provinces in the study area. Its total area amounts to 1.12 million km2. Land use transition refers to the changes in land use morphology, the overall pattern of actual land cover in a region at a given time, over time. It usually corresponds to the transition of regional socioeconomic development phase. The theoretical hypotheses of rural housing land transition are put forward as the following. That is the development of rural housing of every region should undergo some stages: the ratio of rural housing to increased settlements decreases gradually with the development of local economy, and the end of the transition corresponds to a new equilibrium between rural housing and other construction activities. Taking horizontal comparative research method, rural housing land transition in the study area is analyzed. Conclusions are drawn as follows: 1) In the period of 15 years from 1987 to 2001, the ratio of rural housing to increased settlements in five regions, divided according to the aggregation index of land use change, is generally decreased gradually from the upper reaches to the lower reaches. 2) Each region is in different rural housing land transition phases respectively, and it corresponds to its respective socioeconomic development level. The results successfully testified above theoretical hypotheses. Accordingly, the authors suggest that the state should set down uniform standard of rural housing according to the differentiation of socioeconomic development level and physical conditions instead of different provinces with its individual standard at present. Furthermore, aiming at the status quo of rural housing in the study area, corresponding regional policies should be set down according to their different rural housing land transition phases.

Key words: land use transition, transect, rural development, horizontal comparative research, rural housing land, the Yangtse River