Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2006, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (2): 139-145.doi: 10.11821/xb200602003

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Regional Differences in the Changes of the Agricultural Land Use in China during 1980-2002

LIU Chengwu1,2, LI Xubin1   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. Department of Town Planning and Resources Sciences, Xianning College, Xianning 437005, China
  • Received:2005-10-08 Revised:2005-12-21 Online:2006-02-25 Published:2010-09-06
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40571003; European Committee Item, No.ICA4-CT-2001-10085; Provincial Natural Foundation of Hubei, No.2005ABA008; Foundation of Hubei Provincial Education Department, No.D200528002


Based on the cost-income data (1980-2002) of farm produce and the China Agricultural Yearbook, taking these main crops in the progress of the arable land use as a case study, this paper studied the regional differences in the changes of the agricultural land use in China during the period 1980-2002 from three aspects as the degree of intensity, the sown area and the abandonment of the arable land. The results showed that: (1) The degree of intensity of land use in the western region (WR) during 1980-2000 had a strong increasing trend, but in the eastern region (ER) and in the central region (CR) the degree of intensity descended notablely and has had a sustained declining trend since 1997. (2) The total sown area of the crops shrank evidently in the ER, but the total sown area of crops had a stable trend of expansion in the WR. (3) The sown area in the ER, CR and WR went through a similar process, i.e., shrinking(1980-1985)-expanding(1985-1991)-shrinking (1991-1994)-expanding(1994-1999)-shrinking (1999-2002). However, there was a marked difference in the change extent and its tendency of the sown area among them. The sown area had a marked declining tendency in the WR and expanded in the CR and WR especially before 1999. (4) The abandoned cultivated land area was the largest in the CR, moderate in the ER and the smallest in the WR. The abandonment phenomena emerged in 1992-1995 in the ER, in 1998-2002 in the CR, and the time of the abandonment in the WR had no feature of concentration.

Key words: China, agricultural land use, degree of the intensity, sown area, abandonment of the arable land, regional difference