Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2006, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (11): 1160-1170.doi: 10.11821/xb200611005

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Sustainable Land Use Models for Arid Lands: A Case study of the Northern Tianshan Mountain Areas

LUO Geping1, ZHANG Baiping2   

  1. 1. Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China;
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2006-06-20 Revised:2006-08-31 Online:2006-11-25 Published:2006-11-25
  • Supported by:

    he project of "Western Light Related to Eastern Scholar"; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40471134


Sustainable land use models are prerequisites of sustainable development of regional ecology and economy. It is especially true for arid land areas where environment is wholly fragile thanks to very limited precipitation and where human activities have greatly transformed natural desert system by clearing natural vegetation, expanding oases and even building dams. However, the up-to-data study of land use models is still in a stage of investigation and case study, lacking solid scientific basis. This paper holds that land types and their combination patterns are the principal basis for designing sustainable land use models, and that GIS and RS-based large-scale land type mapping and their spatial combination structure study should be coordinated with the demand of social development and carried out in the near future. The existing environmental problems induced by irrational land use mostly result from their deviation from the natural properties of land types. This paper, taking the northern Tianshan Mountains as an example and considering land type patterns as the basis of land use patterns, improves the vertical oasis and middle mountain two belt development model and mountain land use model for arid land put forward in recent years, and, in terms of oases patterns, outlines oasis development models, including diluvial-alluvial fan intensive land use model, alluvial plain moderate-scale agricultural development model, and river-end oasis ecological use model.

Key words: northern Tianshan Mountain areas, oasis, landscape pattern, oasis evolution