Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 69 ›› Issue (9): 1346-1357.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201409008

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Main progress in the research on land use intensification

Huiyi ZHU1(), Minghui SUN1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2014-04-22 Revised:2014-07-10 Online:2014-09-17 Published:2014-09-17


Land use intensification is an unimpeachable choice of human beings under the multiple pressures of food security, economic development, and ecological conservation. It is particularly important for the countries with less land resource per capita like China to foster a sustainable intensification in their use of land. The scientific understanding of land-use change, however, is still insufficient to characterise the conditions under which such a sustainable intensification can and will occur. The existing large knowledge gaps should be filled in the future. In this paper, we briefly review main progress in the research on land use intensification. The content is arranged in two sections. The first section focuses on four subtopics: (1) basic characters and their measuring indicators, (2) extremum and potential for input and output, (3) driving factors and limiting factors, (4) ecological effects and sustainable intensification. The second section is on current hotspots: monitoring and mapping land use intensity, land sharing & land sparing, policy premise and choice, and urban land "intensification" in China.

Key words: land use change, land use intensification, agricultural intensification, main progress