Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (5): 832-842.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201805004

• Land Use and Ecosystem Services • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Reconstruction of cropland area at the provincial level in the early Yuan Dynasty

LI Meijiao1,2(),HE Fanneng1(),YANG Fan1,2,LI Shicheng3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. School of Public Administration, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan 430074, China
  • Received:2017-09-19 Online:2018-05-03 Published:2018-05-03
  • Supported by:
    National Key R&D Program of China, No.2017YFA0603304;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41671149;The Special Program for Basic Work of the Ministry of Science and Technology, China, No.2014FY210900


Reconstruction of regional historical land use and land cover change (LUCC) on the basis of historical documents is significant for regional eco-environmental effect studies and the enrichment of global historical land use datasets. By analyzing data recorded in historical documents, including Tuntian (cropland which was reclaimed by troops or farmers for military supplies) area, the number of Tuntian households, cropland area and the number of households, this paper proposed the conversion relationship between per household Tuntian area and per household cropland area. And a provincial cropland area estimation method of the Yuan Dynasty was designed. Then the method was used to reconstruct the provincial cropland area for AD 1290. The results are shown as follows: (1) Both per household Tuntian area and per household cropland area were high in north and low in south in the Yuan Dynasty, which was resulted from the differences of natural conditions and cropping systems in the south and north. And the geographical consistency signified that the allocation of per household Tuntian area takes reference to the local per household cropland area. (2) At the provincial level, there was some deviation between per household Tuntian area and per household cropland area. And the revision coefficients in the south and north were 1.23 and 0.65 respectively. (3) The cropland area of the whole study area in AD 1290 was about 535. 4×106 mu (Chinese area unit, 1 mu=666.7 m2), accounting for 57.8% of the north and 42.2% of the south. The territory land reclamation rate of the whole study area, the north, and the south were 6.8%, 6.6% and 7.1%, respectively. And per capita cropland area of the whole study area, the north, and the south were 6.7 mu, 15.6 mu and 4.1 mu, respectively. (4) The cropland was mainly distributed in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River (including Fuli area), the Huaihe River Basin (including Henan province), the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River (including Jiangzhe, Jiangxi, and Huguang provinces), and Yunnan province.

Key words: historical LUCC, cropland, area estimation, historical documents, Yuan Dynasty