Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (9): 2105-2127.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202309001

• Land Use and Carbon Peak & Carbon Neutrality •     Next Articles

Dynamics and driving mechanisms of cultivated land at county level in China

ZHANG Jie1,2(), LIU Yujie1,2(), ZHANG Ermei1,2, CHEN Jie1,2, TAN Qinghua1,2   

  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
  • Received:2022-11-18 Revised:2023-06-30 Online:2023-09-25 Published:2023-09-28
  • Contact: LIU Yujie;
  • Supported by:
    The Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA28060200);National Natural Science Foundation of China(42122003);National Natural Science Foundation of China(72221002);Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(Y202016)


The land conversion processes concerning non-agricultural and non-grain production areas have prominently decreased arable land availability, which substantially impacted grain production capacity and threatened national food security. Thus, it is critical to establish a novel scientific approach to identify spatio-temporal evolution patterns of land conversion and its influencing factors in different stages. This study evaluates the evolutionary characteristics of non-agricultural and non-grain fields by constructing a comprehensive index system that considers factors like cultivated land resources, social and economic conditions, and farmers' subjective perspectives, using a county as the basic research unit. For a comprehensive analysis, a geographical detector model was utilized to quantify driving factors in different stages. The results indicated spatial clustering effects for non-agricultural and non-grain fields throughout China, particularly in the eastern region beyond the "Hu Huanyong Line". Further analysis revealed a spatial pattern for non-grain conversion phenomenon was more intense in the southwestern than the northeastern fields. Over the past four decades, non-agricultural fields recorded an area expansion, but the year-wise area increase was gradually reduced, while non-grain areas exhibited a "growth-stable" change pattern. Although progress in non-grain was less in primary producing areas over the last 40 years, an increase of 1.49 times and 1.33 times was recorded from 2010 to 2020 in PSB (production and sales balance area) and Mrt (marketing) areas, respectively. Compared to the period 1980-2000, the rate of non-agricultural conversion in primary producing areas decreased by 77% during 2010-2020, while the rate of non-agricultural conversion increased by 1.63 and 4.65 times for PSB and Mrt regions, respectively. Based on these findings, this paper puts forward suggestions, such as setting control rules and subsidy mechanisms according to area classification, promoting control policies based on regional considerations, strengthening dynamic monitoring and risk warning, as well as enhancing supervision and assessment.

Key words: non-agricultural, non-grain, dynamic evolution, geographic detector model, driving mechanism, county scale