Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (1): 143-159.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202001011

• Land Use • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Methods research on describing the spatial pattern of land use types in China

JU Hongrun1,2,3, ZUO Lijun2, ZHANG Zengxiang2(), ZHAO Xiaoli2, WANG Xiao2, WEN Qingke2, LIU Fang2, XU Jinyong2, LIU Bin2, YI Ling2, HU Shunguang2, SUN Feifei2, TANG Zhanzhong2,3,4   

  1. 1. School of Tourism and Geography Science, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, Shandong, China
    2. Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    4. College of Resources and Environment, Xingtai University, Xingtai 054001, Hebei, China
  • Received:2018-06-11 Revised:2019-11-09 Online:2020-01-25 Published:2020-03-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Zengxiang
  • Supported by:
    National Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment(2017ZX07101-001)


Understanding the evolving spatial pattern of land use is the basis of the theory and practice of land use/cover change (LUCC). It is helpful to optimize the use of land resources spatially and to improve the level of land use planning and management when the spatial patterns of land use are described effectively. At present, the commonalities in the scope of the spatial pattern of land use are still unclear, and research on the spatial pattern of land use has only recently begun to pay attention to the shape, patch distribution, structure, and relationships among different types of land use. In addition, the correlations among different pattern indicators have resulted in the redundancy in the pattern metrics. Further study is needed to establish the corresponding relationships between indicators and land use spatial patterns. This study summarized the area, shape, and patch distribution for land use maps as geometric characteristics, and summarized the structure and diversity as land use class characteristics. Based on the above conceptual model, an index system of land use spatial patterns was established. Then, the corresponding relationships between the indicators and the spatial patterns were established using fuzzy C-means clustering. The results indicated that the geometric characteristics of land use in China could be divided into five types: a simple large patch type, a complex large patch type, a complex small patch type, a simple small patch type, and a scattered type. Different geometric features reflected the characteristics of the area, the shape and the patch distribution and the combination of regional land use types. In 2010, there were 61 structures of land use in China, but a subset of 14 structures was the majority. The structural characteristics clustered in space and showed apparent spatial heterogeneity of different land use types. The diversity of land use in China was dominated by 3-5 categories, accounting for 66.69% of all the grids. The diversity over space was generally high in the northeast and the southeast, but low in the northwest. In summary, this study enriches the theoretical system of land use spatial pattern and fills a gap in the systematic description of the overall spatial patterns of China's land use.

Key words: land use, spatial pattern, cluster analysis, China