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Farmland Changes Influence the Production Potential in China during 1990–2010

Feb 05, 2015

Farmland is an important component of urbanization and industrialization. Due to the quickly growing economy and shrinkage of global farmland, it is now generally agreed that farmland is internationally important. In the past 20 years, due to urbanization, reclamation and the Green for Grain Project, the area, quality and spatial distribution of farmland in China has changed significantly. Moreover, this change has led to a major variation in the production potential under the influence of ecological environmental protection and economic growth.

Based on meteorological data, terrain elevation, soil and land-use data, LIU Luo et al. analyzed the production potential during 1990–2010 in China. The land-use data were extracted from the land-use database developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS); the terrain elevation data set were derived from the shuttle radar topography mission; the meteorological data were obtained from more than 760 national meteorological stations maintained by the Chinese Meteorological Administration; and the soil data were obtained from a nationwide soil data set provided by the Data Center for Resources and Environmental Sciences at CAS. The production potential under the average climatic conditions during 1990–2010 was estimated using the Global Agro-ecological Zones (GAEZ) model.

In China, the average production potential was 7.61 t/hm2 in 2010. Analysis shows that the spatial pattern of the production potential in China showed an upward trend from north to south and from west to east, with the greatest and lowest average production potential in the middle–lower Yangtze Plain and Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, respectively. During 1990–2010, the total area of farmland in China showed different characteristics of change between the first and second decades. The area of farmland increased during the first decade while decreased during the second decade. From 1990 to 2010, the total production potential increased in northern China and decreased in southern China. Corresponding to the area changes, the production potential also increased during the first decade and decreased during the second decade. Furthermore, the impacts of farmland change on the production potential showed obvious regional differences during the past 20 years.

The result was published in Journal of Geographical Sciences in February 2015.

Contact:
LIU LUO
State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences
E-mail: liuluo87930@qq.com

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