Vol17 No.3: 516-527
【Title】Dry cropland changes in China's Three Gorges Reservoir Region duringthe period 1990 to 2015
【Author】WANGMing-feng1,2, TIAN Feng-xia3, HE Xiu-bin1*, Raheel ANJUM1,2,4, BAO Yu-hai1, Adrian L. COLLINS5
【Addresses】1 Key Laboratory of Mountain Surface Process and Ecological Regulation, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China; 2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; 3 Department of Tourism and Geography, Tongren University, Tongren, Guizhou Province, 554300, China; 4 Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, Pakistan; 5 Sustainable Agriculture Sciences Department, Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon EX20 2SB, UK
【Corresponding author】HE Xiu-bin
【Citation】Wang MF, Tian FX, He XB, et al. (2020) Dry cropland changes in China's Three Gorges Reservoir Region during the period 1990 to 2015. Journal of Mountain Science 17(3). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5598-1
【Abstract】Monitoring and analyzing changes in the extent of cultivated land may inform strategic decisions on issues of environmental and food security. The dry cropland area of 12000 km² in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region (TGRR) of China is essential for feeding the local population of ~20 million, but is highly prone to soil erosion, leading to the delivery of excessive amounts of sediment and associated pollutants to the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR), and causing serious eco-environmental consequences. Against this background, this paper used Landsat images and a digital elevation model to analyze the altitudinal distribution of, and dynamic changes in, the area of dry cropland during the period 1990 to 2015. The results suggest that dry cropland was mainly distributed in the elevation range of 200-600 m. The dry cropland area decreased from 12525.37 km² to 11796.27 km² during the 25-year study period, including a particularly significant decrease in the rate of decrease from 6.93 km²/yr to 43.99 km²/yr after 2000. The largest decline in the dry cropland area occurred in the elevation range of 600-900 m. The transformations between dry cropland and forest revealed the impact of the TGR operation on the extent of dry cropland. A total of 528.79 km² of dry cropland with slopes >25˚ were converted to forest after 2000, whereas a total of 642 km² of forest was converted to dry cropland during the study period, and these conversions mainly occurred between the elevation of 200–900 m. These spatiotemporal changes in the dry cropland area are likely to raise new issues concerning food security in the TGRR.
【Keywords】Dry cropland; Altitude; Reservoir operation; Three Gorges Reservoir Region; Landuse change; Soil erosion