GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (9): 2173-2187.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020180659

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Spatial heterogeneity and formation mechanism of eco-environmental effect of land use change in China

CHEN Wanxu1,2,LI Jiangfeng1,2(),ZENG Jie1,RAN Duan1,2,YANG Bin1,2   

  1. 1. School of Public Administration, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Legal Assessment Project, Ministry of Land and Resources, Wuhan 430074, China
  • Received:2018-07-02 Revised:2018-09-06 Online:2019-09-20 Published:2019-09-11
  • Contact: Jiangfeng LI


The complex physical elements, socioeconomic elements, regional development strategies, and policy adjustments have formed China's current unbalanced spatial economic development pattern, spatial land use pattern, and spatial eco-environmental quality pattern. The unclear eco-environmental quality formation mechanism would limit the sustainable land use and the effective conservation of the ecological environment in China. Few studies have examined the spatial heterogeneity and the formation mechanism of China's eco-environmental quality at the national scale. This paper uses the eco-environmental quality index method to measure the eco-environmental effects of land use/land cover change (LULCC) to provide an overall review of eco-environmental quality index under complex physical and socioeconomic circumstances in China. We analyze the spatiotemporal evolution features and formation mechanism of eco-environmental quality from 1995 to 2015 with the gravity center analysis method, hot-spots analysis tool (Getis-Ord Gi*), and Geo-detectors tool. The results are as follows: (1) The eco-environmental quality of the eastern monsoon region is higher than that of the alpine region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the arid region of northwest China. The low-value regions of the eastern monsoon region are mainly distributed in urban areas with dense population and economic agglomeration. The gravity center of eco-environmental quality during the study period moves toward the northwest of China continuously; (2) The hot-spots areas of eco-environmental quality change during 1995-2015 are mainly distributed in Tibet, Xinjiang, Chongqing, Guizhou, and the provinces located in the Loess Plateau (Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Henan). The cold-spots areas are mainly distributed in the provinces along the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the coastal regions in the southeast of China. The cold-spots and hot-spots changes in China's eco-environmental quality are closely related to the regional development strategies and the implementation of ecological conservation projects in China; (3) Land use intensity has a stronger effect on the eco-environmental quality than other factors, and the impacts of socioeconomy, traffic road, geographic location in the eastern monsoon region are stronger than those in the alpine region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the arid region of northwest China; (4) The interactions between physical elements and socioeconomic elements are stronger than the interactions within individual indicators. The interactions between the influencing factors mainly include nonlinear enhancement and bi-factor enhancement, and nonlinear enhancement is the dominant interaction mode.

Key words: eco-environmental quality, spatial heterogeneity, center of gravity analysis, hotspots analysis, Geo-detector, formation mechanism, China