GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2017, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (7): 1210-1222.doi: 10.11821/dlyj201707002

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Analysis of land use/cover pattern and its changes in the agro-pastoral ecotone based on the precipitation and soil types:A case study of Horqin Left Rear Banner

Jian ZHOU1,2(), Fengrong ZHANG2, Yan XU2(), Yang GAO2, Bailin ZHANG3, Chao LI2   

  1. 1. Center for Land Resources Research in Northwest China, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    2. College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    3. School of Management, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387, China
  • Received:2016-11-19 Revised:2017-03-07 Online:2017-07-31 Published:2017-09-13

Abstract:

The northern agro-pastoral ecotone is a fragile region in ecology and environment in China and land sandy desertification is the prominent eco-environment problem in this region. It is significant to explore the characteristics of land use/cover pattern and soil properties of changed land use/cover for ecological restoration in the agro-pastoral ecotone of northern China. By taking Horqin Left Rear Banner located in Inner Mongolia as a case study and using remote sensing data, precipitation data and soil data, land use/cover pattern and its changes were studied with methods of remote sensing imagery interpretation, area weighted gravity center model, and landscape indexes. Results were obtained as follows: (1) Land use/cover pattern had an obvious spatial differentiation and grassland was the optimum land use/cover type in Horqin Left Rear Banner. (2) Soils with high soil fertility and rich water resources were used as cultivated land and grassland in the first place. This was in accordance with the agriculture and animal husbandry production mode in the agro-pastoral ecotone of northern China; sandy soil is low in soil fertility, poor in water retention and has no soil structure; however, 47.70% of sandy soil was used as cultivated land, indicating that land was over reclaimed into cultivated land in the banner. (3) Land use/cover change was dramatic in this region, and the transformation between cultivated land and forest land/grassland was dominant in land use/cover change. Thus, it was crucial to prevent the transformation between cultivated land and forest land/grassland for ecological restoration in the agro-pastoral ecotone of northern China. The converted cultivated land was mostly distributed on sandy soil and meadow soil. Thus, farming fields converted from forests and grasslands on sandy soil must be stopped for the sake of ecological restoration. The converted cultivated land distributed on meadow soil should be fertilized in land use. Based on the results above, the implementation of "Grain for Green" policy has an effect on planting industry and animal husbandry in the agro-pastoral ecotone of northern China. To get better ecological restoration effects, influences in two ways should be taken into consideration simultaneously in the "Grain for Green" policy implementation in the study region. This study can make references for ecological restoration in the agro-pastoral ecotone of northern China.

Key words: agro-pastoral ecotone in northern China, land use/cover, precipitation, soil types, Horqin Left Rear Banner