Spatial and temporal patterns of China's cropland during 1990–2000: An analysis based on Landsat TM data

J LIU, M LIU, H TIAN, D ZHUANG, Z ZHANG, W ZHANG, X TANG, X DENG
2005 Remote Sensing of Environment  
There are large discrepancies among estimates of the cropland area in China due to the lack of reliable data. In this study, we used Landsat TM/ ETM data at a spatial resolution of 30 m to reconstruct spatial and temporal patterns of cropland across China for the time period of 1990 -2000. Our estimate has indicated that total cropland area in China in 2000 was 141.1 million hectares (ha), including 35.6 million ha paddy land and 105.5 million ha dry farming land. The distribution of cropland
more » ... uneven across the regions of China. The North-East region of China shows more cropland area per capita than the South-East and North regions of China. During 1990 -2000, cropland increased by 2.79 million ha, including 0.25 million ha of paddy land and 2.53 million ha of dry farming land. The North-East and North-West regions of China gained cropland area, while the North and South-East regions showed a loss of cropland area. Urbanization accounted for more than half of the transformation from cropland to other land uses, and the increase in cropland was primarily due to reclamation of grassland and deforestation. Most of the lost cropland had good quality with high productivity, but most gained cropland was poor quality land with less suitability for crop production. The globalization as well as changing environment in China is affecting land-use change. Coordinating the conflict between environmental conservation and land demands for food will continue to be a primary challenge for China in the future. D
doi:10.1016/j.rse.2005.08.012 fatcat:hpywaxpljbawtcwmh2mp7vqm3e