Environmental Management

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 803–813 | Cite as

The Spatio-Temporal Dynamic Pattern of Rural Residential Land in China in the 1990s Using Landsat TM Images and GIS

  • Guangjin Tian
  • Zhifeng Yang
  • Yaoqi Zhang


Through interpreting Landsat TM images, this study analyzes the spatial distribution of rural settlements in China in 2000. It calculates rural residential land percentage for every 1-km2 cell. The entire country is divided into 33 regions to investigate the spatio-temporal dynamic patterns of rural residential land during the 1990s. According to the remote sensing survey, the rural residential land increased by 7.88 × 105 ha in the 1990s. The increment of rural residential land was 0.55 million ha in 1990–1995 and 0.23 million ha in 1995–2000. In 1990–1995, rural residential land increased dramatically in the eastern regions such as the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and North China Plain, accounting for 80.80% of the national growth; the expansion in the western regions was much more moderate. In 1995–2000, the expansion of rural residential land in eastern regions slowed, accounting for only 58.54% of the increase at the national level, whereas the expansion in the western regions accelerated. Rapid rural residential development resulted from increasing home construction and the limited control on rural land. The great regional disparity reflected the regional economic development and land-use policy change. Our finding shows that nearly 60% of the rural residential area came from cropland.


Rural residential land Spatio-temporal pattern Land-use change Remote sensing GIS China 



Research funding for this work was provided by the key project of NSFC (Natural Scientific Foundation of China) under grant 40571060 (The Spatio-temporal Model, Driving Forces and Environmental Impact of Chinese Urbanization Process) and national basic research program 973 project (2005CB724204). We would like to thank Dr. Jianguo Wu and four anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions.


  1. Brown LR (1995) Who will feed China? Wake-up call for a small planet? WW Norton & Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Collins JB, Woodcock CE (1994) Change detection using the Gramm–Schmidt transformation applied to mapping forest mortality. Remote Sensing of Environment 50:267–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fung T, Ledrew E (1988) The determination of optimal threshold levels for change detection using various accuracy indices. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing 28:681–684Google Scholar
  4. Garrott RA, White PJ, Vanderbilt CA (1993) Overabundance: an issue for conservation biologists. Conservation Biologist 7(4):946–949CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gordon S (1980) Utilizing Landsat imagery to monitor land sue change: A case study in Ohio. Remote Sensing of Environment 9:189–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hansen AJ, Rotella JJ (2002) Biophysical factors, land use and species variability in and around nature reserves. Conservation Biology 16(4):1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hansen AJ, Knight R, Marzluff J, Powell SL, Brown K, Hernandez PC, Jones KL (2005) Effects of exurban development on biodiversity: Patterns, mechanisms, research needs. Ecological Applications 15(6):1893–1905CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Houghton RA, Hackler JL (2003) Sources and sinks of carbon from land-use change in China. Global Biogeochemical Cycle 17:1034CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Huang BW (1959) Draft of the complex physical geographical division of China. Chinese Science Bulletin of China 18:594–602 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Jenerette GD, Wu JG (2001) Analysis and simulation of land use change in the central Arizona Phoenix region, USA. Landscape Ecology 16:611–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ji CY, Liu QH, Wang S, Lin P, Li XW (2001) Monitoring urban expansion with remote sensing in China. International Journal of Remote Sensing 22(8):1441–1455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Li X, (1998) Measurement of rapid agricultural land loss in the Pearl River Delta with the integration of remote sensing and GIS. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 25(3):447–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Li Y (2000) Land resources of China. China Land Press, Beijing, pp. 49–50, 249–250 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  14. Lin GCS, Samuel PSH (2003) China’s land resources and land-use change: Insights from the 1996 land survey. Land Use Policy 20:87–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Liu J, Daily GC, Ehrlich PR, Luck GW (2003) Effects of household dynamics on resource consumption and biodiversity. Nature 421(6922):530–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Liu JY, Liu ML, Tian HQ, Zhuang DF, Zhang ZX, Zhang W, Tang XM, Deng XZ (2005) Spatial and temporal patterns of China’s cropland during 1990–2000: An analysis based on Landsat TM data. Remote Sensing of Environment 98:442–456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liu JY, Liu ML, Zhuang DF, Zhang ZX, Deng XZ (2002) Study on spatial pattern of land-use change in China during 1995–2000. Science in China D 32(12):1032–1040 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  18. LRDC (Land Resource Department of China). 2000. The land resource report of 1999. Ocean Press, Beijing (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  19. Mas J. F. 1999. Monitoring land-cover changes: A comparison of change detection techniques. International Journal of Remote Sensing 20(1):139–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Matthew L, Wu JG (2002) A gradient analysis of urban landscape pattern: A case study from the Phoenix metropolitan region, Arizona, USA. Landscape Ecology 17:327–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. NACC (National Atlas Compilation Committee). (1964) Physical aAtlas of People’s Republic of China. Science Press, Beijing, pp. 18–142 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  22. NSBC (National Statistics Bureau of China). (2000) Chinese statistical yearbook in 2000. China Statistics Press, Beijing, pp. 4–10 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  23. NSBC (National Statistics Bureau of China). (2001) Chinese statistical yearbook in 2001. China Statistics Press, Beijing, pp. 2–5 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  24. Patricia HG, Andrew JH, Ray R, Bruce M (2006) Rates and drivers of rural residential development in the Greater Yellowstone. Landscape and Urban Planning 77:131–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Petit C, Scudder T, Lambin E (2001) Quantifying processes of land-cover change by remote sensing: Resettlement and rapid land-cover changes in south-eastern Zambia. International Journal of Remote Sensing 22(17):3435–3456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pilon PG, Howarth PJ, Bullock RA, Adeniyi PO (1988) An enhanced classification approach to change detection in semi-arid environment. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing 54:1709–1716Google Scholar
  27. Qiu BJ (1986) A new discussion on the regionalization of agroclimate in China. Acta Geographica Sinica 41(3):202–209 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  28. Qiu BJ, Lu QY (1980) A tentative regionalization of agroclimate of China. Acta Geographica Sinica 35(2):116–125 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  29. Quarmby NA, Cushnie JL (1989) Monitoring urban land cover changes at the urban fringe from SPOT HRV imagery in south-east England. International Journal of Remote Sensing 10:953–963CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Seto KC, Woodcock CE, Song C, Huang X, Lu J, Kaufmann RK (2002) Monitoring land-use change in the Pearl River Delta using Landsat TM. International Journal of Remote Sensing 23(10):1985–2004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Singh A (1989) Digital change detection techniques using remotely-sensed data. International Journal of Remote Sensing 10:989–1003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Theobald DM, Hobbs NT, Bearly T, Zack JA, Shenk T, Riebsame WE (2000) Incorporating biological information in local land use decision making: Designing a system for conservation planning. Landscape Ecology 15(1):35–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Thorson JA (1994) Zoning policy changes and the urban fringe land market. Journal of the American Real Estate and Urban Economic Association 22(3):527–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tian GJ, Liu JY, Xie YC, Yang ZF, Zhuang DF, Niu Z (2005) Analysis of spatio-temporal dynamic pattern and driving forces of urban land in China in 1990s using TM images and GIS. Cities 22(6):400–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Tian GJ, Liu JY, Zhang ZX (2002) The scale distribution characteristics of Chinese rural settlements by remote sensing and GIS. Journal of Remote Sensing 6(4):307–312 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  36. Tian H, Melillo JM, Wicklighter D, Pan S, Liu J, McGuire AD (2003) Regional carbon dynamics in monsoon Asia and its implications for the global carbon cycle. Global and Planetary Change 3:201–217Google Scholar
  37. Verburg PH, Denier G (2001) Spatial and temporal dynamics of methane emissions from agricultural sources in China. Global Change Biology 7(1):31–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wang F (1993) A knowledge based vision system for detecting land changes at urban fringes. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing 31:136–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. WCPR (The Working Committee of Physical Regionalization, Chinese Academy of Sciences). (1959) The integrated physical regionalization of China. Science Press, Beijing, pp. 4–11 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  40. Xie YC, Yu M, Tian GJ, Xing XR (2005) Socio-economic driving forces of arable land conversion: A case study of Wuxian City, China. Global Environmental Change 15:238–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yang H, Li XB (2000) Cultivated land and food supply in China. Land Use Policy 17:73–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EnvironmentBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Forestry and Wildlife SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

Personalised recommendations