Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 350–357 | Cite as

Rocky land desertification and its driving forces in the karst areas of rural Guangxi, Southwest China

  • Yansui LiuEmail author
  • Jieyong Wang
  • Xiangzheng Deng


With a subtropical climate, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has a typical karst landscape. Rocky desertification has become a serious environmental issue due to its high vulnerability caused by the joint effect of natural settings and human activities, because of which its ecoenvironment has been deteriorated in recent years, and farmland has been disappearing sharply at the same time. This, in turn, has exacerbated the poverty level in the rural areas of the region. In this study, we monitored the spatial distribution of rocky land desertification and its temporal evolution using Landsat TM/ETM images of 1985, 1995, 2000 and 2005. We also analyzed the driving forces of the desertification and its expansion. Through constructing regression models by using all the relevant variables and considering the lagged effects as well as fixed effects, we quantified the exact role of different factors causing rocky land desertification in the study area with some new findings. The new findings in this study are greatly helpful for preserving, restoring and reconstructing the degraded mountain environment in Guangxi and other karst areas in Southwest China, and also for alleviating poverty in the rural areas in the future.


Rocky land desertification karst mountain area rural poverty driving force Guangxi Southwest China 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Chen, H. and Liang, X. Y. 2002. Analysis on the Deteriorated Mountains Regions of the Southern Calcareous Stone Region and its Principle of the Ecology. Journal of Northwest University (Natural Science Edition) 32: 295–312. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  2. Christine, J. T., Stevan, H., Thomas, M. H., et al. 2007. Reforestation Programs in Southwest China: Reported Success, Observed Failure, and The Reasons Why. Journal of Mountain Science 4(4): 275–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Deng, X. Z, Zhan, J.Y., Zhao, T. 2005. Monitoring and Assessment on the Land Degradation in Hilly Karst Guangxi of China. Proceedings of the SPIE (5884): 207–216.Google Scholar
  4. Gao, J., Liu, Y. S. and Chen, Y.F. 2006. Land Cover Changes during Agrarian Restructuring in Northeast China. Applied Geography 26(4):312–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Huang, Q. H. and Cai, Y. L. 2006. Assessment of Karst Rocky Desertification Using the Radial Basis Function Network Model and GIS Technique: A Case Study of Guizhou Province, China. Environmental geology 49(8): 1173–1179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hudson, P. F. and Alca’ntara-Ayala, I. 2006. Ancient and Modern Perspectives on Land Degradation. Catena, 65: 102–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Lan, A. 2002. The Process of Karst Rock-Desertification, the Feature of Evolvement and its Analysis of Human-Land Conflict. Journal of Guizhou Normal University (Natural Sciences) 20(1):40–45. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. Liu, Y. S., Gao, J. and Yang, Y. F. 2003. A Holistic Approach towards Assessment of Severity of Land Degradation along the Great Wall in Northern Shaanxi Province, China. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 82(2): 187–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Liu, Y. S., Hu, Y. C. and Peng, L.Y. 2005. Accurate Quantification of Grassland Features Based on Remote Sensing, GIS and GPS. Pedosphere 15(6):778–783.Google Scholar
  10. Liu, Y. S., Wang, J. Y. and Guo, L.Y. 2006. GIS-Based Assessment of Land Suitability for Optimal Allocation in the Qinling Mountains, China. Pedosphere 16(5): 579–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Liu, Y. S., Zha, Y. and Gao, J. 2004. Assessment of Grassland Degradation near Lake Qinghai, Western China Using Landsat TM and ‘in situ’ Reflectance Spectra Data. International Journal of Remote Sensing 25(20):4177–4189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Long, H. L., Heilig, G. K., Li, X. B., et al. 2007. Socio-Economic Development and Land-Use Change: Analysis of Rural Housing Land Transition in the Transect of the Yangtze River, China. Land Use Policy 24(1): 141–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Long, H. L., Heilig, G. K., Wang, J., et al. 2006. Land Use and Soil Erosion in the Upper Reaches of the Yangtze River: Some Socio-Economic Considerations on China’s Grain-for-Green Programme. Land Degradation & Development 17(6):589–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nong, S.Q. 2007. Rock Desertification Status Analysis in Karst Areas of Guangxi and Control Measures. Guangxi Forestry Science 36(3):170–172. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  15. Smith, B. J. 1988. Weathering of Superficial Limestone Debris in a Hot Desert Environment. Geomorphology 1(4):355–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Su, W.C., Yang, H. and Li, Q. 2006. Rocky Land Desertification and Its Controlling Measurements in the Karst Mountainous Region, Southwest of China. Chinese Journal of Soil Science 37(3):447–451. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  17. Templer, P. H., Groffman, P. M. and Flecker, A. S. 2005. Land Use Change and Soil Nutrient Transformations in the Los Haitises Region of the Dominican Republic. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 37(2):215–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Wang, S. J. and Li, Y. B. 2007. Problems and Development Trends about Researches on Karst Rocky Desertification. Advances in Earth Science 22(6): 573–582. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  19. Wang, S. J., Liu, Q. M. and Zhang, D. F. 2004. Karst Rocky Desertification in Southwestern China: Geomorphology, Landuse, Impact and Rehabilitation. Land Degradation & Development 15(2):115–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Wei, M. 2002. Conditions and Countermeasures of Rocky Desertification in Guangxi. Journal of Guangxi University (Philosophy and Social Science) 24(2): 42–47. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  21. Xie, T. 2007. Discussion on the Measures for Prevention and Control of Land Stony Desertification. Natural Resource Economics of China 6:33–34, 43. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  22. Yang, C. M. 2003. A Discussion on the Remote Sensing Analysis of Karst Stone Desertification in Guangxi. Remote Sensing for Land & Resources 2:34–63. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  23. Yang, Z. S., Liu, Y. S., Tao, W. X., et al. 2008. Method for Evaluating the Degrees of Land Use Sustainability of Mountainous County and Its Application in Yunnan Province, China. Journal of Mountain Science 5(2): 98–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zhang, Y., Peng, B. Z. and Gao, X. 2004. Degradation of Soil Properties Due to Erosion on Sloping Land in Southern Jiangsu Province, China. Pedosphere 14(1): 17–26.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of ScienceBeijingChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations