Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 845–854 | Cite as

Soil erosion control degree of the project of converting farmland to forest in mountainous areas at China’s Southwest border: A case study in Mangshi, Yunnan Province

  • Zisheng YangEmail author
  • Huali Han
  • Qiaogui Zhao


There have been few in-depth quantitative studies on soil erosion control and the ecological effects of land use changes. Soil erosion is the first eco-environmental problem particularly in mountainous areas. A major problem in the conversion of farmland to forest is to control soil erosion and improve ecological environment and thus to improve land use sustainability. We report results of calculation and analysis on soil erosion from converted farmland parcels in city of Mangshi (near the SW frontier of China) and the surrounding areas before and after the nine-year (2000–2009) project of converting farmland to forest. There was increased water conservation effect, as a result of decreased soil erosion. The average erosion modulus of the farmland returning to eco-friendly uses decreased by 5,535.59 t/km2·a and the control degree of soil erosion modulus reached 71.00%. The increased soil erosion after the returning in the typical sample area “did not drop, but increased” as the terraced fields decreased but sloping farmland increased and yet woodland decreased.


Soil erosion Control degree The project of converting farmland to forest Converted farmland parcel Typical sample area Mountainous areas at China’s southwest border 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bakker M M, Govers G, Doorn A V, et al. (2008) The response of soil erosion and sediment export to land-use change in four areas of Europe: The importance of landscape pattern. Geomorphology 98: 213–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen FY, Gui FL (1999) soil and water loss as the first environmental problem facing China. Bulletin of Soil and Water Conservation 19(4): 2. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  3. Duarte F, Jones N, Fleskens L (2008) Traditional olive orchards on sloping land: Sustainability or abandonment? Journal of Environmental Management 89: 86–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. García-Ruiza JM, Lana-Renault N (2011) Hydrological and erosive consequences of farmland abandonment in Europe, with special reference to the Mediterranean region — A review. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 140: 317–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gellrich M, Baur P, Koch B et al. (2007) Agricultural land abandonment and natural forest re-growth in the Swiss mountains: A spatially explicit economic analysis. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 118: 93–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Jiao J (2002) Output of national water and soil erosion remote sensing and development strategy of water and soil conservation and ecological construction. China Water Resources (3): 11–13. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  7. Li YX, Deng JH, Huang JS (2002) Loss of soil and water. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 16(5): 105–107. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. Liao H (2004) Soil and water loss becoming the first environmental problem — words on the tenth “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought”. Natural Disaster Reduction in China (7): 1. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  9. Ministry of Water Resources of China (1997) SL190-96: Standards for Classification and Gradation of Soil Erosion. Beijing: Water Resources & Hydropower Press of China. pp 2–26. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Morán-Tejeda E, Ceballos-Barbancho A, Llorente-Pinto JM (2010) Hydrological response of Mediterranean headwaters to climate oscillations and land-cover changes: The mountains of Duero River basin (Central Spain). Global and Planetary Change 72: 39–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Renard KG, Foster GR, Weesies GA et al. (1997) Predicting rainfall erosion by water: A guide to conservation planning with the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE). Agricultural handbook, USDA. 703.Google Scholar
  12. Rudel TK, Perez-Lugo M, Zichal H (2000) When Fields Revert to Forest: Dein Post-War Puerto Rico. The Prfessional Geographer 52(3): 386–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Wang HH, Ma WJ, Deng CZ, et al. (1982) The interrelationship between development and utilization of tropical rainforest and soil and water conservation in southern Yunnan Province. Scientia Silvae Sinicae 18(3): 245–257. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  14. Wischmeier WH, Smith DD (1978) Predicting rainfall erosion losses — a guide to conservation planning. Agriculture handbook, USDA. 537.Google Scholar
  15. Yang ZS (1999) Study on soil loss equation of cultivated slopeland in northeast mountain region of Yunnan Province. Bulletin of Soil and Water Conservation 19(1): 1–9. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  16. Yang ZS (2002a) Study on soil loss equation in Jinsha River Basin of Yunnan Province. Journal of Mountain Science 20(Supplement): 1–9. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  17. Yang ZS (2002b) Study on problems of returning cultivated land to forests in Jinsha River Basin of Yunnan Province. Bulletin of Soil and Water Conservation 22(4):13–17. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  18. Yang ZS, Liang LH (2004) Soil erosion under different land use types and zones of Jinsha River Basin in Yunnan Province, China. Journal of Mountain Science 1(1): 46–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Yang ZS, Liang LH (2004) Traditional land use for sustainable land use: The case of Yunnan Province, China. In: Saskia Sassen and Peter Marcotullio eds. Human Resource System Challenge VII: Human Settlement Development. Eolss Publishers, Oxford, UK. [].Google Scholar
  20. Yang ZS, Liang LH, Liu YS, et al. (2004) Land use change during 1960 ∼ 2000 period and its eco-environmental effects in the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River: a case study in Yiliang County, Yunnan Province, China. Journal of Mountain Science 1(3): 250–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Yang ZS, Liu YS, Lu YX (2005) Sustainable use of land resources and soil erosion control in mountainous areas. Resources Science 27(6): 146–150. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  22. Yang ZS, He YM (2009) Soil erosion of cultivated land in mountainous areas at China’s southwest border: The case study in Yunnan Province. Research of Soil and Water Conservation 16(1): 1–9. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  23. Yang ZS, Yang LF, Zhang BS (2010) Soil erosion and its basic characteristics at karst rocky-desertified land consolidation area: A case study at Muzhe Village of Xichou County in Southeast Yunnan, China. Journal of Mountain Science 7(1): 55–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Yang ZS, Zhao QG, Jiang ES, et al. (2010) Pilot study on investigation and suitability evaluation of converted farmland parcel under the National Program of Ecological Farmland’s Conversion in the recent eight years in China’s mountainous areas and re-farming planning of farmland suitable for cultivation “That should not have been converted”: A case in Mangshi City, Yunnan Province. In: Liu YS, Yang ZS, Zhao QG eds. Land Resources Exploitation and Man-Land Harmonious Development in Mountainous Areas of China. Beijing: China Science and Technology Press. pp 34–57. (In Chinese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Land & Resources and Sustainable DevelopmentYunnan University of Finance and EconomicsKunmingChina
  2. 2.Southwest UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Department of Land & Resources of Yunnan ProvinceKunmingChina

Personalised recommendations