Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 32, pp 25329–25345 | Cite as

The sustainable arable land use pattern under the tradeoff of agricultural production, economic development, and ecological protection—an analysis of Dongting Lake basin, China

  • Guanyi YinEmail author
  • Liming Liu
  • Xilong Jiang
Research Article


To find a solution regarding sustainable arable land use pattern in the important grain-producing area during the rapid urbanization process, this study combined agricultural production, locational condition, and ecological protection to determine optimal arable land use. Dongting Lake basin, one of the major grain producing areas in China, was chosen as the study area. The analysis of land use transition, the calculation of arable land barycenter, the landscape indices of arable land patches, and the comprehensive evaluation of arable land quality(productivity, economic location, and ecological condition) were adopted in this study. The results showed that (1) in 1990–2000, the arable land increased by 11.77%, and the transformation between arable land and other land use types actively occurred; in 2000–2010, the arable land decreased by 0.71%, and more ecological area (forestland, grassland, and water area) were disturbed and transferred into arable land; (2) urban expansion of the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan city cluster (the major economy center of this area) induced the northward movement of the arable land barycenter; (3) the landscape fragmentation and decentralization degree of arable land patches increased during 1990–2010; (4) potential high-quality arable land is located in the zonal area around Dongting Lake, which contains the Li County, Linli County, Jinshi County, Taoyuan County, Taojiang County, Ningxiang County, Xiangxiang County, Shaoshan County, Miluo County, and Zhuzhou County. The inferior low-quality arable land is located in the northwestern Wuling mountainous area, the southeastern hilly area, and the densely populated big cities and their surrounding area. In the optimized arable land use pattern, the high-quality land should be intensively used, and the low-quality arable land should be reduced used or prohibitively used. What is more, it is necessary to quit the arable land away from the surrounding area of cities appropriately, in order to allow more space for urban expansion. This study could provide guidance for sustainable arable land use by both satisfying the future agricultural production and the local economic development, which can be used for the other major grain-producing areas in this rapid developing country.


Arable land resources Agricultural production Economic development Ecological protection Optimized arable land use pattern 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 41701590), the Project funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Project No. 2017M612340), the Project supported by the Ministry of education for Humanities and Social Sciences (Project No. 17YJCZH228), the Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation, China (Project No. ZR2017BD004).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Geography and EnvironmentShandong Normal UniversityJinan CityChina
  2. 2.College of Resources and EnvironmentChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina

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