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Study of the intensity and driving factors of land use/cover change in the Yarlung Zangbo River, Nyang Qu River, and Lhasa River region, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China

Abstract

Land use/land cover (LULC) is an important part of exploring the interaction between natural environment and human activities and achieving regional sustainable development. Based on the data of LULC types (cropland, forest land, grassland, built-up land, and unused land) from 1990 to 2015, we analysed the intensity and driving factors of land use/cover change (LUCC) in the Yarlung Zangbo River, Nyang Qu River, and Lhasa River (YNL) region, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China, using intensity analysis method, cross-linking table method, and spatial econometric model. The results showed that LUCC in the YNL region was nonstationary from 1990 to 2015, showing a change pattern with "fast-slow-fast" and "U-shaped". Built-up land showed a steady increase pattern, while cropland showed a steady decrease pattern. The gain of built-up land mainly came from the loss of cropland. The transition pattern of LUCC in the YNL region was relatively single and stable during 1990–2015. The transition pattern from cropland and forest land to built-up land was a systematic change process of tendency and the transition pattern from grassland and unused land to cropland was a systematic change process of avoidance. The transition process of LUCC was the result of the combined effect of natural environment and social economic development in the YNL region. This study reveals the impact of ecological environment problems caused by human activities on the land resource system and provides scientific support for the study of ecological environment change and sustainable development of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

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Acknowledgements

This study was jointly supported by the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research of China (2019QZKK0603), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA20040200), and Reconstruction of Historical Cultivated Land and Human Activities around the North Slope of Everest Area of China (42061023). We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, which greatly improved the quality of manuscript.

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Correspondence to Liangjie Xin or Fenggui Liu.

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Luo, J., Xin, L., Liu, F. et al. Study of the intensity and driving factors of land use/cover change in the Yarlung Zangbo River, Nyang Qu River, and Lhasa River region, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China. J. Arid Land 14, 411–425 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-022-0093-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-022-0093-x

Keywords

  • land use/cover change
  • intensity analysis
  • driving factors
  • Yarlung Zangbo River
  • Nyang Qu River
  • Lhasa River
  • Qinghai-Tibet Plateau