, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 177–183 | Cite as

A multi-scale study on land use and land cover quality change: The case of the Yellow River Delta in China

  • Xuegong XuEmail author
  • Honghai Guo
  • Xiaoling Chen
  • Huiping Lin
  • Qiaoling Du


This paper presents a case study of the Yellow River Delta in China, to trace land use and land cover changes during the past 20 years, with an emphasis on land quality changes. Three sets of data are used in this case study: remote sensing data derived from satellite images; crop yield data from statistics; and soil data collected by the researchers in the field. Our study reveals that at the regional scale, LUCC has taken place in a positive direction: vegetation cover has been expanding and crop yields per hectare have been on rise. However, while the overall eco-environment has improved, the improvement is uneven across the Delta region. At local levels, some areas show signs of increased salinization and declining organic content. Both natural forces and human activities are responsible for the LUCC, but human activities play a more important role. While some impacts of human activities are positive, the damages are often long-lasting and irreversible. We also conclude that it is necessary to use both macro data (such as remote sensing data) and micro data (data collected in the field) to study land quality change. The former are efficient in examining land quality changes at the regional scale, the latter can serve to verify ground patterns revealed from macro data and help to identify local variations, so as to get a comprehensive understanding of LUCC and promote sustainable land use and land management.

China land quality change land use and land cover change (LUCC) multi-scale study Yellow River Delta 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuegong Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Honghai Guo
    • 2
  • Xiaoling Chen
    • 3
  • Huiping Lin
    • 4
  • Qiaoling Du
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Soil and Fertilizer InstituteShandong Academy of Agricultural SciencesJinanChina
  3. 3.National Laboratory for Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote SensingWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  4. 4.Department of GeographyPeking UniversityBeijingChina

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