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Author: Liu, Jun-hui and Gao, Ji-xi and Lu, Shi-Hai and Han, Yong-wei and Nie, Yi-huang

Shifting farming–pastoral ecotone in China under climate and land use changes

Journal: Journal of Arid Environments
Volume: 75
Year: 2011
Number: 3
Pages: 298--308

Abstract

Meteorological records show a rise in temperature and decrease in precipitation in most parts of the farming–pastoral ecotone of Northern China over the last 50 years. During the last quarter of the 20th Century, the agrarian sector went through a series of reforms and changes in government policies on land use that have led to extensive changes in land cover. The objective of this study was to redefine the location and analyze the boundary variations under the effects of climate and land use changes in the farming–pastoral ecotone of Northern China. The results showed that the location of study area has been redefined as both a climatic ecotone from the perspective of suitability of precipitation and temperature for agricultural crops and vegetation growth, and also a land use ecotone based on the impacts of farmland restructuring by government policies on land use. In recent decades, the climatic boundary has moved southeast while the land use boundary has moved northwest, showing opposing directions of change. The extent of boundary changes in the northeast and northern sections are far greater than in the northwestern section of the farming–pastoral ecotone of Northern China.

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