Journal of Geographical Sciences

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 719–729 | Cite as

Land use and landscape change driven by gully land consolidation project: A case study of a typical watershed in the Loess Plateau

  • Yurui Li
  • Yi Li
  • Pengcan Fan
  • Jian Sun
  • Yansui LiuEmail author


Exploring the impact of land consolidation on the changes of local land use and the landscape patterns is important for optimizing land consolidation models and thus accelerating the sustainable development of local communities. Using a typical small watershed in Yan’an City (Shaanxi, China), the impact of gully land consolidation on land use and landscape pattern change, based on high-resolution remote sensing image data and landscape pattern analysis, was investigated. The results showed that: (1) The terraces, sloping fields, shrub land and grassland at the bottom and both sides of the gully were converted mainly to high quality check dam land. Also, some of the shrub land, due to biological measures, was converted to more ecologically suitable native forest. Thus, the areas of check dam land and forests increased by 159 and 70 ha, while that of shrub land, grassland and sloping fields decreased by 112, 63 and 59 ha, respectively. (2) The average patch area and patch cohesion index for the check dam land increased, which indicated that the production function improved. The landscape shape index and the patch cohesion index for forestland and shrub land were maintained at a high level, and thus the ecological function remained stable. (3) At the watershed level, the degree of fragmentation of the landscape decreased and the landscape became more diversified and balanced; the anti-jamming capability of the landscape and the stability of the ecosystem improved also. Research suggests that implementing gully land consolidation in a rational manner may contribute to improvements in the structure of local land use and the patterns of landscape.


land consolidation watershed land use landscape Yan’an City Loess Plateau 


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Copyright information

© Science Press Springer-Verlag 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yurui Li
    • 1
  • Yi Li
    • 2
  • Pengcan Fan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jian Sun
    • 1
  • Yansui Liu
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchCASBeijingChina
  2. 2.College of GeomaticsXi’an University of Science and TechnologyXi’anChina
  3. 3.College of Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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