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Article Effects of Urbanization on Landscape Patterns in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River Region 1,2,3,4 4 1 1 1 1,5 1 Yang Yi , Chen Zhang , Guilian Zhang , Luqi Xing , Qicheng Zhong , Jialin Liu , Yichen Lin , 1 1 4 3 2,6, Xiewei Zheng , Na Yang , Hao Sun , Mingchang Shi and Hongzhang Kang * Key Laboratory of National Forestry and Grassland Administration on Ecological Landscaping of Challenging Urban Sites, National Innovation Alliance of National Forestry and Grassland Administration on Afforestation and Landscaping of Challenging Urban Sites, Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Landscaping on Challenging Urban Sites, Shanghai Academy of Landscape Architecture Science and Planning, Shanghai 200232, China; firstname.lastname@example.org (Y.Y.); email@example.com (G.Z.); firstname.lastname@example.org (L.X.); email@example.com (Q.Z.); firstname.lastname@example.org (J.L.); email@example.com (Y.L.); firstname.lastname@example.org (X.Z.); email@example.com (N.Y.) School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China Beijing Engineering Research Center of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China; firstname.lastname@example.org Shanghai Foundation Ding Environmental Technology Company, Shanghai 200063, China; email@example.com (C.Z.); firstname.lastname@example.org (H.S.) Harvard China Project, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Citation: Yi, Y.; Zhang, C.; Zhang, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA G.; Xing, L.; Zhong, Q.; Liu, J.; Lin, School of Design, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China Y.; Zheng, X.; Yang, N.; Sun, H.; et * Correspondence: email@example.com al. Effects of Urbanization on Landscape Patterns in the Middle Abstract: The middle reaches of the Yangtze River region (MRYRR) are China’s first trans‐regional Reaches of the Yangtze River urban agglomeration, located in the center of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. The MRYRR is an Region. Land 2021, 10, 1025. important ecological reserve, and its land cover changes are affected by both socio‐economic devel‐ https://doi.org/10.3390/land10101025 opment and geographical environment. In this paper, Landsat ETM/TM/OLI remote sensing images were used to monitor land use and landscape patterns from 1990 to 2015. Through supervised clas‐ Academic Editors: Luca Salvati and sification, land use transfer matrix, landscape pattern metrics and correlation analysis, the spatial‐ Diane Pearson temporal patterns of land use change and its relationship with socio‐economic in the study area were revealed. The results showed that: (1) the main land use types in the study area were cropland Received: 27 July 2021 Accepted: 17 September 2021 (CL) and forestland (FL), accounting for more than three‐quarters of the study area. During the Published: 30 September 2021 study period, built‐up land (BL) increased, CL decreased, FL increased first and then decreased; (2) the BL expanded mainly by occupying CL and FL, and regional landscape pattern was gradually Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neu‐ fragmented, with complex patch shape and increasing diversity and heterogeneity. Among them, tral with regard to jurisdictional the BL is gradually gathered, and the FL and CL are gradually fragmented; (3) in the past 25 years, claims in published maps and institu‐ the urbanization process in this region has been obvious, and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) tional affiliations. has increased by 36 times. The socioeconomic variables were positively correlated with BL, orchard (OL) and Shannon diversity index (SHID), and negatively correlated with CL, Wasteland (WL), mean patch size (MPS) and contagion size (CONTAG). The results showed that the urbanization development has a great impact on the region, and the ecological protection task is still challenging. Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Li‐ It is necessary to protect high‐quality cropland and draw a red line for ecological protection. We censee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. should strengthen the construction of ecological corridors and ecological nodes to adapt to regional This article is an open access article sustainable development. distributed under the terms and con‐ ditions of the Creative Commons At‐ tribution (CC BY) license (http://crea‐ Keywords: urbanization; land use transition; landscape patterns; middle reaches of the Yangtze tivecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). River region; correlation analysis Land 2021, 10, 1025. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10101025 www.mdpi.com/journal/land Land 2021, 10, 1025 2 of 17 1. Introduction Since the 20th century, with the rapid development of economy and the rapid in‐ crease of urban population, the intensification of human activities such as urbanization and industrialization have had a serious impact on regional land use, vegetation cover and ecological environment [1–3]. Therefore, a series of ecological problems have emerged, such as climate warming, water pollution, low forest efficiency, soil erosion, etc., [4,5]. Deforestation, urban construction and over exploitation of tourism resources destroy the natural growth of regional vegetation, resulting in soil erosion, low vegetation cover‐ age, fragmentation of vegetation patches and other problems, which have a significant impact on the overall regional ecological environment balance of the region, and endanger the integrity and sustainability of the ecosystem [6,7]. As the world population continues to increase, the global urbanization process will accelerate, especially in developing coun‐ tries . With destruction of the ecological environment and the decline of forest coverage, China’s urbanization rate increased from 17.90% in 1978 to 60.60% in 2019 [9–11]. Forest cover in MRYRR is decreasing, which exacerbates the phenomenon of soil erosion [12,13]. Therefore, the Sediment content of the Yangtze River Basin is relatively high, ranking the −3 fourth in the world with a value of 1.18 kg∙m , and washing away as much as 900 million tons of sediment every year . However, there are relatively few studies on land use change and its driving factors in MRYRR. Therefore, it is of great significance to study the change of regional land use and landscape pattern and its driving factors. Spatial and temporal patterns of land use types and landscape patterns were the im‐ portant topics in global change and land science [15,16]. The Land Use/Cover Change (LUCC) scientific research program was jointly developed and published by the Interna‐ tional Geosphere Biosphere Program (IGBP) and the International Human Dimensions Program on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) in 1995 . Spatial and temporal pat‐ tern analysis of regional land use change was the most basic content and the earliest re‐ search field of this research program [18,19]. Landscape pattern analysis method was de‐ fined as patch type, quantity and spatial distribution in landscape structure . Analysis and research on land use and landscape patterns analysis gradually shifted from simple and intuitive qualitative research to quantitative analysis combined with spatial distribu‐ tion . The main representatives of land use and landscape patterns researches are For‐ man , Pickett , Turner , Risser , Wang , Wu , etc. With the develop‐ ment of RS and GIS technology, since the 21st century, Alejandro , Ellis , Munroe , Fu , Louisa  and other representative studies have laid a good foundation for land use and landscape pattern research. In recent years, scholars have done a lot of research on the landscape patterns. Meth‐ ods mainly focus on land use transfer matrix, dynamic change mathematical model, land‐ scape measurement, gradient analysis, etc. [33–35]. Its achievements mainly focused on landscape patterns change , urbanization process and ecological eco‐environment ef‐ fects , driving mechanism , and land use model simulation and prediction . Based on the vegetation map, Ma et al. chose a variety of landscape metrics to analyze and evaluate the landscape fragmentation in Dongling Mountain . Zhang et al. established ecological risk index based on remote sensing data and analyze the temporal and spatial characteristics of ecological risk in Shiyang River Basin by using landscape indicators, which is of great significance to optimizing the land use structure and landscape pattern of the basin and maintaining the ecological function of the basin . Qi et al. analyzed the landscape patterns of small and medium‐sized cities in the Yangtze River Delta and Xinjiang and discussed the differences and driving factors of land use and landscape pat‐ tern change among regions based on population and economic data . Fan et al. , Kim et al. , Huang et al.  and Asimeh et al.  analyzed and discussed the changes of land use and landscape patterns in different regions, obtaining important enlighten‐ ment, which providing important theoretical basis for regional land use planning and landscape optimization. However, studies on land use and landscape patterns changes in Land 2021, 10, 1025 3 of 17 China were mainly concentrated in cities [47,48], and study areas were mainly concen‐ trated in the eastern coastal area . The quantitative analysis of land use change and socio‐economic driving forces of typical urban agglomerations in MRYRR is relatively rare. Urban agglomeration in the MRYRR was the first approved national urban agglom‐ eration in China . MRYRR was the second largest urban agglomeration in China after the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration . In April 2015, the development plan of MRYRR urban agglomeration was released, indicating that MRYRR urban agglomeration has become a key area for the implementation of ecological priority green development strategy in the Yangtze River economic belt [52,53]. Under the national strategy of coordi‐ nated regional development and the strategy of the rise of central China, the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration, as an important part of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, played a key role and was the core hub connecting the central and western regions with the Yangtze River Delta and the Hong Kong‐Macao Bay area in Guangdong . The MRYRR includes Hubei Province, Hunan Province and Jiangxi Province. Due to its unique mountainous terrain, geographical environment and climate characteristics, this area was rich in natural vegetation resources and was an important ecological protection area in China . This area connected the upper and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and had obvious transition characteristics. Regional natural ecological development was of great significance for maintaining the ecological sustainable development of the whole Yangtze River basin [55,56]. The urbanization process in this area was typical and repre‐ sentative. It was of great significance to study the spatio‐temporal changes of land use and landscape patterns and their coupling coordination with social, economic and ecological environmental systems. Based on the remote sensing data and socio‐economic data from 2000 to 2015, this study selected the MRYRR (Hubei Province, Hunan Province and Jiangxi Province) to an‐ alyze the change characteristics and evolution trend of land use and landscape patterns and determine the driving factors of land use and landscape pattern in this region. The purposes were to: (1) reveal the spatial‐temporal dynamic characteristics of land use in the MRYRR; (2) evoke the trend of landscape patterns in the MRYRR; (3) analyze the re‐ lationship between social, economic and population factors and land use, and landscape pattern change. This study could provide scientific reference for regional urbanization sustainable development and ecological environment construction measures. 2. Study Area The MRYRR includes Hubei Province, Hunan Province and Jiangxi Province (24°25′N−33°16′N，108°24′E−118°23′E), with a total area of 564,000 km (Figure 1). The re‐ gional climate type is subtropical monsoon climate, with precipitation of 1000–1600 −1 mm∙a and annual average temperature of 16–18 °C . The MRYRR mainly consists of mountainous hills and plains, which account for 48.3% and 14.8% of the area, respectively. The area has an average altitude of about 1500 m . MRYRR has three agglomeration areas, including Wuhan Metropolitan Area, Poyang Lake Metropolitan area and Chang‐ sha‐Zhuzhou‐Tan Metropolitan area, making MRYRR one of the most important national urban agglomerations in China . In 2018, the total population of this region was 174.38 million, accounting for 12.7% of the total population of China, with a GDP of 9.8 trillion yuan. The urbanization level exceeded 50%, with frequent human economic activities and large regional disturbances . Land 2021, 10, 1025 4 of 17 Figure 1. Locations of the MRYRR. 3. Materials and Methods 3.1. Data Sources and Processiong The data form Landsat TM/ETM/OLI remote sensing images (https://www.usgs.gov/, accessed on 14 August 2021) in 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2015 were used in this study . Combined with the 2017 China land cover classification standard system and the land use characteristics of land use types in the study area, supervision and classification were carried out. Land use types were divided into eight types: cropland (CL), forestland (FL), shrubland (SL), orchard (OL), grassland (GL), waterbodies (WB), built‐up land (BL) and wasteland (WL) (Table 1). One hundred and sixty samples were randomly selected, and high‐resolution images were used to detect Google Earth (10 × 10 m ) and interpret the accuracy. The overall accuracy was above 74% and kappa coefficient was above 0.70. All operations were performed using the ENVI 5.3 software. Socioeco‐ nomic factors (population, urban residents, rural residents, GDP, per capita GDP, primary sector, secondary sector, tertiary sector) are derived from the statistical yearbook [61–64]. Table 1. Land use types in the study area (based on the Chinese National Standard and Yi) [65,66]. Land Cover Types Description Grassland (GL) Refers to growing herbaceous plants, including pasture or mainly pasture. Refers to land for planting crops, including cultivated land, new open wasteland, Cropland (CL) wheeled land, and crop fields so as to cultivate rice, lotus root, and other aquatic crops. Forestland (FL) It mainly refers to natural forests and plantations Shrubland (SL) Short woodlands and shrubs. Refers to many years of intensive planting of woody and herbaceous crops for the inten‐ Orchard (OL) sive management of fruit, leaves, roots, stems, and juices. All types of manmade structures: Residential, industrial, agricultural commercial and Built‐up land (BL) services; transportation and utilities. Refers to natural land waters and land for water conservancy facilities, including reser‐ Waterbodies (WB) voirs, ponds, rivers, lakes, snow, oceans and submerged land, etc. Wasteland (WL) The surface is rock or gravel, bare soils, sand, and bare stone. 3.2. Study Methods 3.2.1. Land Use Transfer Matrix Land use transfer matrix is a two‐dimensional matrix based on the relationship be‐ tween land cover change in two different periods in the same region. By analyzing the transformation matrix, we can get the conversion between two different periods of differ‐ ent land categories. It can not only reflect the area of various land types at a static time Land 2021, 10, 1025 5 of 17 point, but also reflect the output information of land cover in the early stage and the in‐ come information in the later stage. Land use transfer matrix can visually describe the spatio‐temporal change process of land use . 𝑆 𝑆 𝑆 ⋯𝑆 ⎡ ⎤ 𝑆 𝑆 𝑆 ⋯𝑆 ⎢ ⎥ 𝑆 𝑆 𝑆 𝑆 ⋯𝑆 (1) ⎢ ⎥ ⋮⋮ ⋮ ⋮ ⋮ ⎢ ⎥ 𝑆 ⋯𝑆 ⎣𝑆 𝑆 ⎦ where 𝑆 is the area of class i land converted into class j (The i = j represents the un‐ changed area of a certain land use type); i and j respectively represent the land use types before and after the transfer. n is the number of land use types (n = 8 in this paper). In order to clearly express the data of land use transfer from 1990 to 2015, we made a graph called circos and listed the data as Appendix A (Figure 2 and Tables A3–A6). Graphing method used the template (http://mkweb.bcgsc.ca/tableviewer/ accessed on 14 August 2021) by Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (CMSGSC) . The illustration is as follows: Figure 2. An explanation of the circos chart. Each stripe represents the occurrence of a transfor‐ mation process at two different times, and the color represents the land use types. (a) The area of A1 transformed into other land use types; (b) The types of land use transformed from A1; (c) The total area of A1 transformed out and transformed into; (d) The area of A1 transformed from other land use types; (e) The types of land use transformed into A1; (f) The proportion of each land use types in transferred from A1; (g) The proportion of each land use types in transferred into A1; (h) The total amount of A1 transferred into and transferred out. 3.2.2. Quantification of Landscape Patterns Landscape metrics are widely used to quantitatively describe the changes of regional landscape patterns [69,70]. According to the diversity of land use types in the study area, relevant metrics were selected, mainly including landscape metrics that could reflect area, density, diversity, connectivity and shape (Table 2). Fragstats 3.3 software is used to cal‐ culate the landscape metrics. Table 2. Description of landscape metrics. Structural Category Landscape Metrics Abbreviation Description Patch density PD Number of patches per unit area in a landscape Area/Density Largest Patch Index LPI Area of the largest patch Mean Patch Area MPS The average mean surface of patches Land 2021, 10, 1025 6 of 17 The total number of patches can reflect the spatial Number patches NP pattern of landscape Diversity Shannon diversity index SHDI Detection of Landscape Diversity Increases as the patches of the corresponding patch Patch Cohesion Index COHESION type become less connected Connectivity The degree of aggregation and extension of certain Contagion index CONTAG patches within a landscape Shape Landscape shape index LSI Represents the complexity of the boundary shape 3.2.3. Statistical Analysis Statistical correlations among land use types (CL, FL, SL, OL, GL, WB, BL and WL), landscape patterns (PD, LPI, MPS, NP, SHDI, and CONTAG) and urbanization metrics (POP, RUR, URR, GDP, PGDP, PRI, SEC, TER) were calculated. p value less than 0.05 was considered a significant correlation . All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 20 software. 4. Results 4.1. Land Use Change in the MRYRR from 1990 to 2015 4.1.1. Characteristics of Spatiotemporal Change of Land Use From 1990 to 2015, the MRYRR experienced significant land use transfer changes. FL and CL were the main land use types in the study area, and the land use area in the order from large to small was always as follows: FL > CL > SL > WB > GL > BL > OL > WL (Figure 3). In 1990 and 2015, the proportion of CL was 31.47% and 30.41%, and that proportion of FL was 50.31% and 49.82%, respectively, the sum of which reached about 80% (Table A2, Figures 3 and 4). BL accounted for about 1.73% to 2.81% of the whole study area, showing an overall growth trend. The area of BL increased by 7.67%, 17.36% and 28.61%, respec‐ tively. CL and SL decreased, while FL and WL fluctuated greatly. OL showed a decreasing trend before 2000 and gradually increased after 2000. Figure 3. Spatiotemporal change of land use types in the MRYRR from 1990 to 2015. Land 2021, 10, 1025 7 of 17 Figure 4. Changes in land use types in the MRYRR region from 1990 to 2015. The data in the color histogram represent the area of land use types in the study period (1990, 2000, 2010 and 2015) from left to right. Details of the abbreviations are shown in Table A2. 4.1.2. Characteristics of Land Use Transfer Changes From 1990 to 2000, the area of BL in the MRYRR increased by 749 km , an increase of 7.67%. In the past 10 years, the total area of CL decreased by 1524 km (0.86%). The total area of FL increased by 1179 km , mainly from CL and SL. From 1990 to 2000, the intensity of land use type transfer within the study area was relatively high (Figure 5a). From 2000 2 2 to 2010, BL increased by 1825 km , an increase of 17.36%. Among them, 1221 km and 474 2 2 km came from CL and FL. The OL area increased by 1048 km , most of which came from FL. The area of CL decreased by 2042 km , most of which was converted into FL, OL and WB. From 2000 to 2010, the intensity of transfer between land use types in this region was low, with the transfer proportion less than 20%. Among them, CL has the highest transfer intensity (Figure 5b). Figure 5. Land use transfer flow charts in the MRYRR from 1990 to 2015. (a) Land use transfer flow chart from 1990 to 2000. (b) Land use transfer flow chart from 2000 to 2010. (c) Land use transfer flow chart from 2010 to 2015. (d) Land use transfer flow chart from 1990 to 2015. Land 2021, 10, 1025 8 of 17 From 2010 to 2015, BL increased by 3529 km , an increase of 28.61%. Among them, 2 2 the areas from CL and FL were 2123 km and 1127 km respectively. The changes of OL area mainly came from FL, with an increase of 2120 km . The area of CL was decreased by 2450 km , which was mainly transferred to BL. During this period, the intensity of transfer in the MRYRR was small, with the proportion of transfer less than 1.6%. In terms of land use transfer out, CL has the largest transfer out intensity, and the transfer out area ac‐ counts for 1.6% (Figure 5c). In the 25 years from 1990 to 2015, BL increased by 6103 km , an increase of 62.52%, with an average annual increase of 244.12 km . Various land use types have been transferred to BL, and CL and FL were the main land use types converted to BL. The area of FL decreased by 2808 km , and FL transferred to CL (17.41%), SL (6.56%) and others (0.85%). The area of CL decreased by 6016 km , with an annual decrease of 2 2 2 240.64 km (20%). OL increased by 3005 km , WL decreased by 273 km , GL decreased by 2 2 656 km and SL decreased by 1413 km (Figure 5d). 4.2. Changes in Landscape Patterns in MRYRR from 1990 to 2015 4.2.1. Changes Metrics of Landscape Scale in the Study Area From 1990 to 2015, the PD of MRYRR increased and the landscape patterns became increasingly fragmented. The increase of SHDI indicated that the landscape pattern had became heterogeneous and fragmented. The LPI increased from 44.43 to 44.96 from 1990 to 2000, and then decreased to 44.13, indicating that the dominant patch became more and more obvious from 1990 to 2000, and then gradually fragmented. The MPS and CONTAG decreased, indicating that landscape patches became more fragmented. On the whole, with the development of urbanization, the landscape fragmentation in the MRYRR be‐ comes more obvious, and the landscape heterogeneity is enhanced (Figure 6). Figure 6. Landscape metrics in the MRYRR from 1990 to 2015. (a) Number of patches from 1990 to 2015. (b) Mean patch area from 1990 to 2015. (c) Patch density patches from 1990 to 2015. (d) Con‐ tagion index from 1990 to 2015. (e) Shannon’s diversity index from 1990 to 2015. (f) Largest patch index from 1990 to 2015. 4.2.2. Changes of Horizontal Pattern of Landscape Types in the Study Area The LSI of BUL became complex, but patches are more concentrated. The COHE‐ SION of orchard increased before 2010, but after 2010, COHESION decreased. The patches of CL and FL became fragmented, with reduced connectivity and complex landscape shapes. During the period 1990 to 2015, the NP of BUL increased from 6232 to 7936, and Land 2021, 10, 1025 9 of 17 2 2 the MPS increased from 1.57 km to 2.00 km , indicating that the BUL was more concen‐ trated. At the same time, the NP and LSI of CL increased from 1990 to 2015, while the LPI and MPS decreased, which indicated that CL was gradually fragmented (Figure 7). 2 2 The MPS of FL decreased from 64.45 km to 59.56 km during the period, and LSI decreased from 163.66 to 162.52 from 1990 to 2000, then increased to 164.71 in 2015. The COHESION was consistently at a high level (99.89%). The NP and MPS of WL firstly in‐ creased and then decreased. The MPS of SL gradually decreased (Figure 7). Figure 7. Landscape metrics on each type of land use in the MRYRR from 1990 to 2015. 4.3. Urbanization Process and Its Relationship with Land Use and Landscape Pattern 4.3.1. The Urbanization Process in MRYRR from 1990 to 2015 From 1990 to 2015, MRYRR underwent rapid and noticeable urbanization. The GDP and PGDP increased by 36.03 times and 30.45 times, respectively. The PRI, SEC and TER increased by 8.28 times, 25.72 times and 39.5 times, respectively. During the time, POP increased from 32.35 million to 92.09 million. The RUR was gradually flowed into the cit‐ ies, making the increase of URR an important factor of urbanization development. Over the past 25 years, the urbanization level in the study area increased from 21.19% to 51.43%, an increase of 2.43 times. The increase of BL in this study also indicated the rapid urbani‐ zation in the MRYRR (Figure 8). Figure 8. Socio‐economic indicators in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River region from 1990 to 2015. Land 2021, 10, 1025 10 of 17 4.3.2. The Relationship between Land Use Change, Urbanization and Landscape Driving Factors The BL was negatively correlated with RUR and positively correlated with other fac‐ tors. The correlation order was the TER > GDP > PGDP > SEC > PRI > RUR (p < 0.05). The area of CL was positively correlated with RUR (p < 0.05), and negatively correlated with other factors, except POP, and the correlation order was the PGDP > GDP > PRI > RUR > TER > SEC > URR (p < 0.05). SL was negatively correlated with POP and RUR (p < 0.01), while SL was positively correlated with RUR (p < 0.05) (p < 0.05) (Figure 9). BL and OL were significantly positively correlated with economic factors (GDP, PGDP, SEC and TER), while CL, SL and WL were significantly negatively correlated with economic factors. From the perspective of landscape patterns, NP was positively corre‐ lated with POP. PD was positively correlated with TER. MPS and CONTAG were nega‐ tively correlated with GDP, PGDP, SEC and TER, and SHDI was positively correlated with GDP, PGDP, PRI, SEC and TER (Figure 9). Figure 9. Correlation of land use, landscape patterns and other factors in the MRYRR from 1999 to 2015. Green represents negative relationships and red represents positive relationships. The lighter the color, the weaker the correlation. The data in the frame represents the correlation coefficients between land use types. * Means that p less than 0.05; ** means that p less than 0.01. Details of the abbreviations are shown in Table A1. 5. Discussion Social and economic development, urbanization level and geographical conditions were important factors affecting the changes of regional land use types and landscape patterns [72,73]. This study revealed the spatial‐temporal patterns and driving factors of land use change in MRYRR over the past 25 years. According to the research results, BL and OL increased by 1.08% and 0.54%, respectively, from 1990 to 2015, CL and FL de‐ creased by 1.06% and 0.49% respectively (Figure 4 and Table A2). Compared with China’s coastal urban agglomerations, MRYRR has less land use change. For example, BL in the Yangtze River Delta increased by 8.68% and CL decreased by 8.34% in the past 10 years. Over the last 16 years, BL in the pearl river delta increased by 9.98%, CL and FL decreased by 7.12% and 2.26%, respectively [74,75]. The changes of land use types and landscape patterns in the MRYRR were consistent with its socio‐economic level, geographical con‐ ditions and national development policies. Land 2021, 10, 1025 11 of 17 At the socioeconomic level, urbanization was an important driving force of landscape pattern change. The Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta were located in the coastal areas, opening up to the outside world earlier and developing rapidly. The de‐ mand for BL was strong, leading to the acceleration of CL reduction [76–78]. Statistics showed that the development intensity of Shanghai and Beijing were 36.5% and 48%; however, the development intensity in London and Tokyo was only 23.75% and 29.4% . MRYRR, located in central and western China, has relatively slow economic devel‐ opment and urban population growth, and has a weak impact on CL and FL. Since 2016, the development of the Yangtze River economic belt had been implemented as a national strategy, and the economic development would increase rapidly. Therefore, the land use change in the study area should learn from the development experience and lessons of other regions in order to adapt to the sustainable development of social economy and environment. At the level of natural environment, geographical environment has a restriction effect on land use changes. The Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta were mainly del‐ tas and alluvial plains formed by the estuaries. The lack of natural barriers in mountainous regions limits land development and promotes land use disorder. Hilly areas in the three provinces of the MRYRR made up more than half of the total area [80,81]. Even in the middle delta of Wuhan, Changsha and Nanchang, the capital cities of the study area, there were still a large number of mountainous areas, which restrict the expansion of urbaniza‐ tion to a certain extent. However, with the development of urbanization in the past 25 years, the landscape fragmentation in this area became more and more serious, and the complexity of patch shape increased, even in the marginal areas, which had a negative impact on the maintenance of its ecosystem function. At the level of national development strategies, land use was also affected by policies. The MRYRR area has implemented the Yangtze River Shelterbelt and the project of Grain to Green. In recent years, the implementation of ecological engineering and the promul‐ gation of protection policies provided favorable conditions for the landscape ecological protection in this region, and also affected the landscape patterns [82,83]. SL has been the dominant land type in the study area for the past 25 years, and the area still maintains a high proportion of natural ecosystems, which provides a basis for development based on ecological conservation. However, due to the high intensity of human activities, the CL and FL in the region decreased, and the degree of landscape fragmentation was still in‐ creasing. Therefore, the protection of basic farmland and the control of urban expansion scale should be done well, and the maintenance of natural ecosystem connectivity should be strengthened. 6. Conclusions From 1990 to 2015, with the rapid development of urbanization, BL increased by more than half in MRYRR, mainly by occupying CL and FL. BL gradually aggregated into the main patch of the core urban area. At the same time, the CL and FL were fragmented. During this period, the overall landscape of MRYRR became more heterogeneous and fragmented. The increase of economic and demographic factors in the study area was pos‐ itively correlated with BL, OL and SHID, and negatively correlated with CL, WL, MPS and CONTAG. Urbanization had a profound impact on the local land use and landscape patterns. As the central region of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the MRYRR is facing rapid economic development and the continuous improvement in urbanization, which may cause a strong negative impact on the existing ecological landscape patterns. This is al‐ ready happening in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta regions. The following measures should be adopted for a sustainable development: (1) The government should strictly implement the ecological protection strategies, delimiting ecological idle space and form strict systems; (2) The MRYRR has many mountains and hills. Urban roads and dams will lead to habitat fragmentation and ecological corridor fragmentation. Therefore, Land 2021, 10, 1025 12 of 17 the connectivity of ecological patches should be increased to improve ecological nodes and corridors; (3) The MRYRR is the site of the Three Gorges Dam and needs strong water conservation forests to improve forest ecosystem services. This study has important ref‐ erence value for ecological development and rational planning of land development, and utilization in the Yangtze River Basin and other similar regions. Author Contributions: Conceptualization, Y.Y. and M.S.; methodology, H.K.; software, Y.Y.; vali‐ dation, G.Z.; formal analysis, L.X.; investigation, Q.Z.; resources, C.Z., H.S. and J.L.; data curation, Y.L., X.Z. H.K. and N.Y.; writing—original draft preparation, Y.Y.; writing—review and editing, Y.Y., H.K.; visualization, Y.Y.; supervision, M.S.; project administration, C.Z.; funding acquisition, H.K. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. Funding: This research was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (31770746), Youth initiation project of Shanghai Academy of landscape planning (KT00262), National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC0505501), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31800411), and Special Project of Shanghai Municipal Economy and Information Technology Commission (201901024). Institutional Review Board Statement: Not applicable. Informed Consent Statement: Not applicable. Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interest or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper. Appendix A Table A1. Land use types, landscape metrics and other factors abbreviations. Types Abbreviation Content GL Grassland CL Cropland SL Shrubland OL Orchard Land use types BL Built‐up land WL Wasteland WB Water bodies FL Forestland NP Number patches PD Patch density LPI Largest Patch Index Landscape met‐ MPS Mean Patch Area rics CONTAG Contagion index SHID Shannon diversity index COHESION Patch Cohesion Index LSI Landscape shape index POP Population RUR Rural residents URR Urban residents Socioeconomic GDP Gross domestic product factors PGDP Per capital Gross domestic product PRI Primary sector SEC Secondary sector TER Tertiary sector Others MRYRR Middle reaches of the Yangtze River region Land 2021, 10, 1025 13 of 17 Table A2. Changes in area of land use types in the MRYRR region from 1990 to 2015. 1990 2000 2010 2015 Land Use Area Percentage Area Percentage Area Percentage Area Percentage Types 2 2 2 2 (km ) (%) (km ) (%) (km ) (%) (km ) (%) CL 177,513 31.47 175,989 31.2 173,947 30.84 171,497 30.41 FL 283,779 50.31 284,958 50.52 284,246 50.4 280,971 49.82 SL 41,060 7.28 40,458 7.17 39,899 7.07 39,647 7.03 OL 3072 0.54 2909 0.52 3957 0.7 6077 1.08 GL 22,786 4.04 22,403 3.97 21,931 3.89 22,130 3.92 WB 23,945 4.25 24,687 4.38 25,784 4.58 26,003 4.61 BL 9762 1.73 10,511 1.86 12,336 2.19 15,865 2.81 WL 2083 0.37 2085 0.37 1900 0.34 1810 0.32 Table A3. Land use transfer matrix in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River from 1990 to 2000 (km ). CL FL SL OL GL WB BL WL 1990 CL 102,176.00 51,661.00 5242.00 772.00 3736.00 7555.00 6080.00 291.00 177,513.00 FL 49,664.00 199,864.00 18,792.00 1146.00 9799.00 2891.00 1583.00 40.00 283,779.00 SL 6363.00 19,093.00 14,581.00 125.00 223.00 472.00 196.00 7.00 41,060.00 OL 797.00 1215.00 144.00 590.00 0.00 0.00 326.00 0.00 3072.00 GL 3980.00 8010.00 1026.00 103.00 8632.00 0.00 390.00 645.00 22,786.00 WB 7180.00 3138.00 673.00 173.00 0.00 12,781.00 0.00 0.00 23,945.00 BL 5579.00 1929.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 306.00 1916.00 32.00 9762.00 WL 250.00 48.00 0.00 0.00 13.00 682.00 20.00 1070.00 2083.00 2000 175,989.00 284,958.00 40,458.00 2909.00 22,403.00 24,687.00 10,511.00 2085.00 64,500.00 NOTE: The data in each row added up to the total area of land use in the same category in 1990, and the data in each column equalled the total area of land use in the same category in 2000. The data in each cell represented the area of the row land use type transferred to column land use type from 1990 to 2000. The total area of the study area is 64,500 km . Table A4. Land use transfer matrix in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River from 2000 to 2010 (km ). CL FL SL OL GL WB BL WL 2000 CL 173,418.00 162.00 22.00 157.00 15.00 969.00 1221.00 25.00 177,513.00 FL 194.00 283,100.00 40.00 966.00 34.00 149.00 474.00 1.00 283,779.00 SL 20.00 504.00 39,803.00 54.00 3.00 30.00 41.00 3.00 41,060.00 OL 6.00 127.00 8.00 2738.00 5.00 9.00 16.00 0.00 3072.00 GL 59.00 331.00 26.00 37.00 21,846.00 69.00 30.00 5.00 22,786.00 WB 227.00 19.00 0.00 3.00 25.00 24,172.00 82.00 159.00 23,945.00 BL 7.00 3.00 0.00 2.00 0.00 23.00 10,471.00 5.00 9762.00 WL 16.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 3.00 363.00 1.00 1702.00 2083.00 2010 173,947.00 284,246.00 39,899.00 3957.00 21,931.00 25,784.00 12,336.00 1900.00 64,500.00 Note: The data in each row added up to the total area of land use in the same category in 2000, and the data in each column equalled the total area of land use in the same category in 2010. The data in each cell represented the area of the row land use type transferred to column land use type from 2000 to 2010. The total area of the study area is 64,500 km . Table A5. Land use transfer matrix in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River from 2010 to 2015 (km ). CL FL SL OL GL WB BL WL 2010 CL 171,180.00 65.00 3.00 240.00 15.00 316.00 2123.00 5.00 173,947.00 FL 96.00 280,644.00 38.00 1871.00 394.00 76.00 1127.00 0.00 284,246.00 SL 5.00 37.00 39,588.00 112.00 20.00 16.00 121.00 0.00 39,899.00 OL 18.00 132.00 8.00 3757.00 6.00 10.00 26.00 0.00 3957.00 GL 11.00 33.00 2.00 88.00 21,683.00 8.00 105.00 1.00 21,931.00 Land 2021, 10, 1025 14 of 17 WB 127.00 24.00 6.00 3.00 11.00 25,450.00 145.00 18.00 25,784.00 BL 59.00 36.00 2.00 5.00 0.00 16.00 12,218.00 0.00 12,336.00 WL 1.00 0.00 0.00 1.00 1.00 111.00 0.00 1786.00 1900.00 2015 171,497.00 280,971.00 39,647.00 6077.00 22,130.00 26,003.00 15,865.00 1810.00 64,500.00 Note: The data in each row added up to the total area of land use in the same category in 2010, and the data in each column equalled the total area of land use in the same category in 2015. The data in each cell represented the area of the row land use type transferred to column land use type from 2010 to 2015. The total area of the study area is 64,500 km . Table A6. Land use transfer matrix in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River from 1990 to 2015. CL FL SL OL GL WB BL WL 1990 CL 177,513.00 99,138.00 50,062.00 5152.00 1502.00 3658.00 8751.00 8950.00 300.00 FL 283,779.00 48,910.00 197,041.00 18,427.00 3260.00 9887.00 3075.00 3134.00 45.00 41,060.00 SL 6284.00 18,577.00 13,675.00 270.00 1404.00 483.00 361.00 6.00 OL 780.00 1199.00 136.00 658.00 160.00 74.00 62.00 3.00 3072.00 GL 3943.00 9626.00 1802.00 251.00 6498.00 365.00 284.00 17.00 22,786.00 WB 23,945.00 6868.00 3014.00 303.00 89.00 390.00 11,689.00 1047.00 545.00 BL 9762.00 5327.00 1406.00 146.00 44.00 120.00 691.00 1991.00 37.00 WL 2083.00 247.00 46.00 6.00 3.00 13.00 875.00 36.00 857.00 2015 171,497.00 280,971.00 39,647.00 6077.00 22,130.00 26,003.00 15,865.00 1810.00 64,500.00 Note: The data in each row added up to the total area of land use in the same category in 1990, and the data in each column equalled the total area of land use in the same category in 2015. 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Land – Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Published: Sep 30, 2021
Keywords: urbanization; land use transition; landscape patterns; middle reaches of the Yangtze River region; correlation analysis
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