Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2022, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (3): 394-406.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2022.03.005

• Land Use and Sustainable Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Patterns and Driving Forces of Cropland Abandonment in Mountainous Areas

CHEN Shuanglong1,2(), SONG Wei1,*(), LI Han1,3, LI Han1,4   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Electrical and Information, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China
    3. College of geography and Environment, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250358, China
    4. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2020-11-14 Accepted:2021-08-20 Online:2022-05-30 Published:2022-04-18
  • Contact: SONG Wei
  • About author:CHEN Shuanglong, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China(42071233);The Project of the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research(2019QZKK0603);The Project of the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20040201)


Cropland abandonment is spreading from developed countries to developing countries such as China. Cropland abandonment in China commonly occurs in mountainous areas due to their specific natural and geographical conditions. However, due to the lack of dependable monitoring methods via medium-high-resolution remote sensing images, the scale of abandoned cropland in many mountainous areas of China is unclear, and the mechanisms driving cropland abandonment have not been clearly identified. To overcome these limitations, we took Zhong County of Chongqing in China as an example, and used Landsat 8 OLI_TIRS remote sensing image data to develop a method for mapping abandoned cropland in mountainous areas based on annual land use change monitoring. At the same time, the ridge regression method was adopted to analyze the factors influencing cropland abandonment. These analyses showed that the cropland abandonment rate in Zhong County of Chongqing was as high as 7.86%, while the overall accuracy of identifying abandoned cropland was as high as 90.82%. Among the social and economic factors that affect cropland abandonment, the rural population, economic development, and livestock husbandry development were the most important ones. At the land parcel scale, large-scale cropland abandonment occurred in areas at elevations above 650 m or with slopes of more than 15°.

Key words: cropland abandonment, remote sensing, driving factors, Zhong County, China