Land Use Changes of Valleys Based on Topographic Factors in Beijing Mountainous Regions of China*

  • 1 Beijing Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2 Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

Received date: 2015-10-11

  Online published: 2016-02-15

Supported by

This study was jointly supported by the Beijing Philosophy and Social Science Planning Project (Grant No.15JGC193), Beijing Postdoctoral Research Foundation (Grant No.2015ZZ-128), and Beijing academy of social sciences youth project


Land use changes in mountainous regions were greatly enhanced as the rapid development of economy due to the expanded population in developing countries. Acting geographically as the basic unit of mountainous regions, valleys are the primary sites of economic activities. Therefore optimization of land use policy in valleys is of critical important to the sustainable development in mountainous regions. On the basis of land use data in 1995 and 2012, this study explored the changes of land use according to the assessment of varied topographic factors (i.e., altitude and slope) in typical valleys of the Beijing mountainous regions, China. Our results showed that the valley is an efficiently geographical unit to evaluate land use changes in mountainous regions. We also found that major land use changes in mountainous regions of Beijing from 1995 to 2012 were the dramatic losses of grassland to the cultivated and construction lands, while most of these changes took place at the altitude of 0-400m and the slope of 6-15°. Considering the ever increasing economic development in Beijing mountainous regions, the increases of the construction and cultivated lands are inevitable, however, the great changes at a steeper slope imply the need to tailor land use structure coming into line with topographic factors, and suggesting ecological barriers and water conservation must be exercised in the developments of these areas.

Cite this article

Songlin Mu, Yifeng Zhang, Dhruba Bijaya G.C. . Land Use Changes of Valleys Based on Topographic Factors in Beijing Mountainous Regions of China*[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2016 , 7(1) : 68 -76 . DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2016.01.009


[1] Auch R F, Sayler K L, Napton D E , et al. 2011. Ecoregional differences in late-20th-century land-use and land-cover change in the US northern great plains . Great Plains Research , 21(2): 231-243.
[2] Braimoh A K, Vlek P L G. 2004. Land-cover dynamics in an urban area of ghana. Earth Interactions . 8(1): 1-15.
[3] Chen G, Zhou H. 2003. Regional differences on economy development in china mountain areas. Journal of Mountain Science , 21(4): 435-441.
[4] Cockx K, Van de Voorde T, Canters F. 2014. Quantifying uncertainty in remote sensing-based urban land-use mapping. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation , 31: 154-166.
[5] DeFries R S, Foley J A, Asner G P. 2004. Land-use choices: Balancing human needs and ecosystem function. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment , 2(5): 249-257.
[6] Drummond M A, Auch R F, Karstensen K A, et al. 2012. Land change variability and human-environment dynamics in the united states great plains. Land Use Policy , 29(3): 710-723.
[7] Ehlers M, Jadkowski M A, Howard R R, et al. 1990. Application of spot data for regional growth analysis and local-planning. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing , 56(2): 175-180.
[8] Ellis J T, Spruce J P, Swann R A, et al. 2011. An assessment of coastal land-use and land-cover change from 1974-2008 in the vicinity of mobile bay, alabama. Journal of Coastal Conservation , 15(1): 139-149.
[9] Fahsi A, Tsegaye T, Tadesse W, et al. 2000. Incorporation of digital elevation models with Landsat-TM data to improve land cover classification accuracy. Forest Ecology and Management , 128(1-2): 57-64.
[10] Fu S, Duan S, Li Y, et al. 2002. Effects of land use on soil erosion in Beijing mountainous regions. Progress in Natural Science, 12(1): 108-112. (in Chinese)
[11] Fujimoto M, Ohte N, Tani M. 2008. Effects of hillslope topography on hydrological responses in a weathered granite mountain, japan: Comparison of the runoff response between the valley-head and the side slope. Hydrological Processes , 22(14): 2581-2594.
[12] Hu J. 2007. Follow- up industry development of grain to green program and new socialist countryside building in Beijing rural suburbs. Forestry Economics , 4: 20-22. (in Chinese)
[13] Huang Y, Liu S, Tian C, et al. 2014. Study on the development of under-forestry economy in mountain area in Beijing. Chinese Agricultural Science Bulletin , 30(11): 83-89. (in Chinese)
[14] Kessler C A, Stroosnijder L. 2006. Land degradation assessment by farmers in Bolivian mountain valleys. Land Degradation & Development , 17(3): 235-248.
[15] Lambin E F, Turner B L, Geist H J, et al. 2001. The causes of land-use and land-cover change: Moving beyond the myths. Global Environmental Change-Human and Policy Dimensions , 11(4): 261-269.
[16] Li J, Hou B, Wei S, et al. 2007. A study of land use / cover change in mountain area of Guangdong based on the Dem data. Bulletin of Surveying and Mapping , (6): 53-57. (in Chinese)
[17] Li P, Han J, Ma X, et al. 2011. Studies on current status of mountainous regions of Beijing city and development of the valley economy. Management of Agricultural Science and Technology , 30(1): 10-13. (in Chinese)
[18] Liu B Y, Nearing M A, Risse L M. 1994. Slope gradient effects on soil loss for steep slopes. Transactions of the ASAE , 37(6): 1835-1840.
[19] Lundgren T. 2009. Environmental protection and impact on adjacent economies: Evidence from the Swedish mountain region. Growth and Change , 40(3): 513-532.
[20] Lundstroem C, Kytzia S, Walz A, et al. 2007. Linking models of land use, resources, and economy to simulate the development of mountain regions (alpscape). Environmental Management , 40(3): 379-393.
[21] Ma Q, Deng L, Huang X. 2005. Analysis on land use change and driving factors in the mountainous areas around Sichuan province: A case study of Ya'an city of sichuan province. Journal of Nanjing University. Natural Sciences , 41(3): 268-278. (in Chinese)
[22] Mottet A, Ladet S, Coque N , et al. 2006. Agricultural land-use change and its drivers in mountain landscapes: A case study in the Pyrenees . Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment , 114(2-4): 296-310.
[23] Mu S, Zhang Y, Li T , et al. 2012. Study on industrial spatial distribution of valley economy in mountain areas of Fangshan of Beijing . Journal of Natural Resources , 27(4): 588-600. (in Chinese)
[24] Nepal S K. 2002. Mountain ecotourism and sustainable development - ecology, economics, and ethics . Mountain Research and Development . 22(2): 104-109.
[25] Paudel P P, Joshi J, Omura H. 2001. Erosion in the western middle mountain watersheds of nepal: A review . Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture Kyushu University , 46(1): 83-91.
[26] Powers E B. 1929. Fresh water studies i the relative temperature, oxygen content, alkali reserve, the carbon dioxide tension and ph of the waters of certain mountain streams at different altitudes in the smoky mountain national park . Ecology , 10: 97-111.
[27] Prishchepov A V, Radeloff V C, Baumann M , et al. 2012. Effects of institutional changes on land use: Agricultural land abandonment during the transition from state-command to market-driven economies in post- Soviet Eastern Europe . Environmental Research Letters, 7(2), 1-13.
[28] Rasul G, Thapa G B. 2007. The impact of policy and institutional environment on costs and benefits of sustainable agricultural land uses: The case of the Chittagong hill tracts, Bangladesh . Environmental Management , 40(2): 272-283.
[29] Rodenburg J, Zwart S J, Kiepe P , et al. 2014. Sustainable rice production in African inland valleys: Seizing regional potentials through local approaches . Agricultural Systems , 123: 1-11.
[30] Smith B. 2011. The Dublin region in the middle ages: Settlement, land-use and economy . Economic History Review , 64(4): 1382-1383.
[31] Sohl T L, Sleeter B M, Sayler K L , et al. 2012. Spatially explicit land-use and land-cover scenarios for the great plains of the United States . Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment , 153: 1-15.
[32] Stefanov W L, Ramsey M S, Christensen P R. 2001. Monitoring urban land cover change: An expert system approach to land cover classification of semiarid to arid urban centers . Remote Sensing of Environment , 77(2): 173-185.
[33] Tahoun S A, El-Naka E-S A. 2002. New research frontiers for the sustainable land management . Egyptian Journal of Soil Science , 42(1): 1-15.
[34] Takada T, Miyamoto A, Hasegawa S F. 2010. Derivation of a yearly transition probability matrix for land-use dynamics and its applications . Landscape Ecology , 25(4): 561-572.
[35] Vezina K, Bonn F, Van C P. 2006. Agricultural land-use patterns and soil erosion vulnerability of watershed units in Vietnam's northern highlands . Landscape Ecology , 21(8): 1311-1325.
[36] Wang X. 2007. A green great wall have been built in Beijing . Forestry of China . 15: 20. (in Chinese)
[37] Wei X, Zhang Z, Hu S , et al. 2010. Random and systematic land- use transitions in mountainous area of Beijing . Remote Sensing for Land & Resources , 4: 77-4. (in Chinese)
[38] Yang Y. 2011. Sandstorm source control of Beijing and Tianjin in the past 10 years: A green barrier of 370000 hectares in Beijing mountainous regions, Land Greening . 9: 35-35. (in Chinese)
[39] Yilmaz R. 2010. Monitoring land use/land cover changes using corine land cover data: A case study of Silivri coastal zone in metropolitan Istanbul . Environmental Monitoring and Assessment , 165(1-4): 603-615.
[40] Zhang Y, Jia D, Zhang H , et al. 2011. Spatial structure of valley economic development in the mountainous areas in Beijing . Journal of Geographical Sciences , 21(2): 331-345.
[41] Zhao X, Huang X, Chen Y , et al. 2010. Research progress in urban land intensive use . Journal of Natural Resources , 25(11): 1979-1996. (in Chinese)
[42] Zhao Y, Cui B, Murayama Y. 2011. Characteristics of neighborhood interaction in urban land-use changes: A comparative study between three metropolitan areas of japan . Journal of Geographical Sciences , 21(1): 65-78.
[43] Zhu J. 2003. Effects of tourism on the ecnomic development of Beijing mountainous regions . Journal of Beijing Agricultural Vocation College , 17(3): 45-48. (in Chinese)