The effects of China's cultivated land balance program on potential land productivity at a national scale
Post on 29-Dec-2016
Potential land productivityChinas cultivated land preservationUrban development
due to the threat to food security. China has implemented a set of cultivated land balance (CLB) programs
have drawn close attention recently due to the world wide threat to
(Ewert, Rounsevell, Reginster, Metzger, & Leemans, 2005). Oneespecially signicant spatial conict that has affected the ability ofnations to grow enough food is that between urban developmentand the need to protect highly productive cultivated land (Foley
are often guided by policies that, if implemented at a national scale,tions of cultivatedMerwade, Rao, &wski & Robinson,danpanah, 2009;neralp, & Hutyra,g the negative ef-rmland protectionaround the world,
Agricultural policies usually have important impacts on bothland use and the environment (Morelli, Segoni, Manzo, Ermini, &Catani, 2012; Munroe, Croissant, & York, 2005; Skinner et al.,1997; Tzilivakis et al., 1999). Therefore, it is important to fullyassess the effects of any proposed or implemented agriculturalpolicies. In 1985, the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)Program was introduced in the European Community and widelyused to assess the effects of development policies on ecosystems(Kumar, Esen, & Yashiro, 2013), measure the sustainability of policy
* Corresponding author. Tel.: 86 10 64889450.
Contents lists availab
Applied Geography 46 (2014) 158e170E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (W. Song).food security. For example, researchers have assessed the loss incropland productivity due to deforestation in the Amazon(Weinhold, 1999), analyzed the impacts of land use conversion onfood production in China (Yan, Liu, Huang, Tao, & Cao, 2009),evaluated the inherent soil productivity and contributions toChinas cereal crop yield increase (Fan et al., 2013), determined howpastoralist needs affect cropping practices in Africa (Washington-Ottombre et al., 2010), and estimated changes in crop productiv-ity under different scenarios of future land use trends in Europe
can signicantly alter the amounts and proporland at various scales of productivity (Kumar,Pijanowski, 2013; Moore et al., 2012; Pijano2011; Pijanowski, Tayyebi, Delavar, & YazPlourde, Pijanowski, & Pekin 2013; Seto, Gu2012; Tayyebi, Pijanowski, & Pekin, 2011). Fearinfects of land use changes on PLP, numerous faprograms have been implemented by nationswith various degrees of success.Effects of land use change on potential land productivity (PLP) The patterns and rates of land use change such as urbanizationIntroduction0143-6228/$ e see front matter 2013 Elsevier Ltd.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2013.11.009We assessed the outcomes of CLB policy in terms of both quantity balance and quality balance. Inparticular, we evaluated the effects of CLB policy on potential land productivity (PLP) of cultivated land.During 1999e2008, a total of 21,011 km2 of cultivated land was lost due to urbanization and economicdevelopment while 27,677 km2 of cultivated land was gained by land exploitation, consolidation andrehabilitation. Thus, the quantity balance aimed for by CLB was achieved. In contrast, quality balance wasnot met due to both the loss of highly productive cultivated land from urban expansion and economicdevelopment and a awed approach to adding newly cultivated land. In particular, China has typicallyrelied on adding cultivated land by exploitation instead of consolidation, which would add higherproductivity land. Therefore, the PLP of the added cultivated land has been rather poor. Nevertheless, theaverage PLP did increase slightly during 1999e2008, but this was despite CLB rather than because of it.The main cause of the PLP increase was actually a grain-for-green policy that induced considerablereduction in cultivation of low productivity cultivated land.
2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
et al., 2005; Lambin & Meyfroidt, 2011; Tsadila, Evangelou,Tsadilas, Giourga, & Stamatiadis, 2012).Land use changeCultivated land balance since the late 1990s, aiming to maintain the quantity and quality of cultivated land across the country.Keywords: Decreases in both quantity and quality of cultivated land in China have drawn close attention recentlyThe effects of Chinas cultivated land baland productivity at a national scale
Wei Song a,*, Bryan C. Pijanowski b
a Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy ofPeoples Republic of ChinabDepartment of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 4
a b s t r a c t
journal homepage: www.All rights reserved.nce program on potential
nces, 11A, Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100101,
le at ScienceDirect
lied Gscenarios (Ren, Zhang, & Wang, 2010), and evaluate the effects ofpolicies on agricultural practices (Tzilivakis et al., 1999). Policy as-sessments have taken on several forms. Approaches have variedfrom those applying fuzzy multi-criteria evaluation to assess theeffects of food safety policies on land use (e.g., Mazzocchi, Ragona,& Zanoli, 2013), to applying a general equilibrium model to analyzethe economic and environmental impacts of European Union bio-energy policy (Dandres, Gaudreault, Tirado-Seco, & Samson, 2012),to those using a Markov model to assess conservation policy effectson land use change (e.g., Benito et al., 2010).
Traditionally, each of these policy assessments has focused on asingle aspect of social, economic or ecological consequences.However, due to recent trends as globalization, trade liberalization,market development, and climate change, agricultural policy isnow recognized as strongly affecting interactions between theenvironment, economy and society (Van Ittersum & Brouwer,2009). Consequently, in recent years, research has shifted to moreintegrated approaches to assess policy impacts. These integratedapproaches are recognized as either analytical or participatory innature (Therond et al., 2009). The analytical approach is one thatembraces models and both scenario and risk assessment, oftenusing geographic information systems and spatial analyses,whereas the participatory approach includes policy exercises usingmixed-method approaches combining those that are qualitativeand quantitative (e.g., Nassauer & Opdam, 2008; Olson et al., 2008;Washington-Ottombre & Pijanowski, 2013).
Nowhere is the need for agricultural protection policies greaterthan in China. The large Chinese population needs to feed itself(Ash & Edmonds, 1998; Brown, 1995; Lichtenberg & Ding, 2008;Smil, 1999), and the shortage of cultivated land in China (Heet al., 2013; Huang, Zhu, & Deng, 2007) presents many challengesto achieving this goal. Increasing food production in China can bereached in various ways (Deng, Huang, Rozelle, & Uchida, 2006; Fanet al., 2013; Ho, 2001; Smil, 1999; Yang & Li, 2000). These solutionsinclude: (1) increasing yields through proper management ofagricultural inputs such as nutrients and water (Fan et al., 2012; Lin,1987); (2) increasing production through expansion of cultivatedland (Angelsen, 1999; Tilman et al., 2001); and (3) ensuring,through cultivated land protection policies, that highly productivecultivated lands are protected and used to grow crops (Heilig, 1997;Lichtenberg & Ding, 2008; Lin & Ho, 2003; Liu, Liu, Zhuang, Zhang,& Deng, 2003). It is well documented that China has improved cropyields per unit of cultivated land area by increasing fertilizerapplication and the use of hybrid seed varieties (Fan, Stewart, Yong,Luo, & Zhou, 2005; Huang & Rozelle, 1995; Wang, Halbrendt, &Johnson, 1996). This has been especially true for rice, because,since 1978 the introduction of the Household Contract Re-sponsibility System has held farmers accountable for farm prots orlosses. However, the conservation of cultivated land in China hasremained a challenge (Deng, Huang, Rozelle, & Uchida, 2006; Yang& Li, 2000), as the amount of cultivated land has decreased over thelast two decades.
In particular, explosive urban growth in China has presentedmany challenges to protecting cultivated land. Over the past 30years, as Chinas annual GDP (gross domestic product) hasaveraged more than 8%, this extensive economic growth has ledto ever-increasing urbanization and loss of cultivated land withhigh PLP (Ho & Lin, 2004; Yang & Li, 2000). This has beenespecially true in the southeast coastal areas of China wheredevelopment rates are the nations greatest (Liu et al., 2003;Verburg, Veldkamp, & Fresco, 1999). The new expansion of ur-ban land use, broadly known in China as construction occupa-tion, has converted highly productive cultivated land at theurbanerural fringe to non-agricultural uses at enormous rates
W. Song, B.C. Pijanowski / App(Tan, Li, & Lu, 2005).In order to mitigate the pressure of cultivated land loss andensure food security in China, the government has implemented,since the late 1990s, the Cultivated Land Balance (CLB) land usepolicy to maintain the quantity and quality of cultivated land acrossthe country. During the same period that the CLB policy has been ineffect, China has also had in place two other major policy programsaimed at inuencing the use of cultivated lands: one referred to asgrain-for-green and another called agricultural restructuring.
The grain-for-green policy is the largest land retirement/affor-estation program in China. It was initiated primarily to mitigate theland degradation (soil erosion) from misguided land use and toimprove ecological conditions, by returning steeply sloping culti-vated land to forests or grassland. The program was begun in theLoess Plateau in 1999 and expanded to cover all of China as a na-tional program in 2000. The primary aim of agricultural restruc-turing (which began in 1999) is to change from only planting grainsto growing cash crops such as fruits and vegetables according to theparticular advantages of the given region. Changing from grains tocash crops can have signicant restructuring effects, as land forsome types of crops needs to be reconditioned. Additionally,restructuring can result in reclassication of affected sites, suchthat they lose or gain designation as cultivated land. For example, ifagricultural elds are replaced with orchards or shponds under anagricultural restructuring plan, the land will no longer be countedas cultivated. This policy can therefore lead to both losses and ad-ditions to cultivated land.
In light of these complicated land use policies and drastic,ongoing urban and economic development, an assessment isneeded of the effects of the CLB policy on the PLP of the cultivatedland in China. However, there is a lack of published studiesaddressing this topic.
Here, we attempt to assess the consequences of CLB policy forthe PLP of China in order to provide some guidance for agriculturalmanagement and stable agricultural development. Specically, thepurposes of this paper are to: (1) assess the land use conversionpatterns of cultivated land in China between 1999 and 2008; (2)examine changes in PLP of cultivated land associated with eachtype of land use changes occurring during this 9-year period; and(3) present an evaluation of the effects of CLB policy on PLP, usingthe new Agricultural Land Classication (ALC) data from the Min-istry of Land Resources of China (MLRC).
Cultivated land balance policy
In 1996, given themagnitude of the cultivated land loss in China,the National Bureau of Land Management (the predecessor of theMLRC) adopted the CLB policy of maintaining the existing amountof cultivated land nationally (Liu, Liu, Jiao, & Zhang, 2004; MLRC,1997). This policy has been viewed as a crucial attempt by theChinese government to preserve cultivated land (Ash & Edmonds,1998; Lichtenberg & Ding, 2008). CLB directs that within a givenperiod and administrative unit, any area taken out of cultivationmust be offset by putting at least an equal additional area intocultivation. Thus, when CLB was rst proposed, it focused on thequantity balance of total cultivated land in general. However, thisapproach was soon found to be impractical due to various sourcesof cultivated land loss, especially from such other policies as grain-for-green and agricultural restructuring. Therefore, CLB imple-mentation came to focus particularly on the balance betweencultivated land losses by construction occupation and cultivatedland supplement. According to this approach, if a plot of cultivatedland was replaced by construction, the land developer shouldcreate another plot of cultivated land of the same area.
CLB was formally codied in the amended Land Management
eography 46 (2014) 158e170 159Ordinance of 1998. In this ordinance, provincial governments were
Land use change analysis
The lack of accurate and reliable land use data in China hashindered land use related research for a long time (Lin & Ho, 2003;Yang & Li, 2000). The Chinese government realized the seriousnessof this problem and began to carry out the rst national land usesurvey between 1990 and 1995. The survey was eventually nishedin 1996. Since 1996, the survey of land use change has been updatedannually by the MLRC. After 1998, the MLRC started publishingthese land use data annually, reporting the total amounts of culti-vated land and the areas gained and lost through conversion in theChina Land and Resources Almanac (1999e2009) (see MLRC, 2000,2001, 2002, 2003a, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).
In these reports, the fates of lost cultivated land are classiedinto four categories: construction occupation, grain-for-green,agricultural restructuring and disaster damage (Table 1). Sourcesof gained cultivated land are also grouped into four categories,namely land exploitation, land consolidation, land rehabilitationand agricultural restructuring. This classication of lost and gainedcultivated land enables attribution of cultivated land conversion topolicy programs (grain-for-green and agricultural restructuring),natural occurrences (disaster damage), economic/urbanizationdevelopment (construction occupation) or cultivated land supple-mentation initiatives (land exploitation, consolidation, and reha-bilitation). In the present study, using these data for the years from1998 (the rst year for which it is publically available) to 2008 (themost recent available data), we assessed the land use change incultivated land in China for the 31 provinces over this period.
ied Geography 46 (2014) 158e170made responsible for maintaining CLB in their jurisdictions. If it isdifcult for a local governmental unit (e.g., city or county) to ach-ieve the balance, it can pay fees to another locality within the sameprovince to accomplish the needed provision of replacementcultivated land. Supplementation of existing cultivated land (i.e.,putting additional land into cultivation to offset loss of such land) inresponse to the CLB policy was done over the last decade in threeways: land exploitation, land consolidation and land rehabilitation.Land exploitation refers to the conversion of non-farmland (mostlynatural areas) to farmland. It is considered the least expensive andeasiest form of cultivated land supplementation. Land consolida-tion consists of merging small farm plots to form larger plots inorder to reduce the area of roads, irrigation canals and ditches, andto make farming more efcient by allowing for more mechanizedagriculture. The need for land consolidation can be traced to theHousehold Contract Responsibility System of 1978, which resultedin farmers owning small parcels of land in often fragmented spatialarrangements. Land rehabilitation focuses on identifying previ-ously cultivated land that has been damaged by excavation, groundcollapse, construction, pollution, or other activities associated withits occupancy, and making it suitable again for cultivation.
Although CLB originally focused on balancing the quantities ofcultivated land gained with that lost, in recent years, withincreasing awareness of changes in cultivated land quality, main-taining a quality balance also drawn close attention. However, incomparison to evaluating the quantities of cultivated land lost andgained, assessing the quality balance between the two is moredifcult, with the result at this point unclear.
Potential land productivity in China
PLP is the capability of cultivated land to produce biologicalproducts for humans under certain conditions (Liu, Xu, Zhuang, &Gao, 2005). Aside from socio-economic factors, PLP is mainlydetermined by the sites temperature, light, water, soil and thebiological characteristics of the intended crop, which in the case ofChina are grains (i.e., rice, wheat and corn). These factors affect eachother and codetermine the PLP ladder series: photosynthetic pro-ductivity, photosyntheticethermal productivity, photosyntheticethermalewater productivity and photosyntheticethermalewatereland potentiality, the last quantity being the closest to actual landproductivity.
In recent years, the MLRC evaluated PLP across China in order toassign cultivated areas Natural Quality Grades (NQGs) using theStandards of Agricultural Land Classications assessment system.This system was rst developed in a pilot project in 1998, afterwhich the MLRC began its nationwide data collection effort (MLRC,2003b). The PLP values were derived from assessments of photo-syntheticethermalewatereland potentiality, using the samemethod that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizationand the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (cf.Song, Chen, & Chen, 2009) employed to identify Agro-EcologicalZones (AEZ). NQG values were determined for provinces byassigning the PLP values of cultivated land in China to 15 rankedcategories numbered 1e15, with smaller NGQ representing higheraverage PLP. The nationwide data collection was nished in 2008and the NQG values stored in the ALC database.
In the present study, we used these NQG values and comparedthem across the country for 31 provinces. We obtained the NQGdata from The Investigation and Evaluation of the Quality Grade ofChinas Agricultural (Cultivated) Land (DLUA, CLSPI, & LCRC of MLRC,2009) and then linked these to a geographic information systems
W. Song, B.C. Pijanowski / Appl160(GIS) database for analysis.Evaluation method for changes in potential land productivity
Ideally, we would have PLP data from the beginning and end-points of our study period to compare the PLP change from 1999 to2008. However, such data are lacking as, for any given location,
Table 1Where had the cultivated land come and go in Chinas ofcial statistics?
Conversion of cultivated land tonon-agricultural land due tourbanization and economicdevelopment i.e. cultivated landoccupied by urban and ruralsettlement, road, railway etc.
Grain-for-green Conversion of cultivated land toforests or grassland by grain-for-green policy
Conversion of cultivated land toother agricultural land (mostlyorchard) by agricultural restructuringpolicy
Disaster damage Cultivated land loss due to disasters,such as oods, mud ow, earthquakes,typhoons etc.
Land exploitation Conversion of non-farmland (mostlynatural land) to farmland
Land consolidation Adding cultivated land by mergingsmall farm plots into larger plotsand reducing the area of roads,irrigation canals and ditches
Land rehabilitation Conversion of previously cultivatedland that has been damaged byexcavation, ground collapse,construction, pollution etc. tocultivated land again
Conversion of other agriculturalland to cultivated land by agricultural
cultivated land. Thus, the quality balance of cultivated land can beassessed as:
ICLBquality GCNQG=LCNQG (6)
where ICLBquality is the index of CLB for quality; GCNQG is the NQG ofgained cultivated land from land exploitation, consolidation andrehabilitation; LCNQG is the NQG of lost cultivated land from con-struction occupation. If ICLBquality is equal to or less than 1, we cansay that quality balance has been achieved. Otherwise, qualitybalance of cultivated land has not been met.
Patterns of potential land productivity in China
lied Geography 46 (2014) 158e170 161there are only PLP data from essentially one point in time, i.e., theNGQ assessment by the MLRC done once during the 1998e2008period. Therefore, we developed a new method, presented inequations (1)e(4), to evaluate the changes in PLP. Because of theshort duration of the research period, we assumed that PLP at eachlocation did not change over it. Thus, we assumed that the changesin PLP of cultivated land in China from 1999 to 2008mainly resultedfrom changes in the quantities of cultivated land in various prov-inces. The formula used is:
where Qt represents the average NQG of cultivated land in China inyear t (either 1999 or 2008); Wit represents the proportion ofcultivated land area in province i of China at time t; and Pi is theaverage NQG of the cultivated land in province i. Wit can becalculated thusly:
Wit Ait=Att (2)
where Ait is the cultivated land area in province i at time t; and Att isthe cultivated land area of China at time t.
Likewise, the average PLP of the lost or gained cultivated landcan be calculated as follows:
i1Hip Pi (3)
where Qp represents the average NQG of the lost or gained culti-vated land type p; Hip refers to the proportion of the lost or gainedcultivated land type p in province i compared to the countrys total(the proportion was calculated using cumulative areas from theperiod 1999e2008); and Pi is the average NQG of the cultivatedland in province i. Hip is calculated as follows:
Hip Aip=Ap (4)
where Aip is the area of lost or gained cultivated land type p inprovince i and Ap is the area of lost or gained cultivated land type pin China.
Assessment approach of cultivated land balance
The CLB policy, as formally stated, requires both quantity bal-ance and quality balance. The quantity balance aims to balance thearea of the lost cultivated land resulted from construction occu-pation and gained cultivated land from land exploitation, consoli-dation and rehabilitation. Thus we can evaluate the quantitybalance of CLB through the following formula:
where ICLBquantity is the CLB for quantity index; GCi refers to the areaof cultivated land gained from i supplement process (i.e., landexploitation, consolidation or rehabilitation); LC is the area of lostcultivated land from construction occupation. If ICLBquantity is equalto or greater than 1, we can say that quantity balance has beenachieved. Otherwise, quantity balance of cultivated land has notbeen met.
By using NQG data from the different provinces and applying
W. Song, B.C. Pijanowski / Appequations (3) and (4), we can assess the NQG of gained and lostNationally, the majority of NQG values of cultivated land inChina was between 6 and 12 (Fig. 1), with this range of values ac-counting for 77.64% of the total NQG values. The NQGs of Chinascultivated land exhibit a normal distribution overall with theaverage quality of Chinas cultivated land at 9.2. The most common(i.e., the modal) NQG value is 10 (more than 14% of all land), fol-lowed by 11 and 9. Note that the high potential productivity land ofgrades 1, 2 and 3 represents a small percentage of the cultivatedland, accounting for 0.19%, 0.96% and 2.18%, respectively (less than4% of the total), whereas the lowest potential productivity land ofgrades 13, 14, 15 occupies a larger percentage, accounting for 6.47%,3.43% and 3.43%, respectively (more than 13% of the total).
Regionally, Chinas cultivated land with low PLP is mostlylocated in the north and northwest regions (Fig. 2), and cultivatedland with high PLP is located in the southeastern region of China.The cultivated land in Guangdong Province is of the greatest PLP,with an average NQG of 3.6. Other provinces with cultivated land ofthe highest PLP are Hunan, Hubei, Shanghai and Jiangsu, withaverage NQGs of 5.0, 5.4, 5.9 and 6.0, respectively. The temperatureconditions in these provinces are all large enough to plant cropstwice per year. Furthermore, the cultivated land in these provincesis located either in the plains or in low mountainous areas alonglarge rivers or their tributaries. The climatic conditions, as well asrelatively at land and available surface water and/or richgroundwater recharge areas, enable the cultivated land in theseareas to have high PLP.
In contrast, the cultivated land in Inner Mongolia is of the lowestPLP (with a NQG of 14.2) and the PLP of the cultivated land inQinghai, Gansu, Tibet, Heilongjiang, Guizhou, Ningxia, Shaanxi arealso poor, all with NQG values greater than 11.0. The cultivated landin these provinces only allows a single crop per year due to low
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Natural quality grade
Fig. 1. Average proportions of the cultivated land in different natural quality grades
during 1999e2008.Data source: DLUA et al., 2009.
ied GFig. 2. Average natural quality grades (NQGs) of the cultivated land in each province inData source: DLUA et al., 2009.
W. Song, B.C. Pijanowski / Appl162temperature conditions. Furthermore, these low-productivitycultivated lands are usually located within arid areas, in moun-tains with steep slopes and thin soils, or in hilly loess regions withbroken terrain mostly lacking irrigation. NQG not only reects thesoil condition of grain production but also the effects of localclimate. Thus, although the black soil of northeast China is believedto bemore fertile than the paddy soil in southeast coastal China, thePLP in northeast China is much lower due to its lower temperatureconditions and the resulting single crop per year.
Changes and quantity balance of cultivated land in China from 1999to 2008
The amount of cultivated land in China decreased from1.296107 km2 to 1.218 107 km2 between 1999 and 2008, rep-resenting a decline of about 6.11% in the area of cultivated land(Table 2). The amount of cultivated land decreased in most prov-inces, except for Heilongjiang and Xinjiang, where the cultivatedland increased by 0.83% and 0.53%, respectively. Among the prov-inces where cultivated land decreased, Beijing experienced thesharpest decline, with 32.30% of its cultivated land lost. The loss ofcultivated land was also very signicant in Qinghai, Shaanxi,Ningxia, Chongqing, InnerMongolia and Sichuan, which are locatedmostly on the Loess Plateau, as well as in the provinces of Shanghai,Guangdong, Zhejiang and Tianjin, which are located in the south-eastern coastal areas of China.
The proportions of total cultivated land lost during 1999e2008attributed to particular factors can be ranked from high to low asfollows: 57.47% for grain-for-green; 23.14% for agriculturalrestructuring; 17.48% for construction occupation; and 1.91% fordisaster damage (Fig. 3). This indicates that the grain-for-greenpolicy was the primary contributor to cultivated land loss, ac-counting for more than half of the total lost. However, the mainina during 1999e2008.
eography 46 (2014) 158e170causes of cultivated land loss varied among administrative units. InTianjin, Shanghai, Fujian, Jiangsu and Shandong administrativeunits, for example, construction occupation was the main cause,accounting for anywhere from 38.25 to 60.53% (Fig. 3). In InnerMongolia, Ningxia, Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xin-jiang and Liaoning, the grain-for-green policy was the main cause,accounting for a change of 37.93e96.28%. In Guangdong, Zhejiangand Guangxi, agricultural restructuring was the main cause of theloss, accounting for 82.40%, 43.90% and 42.34% respectively.
The China Land & Resources Almanac 1999 (MLRC, 2000) onlydifferentiated gained cultivated land in 1999 into two types: (1)agricultural restructuring, and (2) land exploitation, consolidationand rehabilitation. Therefore, we examined only the years 2000e2008 in our analysis of cultivated land supplement. The proportionsof total cultivated land added during 2000e2008 attributed toparticular factors can be ranked from high to low as follows: 39.28%for agricultural restructuring; 34.92% for land exploitation; 13.09%for land consolidation; and 12.71% for land rehabilitation (Fig. 4).Agricultural restructuring was the primary way in which cultivatedland was added. In terms of area, agricultural restructuringconstituted the main supplementation in Ningxia, Liaoning, Hei-longjiang, Inner Mongolia, Hainan, Hebei, Guangxi, Beijing, Xin-jiang, Guizhou, Shanghai, Hubei, Zhejiang and Sichuan provinces,accounting for between 31.96 and 74.85% of the supplementedcultivated land. In the other provinces, land exploitation was themain strategy, accounting for 33.68e82.17% of added cultivatedland. In general, land consolidation and rehabilitation contributedsmall proportions of total gained cultivated land.
According to equation (5), the quantity balance of CLB in Chinahas been achieved. During 1999e2008, the ICLBquantity of Chinareached was 1.32 (Table 1), implying that the cultivated land gainedthrough land exploitation, consolidation and rehabilitation excee-ded by 32% that lost by construction occupation. However, there
Table 2Changes of cultivated land area in China during 1999e2008.
Administrative units Cultivated land area (102 km2) Changes (%) TLCLCO (102 km2) TGCL (102 km2) ICLBquantity
China 12,964.20 12,171.59 6.11 210.11 276.77 1.32Beijing 34.22 23.17 32.30 4.71 2.66 0.57Tianjin 48.49 44.11 9.03 3.76 2.08 0.55Hebei 685.54 631.73 7.85 11.89 13.06 1.10Shanxi 457.52 405.58 11.35 5.95 5.78 0.97Inner Mongolia 800.27 714.72 10.69 3.81 30.21 7.93Liaoning 416.87 408.53 2.00 6.59 7.66 1.16Jilin 557.91 553.46 0.80 3.04 3.35 1.10Heilongjiang 1176.78 1183.01 0.53 3.92 16.66 4.25Shanghai 30.45 24.40 19.87 6.75 3.53 0.52Jiangsu 504.27 476.38 5.53 23.46 19.87 0.85Zhejiang 211.90 192.09 9.35 19.79 22.22 1.12Anhui 596.05 573.02 3.86 8.69 9.02 1.04Fujian 141.08 133.01 5.72 5.76 2.64 0.46Jiangxi 297.42 282.71 4.95 5.47 5.05 0.92Shandong 766.56 751.53 1.96 19.11 21.89 1.15Henan 809.18 792.64 2.04 12.22 13.13 1.07Hubei 494.54 466.41 5.69 6.08 6.97 1.15Hunan 393.84 378.94 3.78 4.92 6.30 1.28Guangdong 324.87 283.07 12.87 7.46 7.45 1.00Guangxi 440.85 421.75 4.33 5.48 5.78 1.05Hainan 76.14 72.75 4.45 0.34 0.46 1.37Chongqing 253.75 223.59 11.88 5.44 4.03 0.74
W. Song, B.C. Pijanowski / Applied Geography 46 (2014) 158e170 163Sichuan 659.99 594.74Guizhou 489.38 448.53Yunnan 642.54 607.21Tibet 36.46 36.16Shaanxi 510.10 405.03 was large variation in ICLBquantity among provinces. Thus, whereasXinjiang (9.53), Inner Mongolia (7.93), and Heilongjiang (4.25) hadhigh ICLBquantity values, those of Fujian (0.46), Shanghai (0.52) andTianjin 0.55 were quite low. Although the ICLBquantity of China as a
Gansu 502.23 465.88 7.2Qinghai 68.72 54.27 21.0Ningxia 127.20 110.71 12.9Xinjiang 409.07 412.46 0.8
Notes: Cultivated land area in 1999 and 2008 are fromMLRC (2000, 2009); TLCLCO is thetotal gained cultivated land by land exploitation, consolidation and rehabilitation duricalculated according to TLCLCO and TGCL i.e. the ratio of TGCL to TLCLCO.
ProDisaster damage Agricultural restructuring
Fig. 3. Causes of the total lost cultivated land during 1999e2008 in each province in ChinaData sources: MLRC, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003a, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.9 9.29 10.81 1.165 4.24 3.04 0.720 6.97 10.83 1.551 0.30 0.65 2.180 4.91 5.87 1.19whole was 1.32, only eight provinces (25.81% of the total number)exceeded the average, namely Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Hei-longjiang, Ningxia, Gansu, Tibet, Yunnan and Hainan. Furthermore,nine provinces, comprising Fujian, Shanghai, Tianjin, Beijing,
4 1.82 5.14 2.833 0.91 1.03 1.136 1.52 5.74 3.773 2.50 23.85 9.53
total lost cultivated land by construction occupation during 1999e2008; TGCL is theng 1999e2008; and ICLBquantity is the index of cultivated land balance for quality
vinceGrain-for-green Construction occupation
assessed the NQG of the cultivated land lost through agriculturalrestructuring as 8.095, which is approximately the same as thatcaused by construction occupation. It was in Guangdong, Zhejiang,Shaanxi and Jiangsu that most of the cultivated land lost due to
ProvinceLand exploitation Agricultural restructuring
Table 3Proportions of total lost cultivated land by construction occupation, grain-for-greenand agricultural restructuring during 1999e2008 in different administrative units inChina (%).
ied Geography 46 (2014) 158e170Guizhou, Chongqing, Jiangsu, Jiangxi and Shanxi, failed to achievethe quantity balance, with ICLBquantity values ranging from 0.46to 0.97.
The potential land productivity of the cultivated land lost due toconstruction occupation, grain-for-green and agriculturalrestructuring
The average NQG of the cultivated land lost due to constructionoccupation in China was 7.92, which was much higher than theaverage NQG of China, which was 9.2. This nding that cultivatedland lost by construction occupation was mostly of high quality isconsistent with many other studies (e. g., Liu et al., 2005; Tan et al.,2005). During the period 1999e2008, most of the cultivated land
Land rehabilitation Land consolidation
Fig. 4. Causes of total gained cultivated land during 1999e2008 in each province in ChData sources: MLRC, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003a, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.
W. Song, B.C. Pijanowski / Appl164lost through construction occupation was located in eastern China.In particular, the cultivated land lost in this way in the three easternprovinces of Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang amounted to 29.68%of the national total of such land losses, whereas the cultivated landin these three provinces only accounted for 11.67% of the nationaltotal. In the four provinces comprising Tibet, Qinghai, Gansu andNingxia, which had an average NQG of 12.05, only slightly higherthan that in Inner Mongolia, the loss of cultivated land by con-struction occupation amounted to 2.16% of the total of such losses.Thus, a signicant feature of the loss of cultivated land from con-struction occupation was that it was greater in the areas havinghigher PLP.
The average NQG of cultivated land lost due to grain-for-greenwas about 10.78, which is far below Chinas average (9.2).Through the grain-for-green policy, a large amount of low pro-ductivity cultivated land was returned to natural use. The grain-for-green policy has been implemented mostly in the eight adminis-trative units of Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Hebei, Shanxi,Gansu, Ningxia and Guizhou, where the returned cultivated landaccounted for 66.21% of the national total (Table 3). The PLP ofcultivated land in these administrative units is relatively poorexcept in Sichuan Province. Some, but not many, scattered culti-vated lands were returned to forest or grassland in Fujian, Tianjin,Guangdong, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
During 1999e2008, 2.78 104 km2 of cultivated land was shif-ted to other types of land through agricultural restructuring. WeAdministrativeunits
Proportions of the lost cultivated land by
Beijing 2.24 0.86 1.72Tianjin 1.79 0.05 0.62
Hebei 5.66 6.44 7.34Shanxi 2.83 5.83 4.37Inner Mongolia 1.81 19.39 0.33Liaoning 3.13 1.78 2.57Jilin 1.45 0.66 0.21Heilongjiang 1.87 2.09 1.28Shanghai 3.21 0.20 1.09Jiangsu 11.16 0.47 8.07Zhejiang 9.42 1.18 8.48Anhui 4.14 3.10 0.89Fujian 2.74 0.04 1.83Jiangxi 2.60 1.75 0.79Shandong 9.10 1.31 4.89Henan 5.82 2.14 1.41Hubei 2.90 3.17 3.46Hunan 2.34 1.94 0.93Guangdong 3.55 0.17 15.43Guangxi 2.61 1.53 4.42Hainan 0.16 0.40 0.29Chongqing 2.59 3.07 2.45Sichuan 4.42 7.31 5.90Guizhou 2.02 4.68 1.39Yunnan 3.32 3.18 5.02Tibet 0.14 0.11 0.01Shaanxi 2.34 11.78 8.22Gansu 0.87 5.47 0.99Qinghai 0.43 2.14 0.02Ningxia 0.72 5.30 0.17Xinjiang 1.19 2.45 5.42
Note: The proportions are calculated based on data from MLRC (2000, 2001, 2002,2003a, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).
agricultural restructuring was located, accounting for 40.20% of thetotal lost cultivated land in China. In Guangdong, in particular, thecultivated land lost by agricultural restructuring accounted for15.43% of the national total of cultivated land lost by agriculturalrestructuring (Table 3).
The potential land productivity of cultivated land gained throughland exploitation, consolidation, rehabilitation and agriculturalrestructuring
The average NQG of the cultivated land gained from all three
The cultivated land gained through agricultural restructuringwas mostly located in Chinas northern regions, including theadministrative units of Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang,Liaoning, Hebei, Shandong and Zhejiang (Fig. 5). The PLP of theareas that had relatively high gains in cultivated land throughagricultural restructuring was poor as a whole, making the averageNQG only 10.14, which is even lower than that associated with landrehabilitation. Despite the offsetting of the newly cultivated land,the total area of cultivated land was still decreased by agriculturalrestructuring. Even more important, the qualities of the gained andlost cultivated land were quite different, with the average NQG ofthe lost cultivated land 8.095, and that of the added cultivated land10.14. Thus, agricultural restructuring not only reduced the quan-tities of cultivated land, but also caused the loss of highly produc-tive cultivated land.
Changes in total quality and quality balance of cultivated land from1999 to 2008
During 1999e2008, the average NQG of cultivated land in Chinachanged by only 0.48%, that is, from 9.288 to 9.265, which is a slightimprovement in PLP. The likely reason for the slight improvementwas a large decrease in the amount of poorly productive cultivatedland, which offset the smaller loss of highly potential productivitylands. As is shown in Fig. 6, the proportion of cultivated land in theprovince of Guangdong, with the highest PLP, decreased by 7.19%;while the proportions of cultivated land in Hunan, Hubei, Jiangsu,Shandong, Fujian and Henan, which had relatively highly produc-tive cultivated land, increased slightly. Additionally, the pro-portions of cultivated land area signicantly decreased in Qinghai
Note: The proportions are calculated based on data from MLRC (2000, 2001, 2002,2003a, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).
W. Song, B.C. Pijanowski / Applied Gsources (land exploitation, consolidation and rehabilitation) during1999e2008 was 9.331 (Table 4), slightly lower than Chinas averageNGQ. Examining the average NQGs of cultivated land from landexploitation (9.44), consolidation (8.39) and rehabilitation (9.90)individually reveals that the land gained through consolidation hadthe best PLP and from rehabilitation had the worst.
The PLP was poor in most of the regions that had large pro-portions of gained land coming from land exploitation (Table 5).During 1999e2008, the proportion of cultivated land gained fromland exploitation in Xinjiang alone accounted for 10.50% of thenational total. About 28.78% of the cultivated land gained throughexploitation was located in regions having poor natural conditions,including Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang and Yunnan. Especially inXinjiang, a large amount of the newly cultivated land was salineealkali with poor PLP. In addition, there was some land exploitationin Shandong, Jiangsu, Hebei and Zhejiang, with the lands gained inthese areas of relatively high PLP.
During 1999e2008, the land gained through consolidation wasmainly located in Zhejiang, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, Henan,Jiangsu and Sichuan (the PLP was quite high in all of these prov-inces except for Inner Mongolia) (Table 5). In most of these regions,the additional land that could be potentially put into cultivationwas seriously insufcient, whereas already cultivated land wasoccupied by construction activities every year. Thus, it was difcultto maintain CLB in the next few years in these regions just by landexploitation. Land consolidation therefore drew close attention asan alternative approach to supplement cultivated land.
The land added to cultivation by rehabilitation was generally oflow PLP, with an average NQG of 9.90, which was the worst of thethree types of sources of additional land. The spatial distribution ofthe supplemented cultivated land from land rehabilitation hasmuch to do with the distribution of mines. At present, about1.33105 km2 of land has been damaged by production and con-struction in China, especially coal mining. In the process of minereclamation that constituted land rehabilitation, because there wasnot enough available ll material for collapsed areas, the land waslled with coal combustion remnants such as coal y ash. There-fore, such rehabilitated land may be seriously polluted. It is notsurprising that the added cultivated land area from land rehabili-tation was greatest in Inner Mongolia, reaching 18.49% (Table 5), asInner Mongolia is rich in mineral resources and has many mines.
Table 4Average natural quality grades and total proportion of the supplemental cultivatedland from land exploitation, consolidation and reclamation in China during 1999e2008.
Types of supplementedcultivated land
Average naturalquality grades
Proportion of supplementedcultivated land (%)
Average 9.33 eLand exploitation 9.44 57.51Land consolidation 8.39 21.56Land rehabilitation 9.90 20.93
Notes: Average natural quality grades were calculated according to formula (3) and
(4) in the paper; and the data used for calculation were sourced from MLRC (2000,2001, 2002, 2003a, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009).Table 5Proportions of total land exploitation, land consolidation and land reclamationduring 1999e2008 in different administrative units in China (%).
Admin Units Land exploitation Land consolidation Land rehabilitation
Beijing 0.86 1.91 0.70Tianjin 1.11 0.35 0.40Hebei 5.47 3.45 3.63Shanxi 2.58 1.28 1.22Inner Mongolia 6.80 14.82 18.49Liaoning 3.95 0.48 1.53Jilin 0.93 1.15 1.74Heilongjiang 6.56 3.37 3.03Shanghai 1.31 1.03 1.83Jiangsu 6.26 6.93 11.98Zhejiang 5.84 21.90 2.62Anhui 2.66 2.88 5.42Fujian 1.07 0.44 1.28Jiangxi 2.78 0.40 0.76Shandong 7.35 10.35 8.52Henan 4.45 5.67 4.83Hubei 2.44 2.49 2.87Hunan 2.92 2.08 1.36Guangdong 3.38 2.06 2.10Guangxi 2.94 1.04 0.98Hainan 0.14 0.29 0.10Chongqing 1.51 2.44 0.68Sichuan 2.37 6.27 3.51Guizhou 1.41 0.58 0.65Yunnan 4.92 0.98 4.57Tibet 0.28 0.10 0.24Shaanxi 2.04 1.75 3.04Gansu 1.85 1.10 2.88Qinghai 0.42 0.56 0.09Ningxia 2.90 0.49 2.08Xinjiang 10.50 1.34 6.84
eography 46 (2014) 158e170 165(15.89%), Shaanxi (15.43%), Ningxia (7.30%), Shanxi (5.58%), and
Fig. 5. Proportions of total gained cultivated land from agricultural restructuring in each province in China during 1999e2008.Data sources: MLRC, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003a, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.
Fig. 6. Changes in the proportion of cultivated land area in each province in China during 1999e2008.Data sources: MLRC, 2000, 2009.
W. Song, B.C. Pijanowski / Applied Geography 46 (2014) 158e170166
Inner Mongolia (4.87%), which have relatively low productivitycultivated land.
According to Equation (6), ICLBquality could be calculated as 1.18(Table 6), implying that the quality balance of China was not ach-ieved. During 1999e2008, the NQG of lost cultivated land fromconstruction occupation ranged from 6.86 to 8.51; however, theNQG of gained cultivated land ranged from 8.20 to 10.07. The PLP ofgained cultivated land was generally lower than that of the lost
consolidation (NQG 8.39). Unfortunately, the quantity of landconsolidation during 1999e2008 only accounted for 21.56% of thetotal added cultivated land (not considering cultivated land addedby agricultural restructuring), thus having limited effect on theincrease of PLP.
Interactions among policies inuencing potential land productivityof cultivated land in China
W. Song, B.C. Pijanowski / Applied Geography 46 (2014) 158e170 167land. Nevertheless, in recent years, the ICLBquality values have beengetting smaller and quite close to 1, indicating that the qualitybalance has been improving. This improvement in quality balancecould be attributed to the increase in PLP of the gained cultivatedland.
The failure of CLB to yield quality balance can be interpreted interms of the variation in quantity balances of different provinces,having different NQG values. The provinces, such as Xinjiang, InnerMongolia, Heilongjiang, Ningxia, Gansu, Tibet and Yunnan thatachieved quantity balance all had worse NQG values than theChinese average. In contrast, of the 23 provinces (74.19% of total),where the ICLBquantity values were lower than the Chinese average,only eight had NQG values better than the average. Due to the poorquality balance of cultivated land, the CLB policy contributes littleto the slight increase of PLP in China.
Changes in potential land productivity of cultivated land in Chinaand the effects of the cultivated land balance policy
Cultivated land quality in China is usually believed to havedecreased in recent years due to loss of high quality cultivated landwhich could not be countered by replacement with low qualityareas. Our assessment shows that there was a slight increase inaverage PLP in China during 1999e2008. Among the conversionsinuencing PLP, only two conversion approaches helped increasethe average PLP of China, specically, the reduction in low pro-ductivity cultivated land by grain-for-green and the addition ofhighly productive cultivated land by land consolidation (Table 7).The area involved in grain-for-greenwas 69,066 km2 during 1999e2008, 12.76 times of that of land consolidation (5412 km2). Grain-for-green thus had a more signicant inuence than land consoli-dation on the increase in PLP.
Besides construction occupation, agricultural restructuring alsosignicantly decreased the PLP of cultivated land in China by bothreducing highly productive cultivated land (NGQ of 8.10) andadding low productivity cultivated land (NGQ of 10.14) (Table 7).Because agricultural restructuring has been huge, taking27,807 km2 of land out of cultivation and putting 16,236 km2 into it,agricultural restructuring could have a greater inuence on thedecrease in PLP in China than construction occupation.
The CLB policy failed to help improve the average PLP in China.Whereas construction occupation has removed huge areas ofhighly productive cultivated land (NQG 7.92) around cities andtowns, the NQG of added cultivated land has mostly been low orclose to the Chinese average, except in the case of land
Table 6Index of cultivated land balance for quality during 1999e2008.
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
NQG of LCL 8.51 7.90 7.98 7.88 6.86NQG of GCL 9.95 9.71 8.70 8.65 8.65ICLBquality 1.17 1.23 1.09 1.10 1.26
Notes: NQG is natural quality grade; LCL is lost cultivated land by construction occ
bilitation; ICLBquality is index of cultivated land balance for quality i.e. ratio of NGQ of GCLMLRC (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003a, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) and DLUA et al. (2Complicated interactions occur among the different policy ini-tiatives that inuence changes in PLP of cultivated land in China(Fig. 7). One way in which they have interacted is through incorrectclassication of some land use conversions that were done inaccordance with the agricultural restructuring or grain-for-greenpolicies. Thus, conversions of forest, grassland and orchard tocultivated land, which in fact constituted agricultural restructuring(Fig. 7), were, in some provinces, occasionally mistakenly classiedas changes to or from another kind of land exploitation. The NQG ofcultivated land supplemented by agricultural restructuring is 10.14,much worse than that from land exploitation (9.44). Therefore, ifthe supplemented land actually attributable to agriculturalrestructuring rather than exploitation was underestimated, thenquality balance of cultivated land would be adversely affected.
Similarly, in some regions, misclassication of grain-for-greenconversions of cultivated land to forestry or grassland (Fig. 7) asagricultural restructuring has also occurred. This has caused grain-for-green to appear to have similar effects to agricultural restruc-turing, when in reality the cultivated land loss by agriculturalrestructuring was mainly through conversion of cultivated land toorchard. Such incorrect classication has partially obscured a crit-ical difference between grain-for green and agricultural restruc-turing: namely, the former aims to convert cultivated land with lowPLP to forests or grasslands to protect and improve the ecologicalcondition of the land, whereas the latter emphasizes changingagricultural structure by shifting cultivation types, without regardfor the quality of cultivated land. Indeed, pursuant to agriculturalrestructuring, a considerable amount of high quality cultivated landhas been converted to orchard in developed provinces. Despite theerrant conversion classications, the different inuences on PLPfrom grain-for-green and agricultural restructuring are still quiteapparent: the PLP of cultivated land reduced by grain-for-greenwasrelatively low (NQG of 10.78) but that by agricultural restructuring(NQG of 8.10) was usually high.
Aside from the CLB, grain-for-green and agricultural restruc-turing policies, disaster damage was another source of conversionof cultivated land to unused land. However, the amount of this kindof cultivated land loss was small, accounting for only 1.91% of totalcultivated land losses, and thus had very limited effects on thechanges in PLP in China.
Policy implications for cultivated land balance
Although the CLB policy aims to lessen cultivated land loss,several challenges remain. First, because of the existence of onlylimited additional potentially cultivated land coupled with rapid
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Total
7.99 8.11 8.02 7.92 8.09 7.929.16 10.07 9.36 8.20 8.38 9.331.15 1.24 1.17 1.04 1.04 1.18
ion; GCL is gained cultivated land from land exploitation, consolidation and reha-
to NQG of LCL; and the data used to calculate NQG of LCL and NQG of GCL were from009).
economic development, it would be difcult to achieve a balance ofland quantity through land exploitation, consolidation or rehabili-tation in many developed provinces such as Beijing, Tianjin,Shanghai, Jiangsu and Fujian where urban expansion is explosive.Second, due to the pressure of quantity balance, much marginalland in ecologically fragile regions was destroyed to supplementcultivated land. These behaviors not only destroyed ecosystems(causing soil erosion and desertication), but also made the newlyincreased cultivated land susceptible to natural hazards, such asoods. Furthermore, as these lands are often poor quality for
situation. Instead, the efforts to attain quality balance should bestrengthened. Indeed, guaranteeing food security can be achievedeither through maintaining the amount of cultivated land or byincreasing the quality of cultivated land, but the latter approach hasreceived insufcient emphasis. The ALC showed that the averagequality of cultivated land in China was relatively low. About 60.46%of cultivated land in China could be viewed as poor quality as itsNQG is equal to or greater than 9.0 (about the average NQG inChina). By upgrading the low quality cultivated land, the total grainoutput can be guaranteed. Therefore, the policy of maintaining a
Table 7Effects of lost and gained cultivated land on average potential land productivity in China.
Three policies Conversion type NGQ Quantity (km2) Effects on PLP in China by Results
Increase PLP Decrease PLP
Cultivated land balance Construction occupation 7.92 21,011 Reduce cultivated land of high PLP OLand exploitation 9.44 14,437 Add cultivated land of low PLP OLand consolidation 8.39 5412 Add cultivated land of high PLP OLand rehabilitation 9.90 5253 Add cultivated land of low PLP O
Grain-for-green Lose cultivated land 10.78 69,066 Reduce cultivated land of low PLP O
Agricultural restructuring Lose cultivated land 8.10 27,807 Reduce cultivated land of high PLP OGain cultivated land 10.14 16,236 Add cultivated land of low PLP O
Notes: NQG is natural quality grade; quantities of construction occupation, Grain-for-Green and agricultural restructuring are the cumulative area during 1999e2008;quantities of land exploitation, consolidation and rehabilitation are the area during 2000e2008; and PLP is the potential land productivity.
W. Song, B.C. Pijanowski / Applied Geography 46 (2014) 158e170168agriculture to begin with, this newly cultivated land may in thefuture become the object of the grain-for-green policy or aban-doned by farmers due to poor productivity. Third, quality balancewas not achieved. Aside from the effects of economic developmentand urbanization, this failure could be attributed to the awed landsupplementation strategy e i.e., the existing CLB policy overlyfocusing on land exploitation instead of consolidation, which couldinstead bring into cultivation relatively high potential productivityland with low ecological risk.
Given these consequences of the CLB policy as now instituted,we argue that quantity balance is not suitable for the currentFig. 7. Interactions between different landbalance in quantity should be canceled and replaced with onerequiring solely a balance of quality or PLP. For example, if a piece ofcultivated land was occupied by construction, the occupier shouldimprove productivity of another piece of low quality cultivated landto offset the loss of production capacity. Secondly, if it is necessaryto add some newly cultivated land, land consolidation should beencouraged as it has its less negative ecological effects and willyield high quality additional cultivated land. Land consolidation inChina has also had the further benet of improving land quality, asafter consolidation, overall soil quality is often improved due toland leveling and thickening of thin soil or bymoving higher qualityuse policies and conversions in China.
lied Gsoil from other places. Additionally, drainage and irrigation areoften improved at the same time. Thus, land consolidation has anenvironmental advantage over land exploitation.
Uncertainty of our assessments
When estimating the cultivated land change in China from 1999to 2008, we assumed that the PLP of cultivated land did not changewithin a given province for several reasons. First, (as described inMethods, above) we do not have actual PLP data from two distincttime points for any province, which would be necessary to directlyassess changes in PLP at a given site over time. Second, it tookalmost ten years (from 1998 to 2008) to thoroughly complete theevaluation of cultivated land in China. Thus, for each province, thePLP score of the cultivated land can be treated as an invariant in thispaper, since it is in accordance in time with the ALC data. Third,because most of the attributes affecting PLP, such as temperature,light, soil thickness, soil texture and soil structure are likely toremain constant over a short time span, it is safe to say that changesin PLP over the span of our study period are likely to have beencaused mainly by the conversion of cultivated land.
Nevertheless, there are still some uncertainties in the assess-ment. For instance, if the PLP of cultivated land in each provincechanged, the precision of the estimation will be affected. If the PLPof cultivated land in each province changed at the same rate (eitherincreasing or decreasing), it would not affect themain conclusion ofthe evaluation; that is, the average PLP of the cultivated land inChina would still have slightly improved from 1999 to 2008.Although the specic NQGs of different land conversion typesmight vary slightly, the order of the NQGs of the converted culti-vated land would also not change. However, if the PLP of cultivatedland was to have changed at different rates in each province, theuncertainty of the assessment results would be difcult to evaluate.Thus, it would be possible to either underestimate or overestimatethe PLP change of cultivated land.
We assessed the policy consequence of CLB and its effects on thePLP change in China during 1999e2008 using the NGQ and land usechange data from the MLRC. Results show that 21,011 km2 ofcultivated land was occupied due to urbanization and economicdevelopment (i.e. construction occupation) and 27,677 km2 ofcultivated land was added by land exploitation, consolidation andrehabilitation during 1999e2008. The quantity balance of CLB inChina was achieved. However, the NQG of cultivated land lost dueto construction occupation was 7.92 whereas that of supplementedcultivated land was 9.33, indicating that the quality balance aim ofCLB was not met. One of the important causes for the failure of CLBto yield quality balance was that changes in cultivated land wereheavily inuenced by rapid economic development and explosiveurbanization which are usually beyond the control of policy.Another reason is that CLB policy overemphasizes land exploitationrather than consolidation to provide additional cultivated land.
We found that the average PLP of China increased slightly during1999e2008, but this was despite the CLB rather than because of it.Moreover, the change in PLP resulted from complicated policiesinteractions. In particular, grain-for-green accounted for most ofthe increase in PLP by taking out of cultivation a large amount oflow productivity land in western China. In addition, land consoli-dation also helped increase PLP by adding some high qualitycultivated land in eastern China. Negative effects on PLP came notonly from, besides construction occupation, but also from agricul-tural restructuring. Restructuring had a large negative inuence on
W. Song, B.C. Pijanowski / AppPLP by both taking out of cultivation a large amount of highlyproductive land and adding large amounts of ow productivitycultivated land into agriculture.
This work was supported by the National Natural ScienceFoundation of China (Grant # 41001108) and China Clean Devel-opment Mechanism Fund (Grant # 2031202400003). Partial workwas conducted while Wei Song was a visiting scholar in theDepartment of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University.Funds to support Bryan C. Pijanowski to work on this project wereprovided by the National Science Foundation, III-CXT Program(Grant # 0705836). The authors would like to thank Dr. AminTayyebi for his comments on the earlier version of this manuscript.
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The effects of China's cultivated land balance program on potential land productivity at a national scaleIntroductionCultivated land balance policyMethodsPotential land productivity in ChinaLand use change analysisEvaluation method for changes in potential land productivityAssessment approach of cultivated land balance
ResultsPatterns of potential land productivity in ChinaChanges and quantity balance of cultivated land in China from 1999 to 2008The potential land productivity of the cultivated land lost due to construction occupation, grain-for-green and agricultura ...The potential land productivity of cultivated land gained through land exploitation, consolidation, rehabilitation and agri ...Changes in total quality and quality balance of cultivated land from 1999 to 2008
DiscussionChanges in potential land productivity of cultivated land in China and the effects of the cultivated land balance policyInteractions among policies influencing potential land productivity of cultivated land in ChinaPolicy implications for cultivated land balanceUncertainty of our assessments