Mountain county rural settlement landscape pattern change and spatial characteristics in rapid mountain urbanization process in Fujian province

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  • Zhao Wu Yu
  • Li Shan Xiao
  • Qing Hai Guo
  • Zhi Chao He

Rural settlements form an important aspect of the urban-rural relationships because of the interactions between rural dwellers and surrounding environment. The activities in the mountainous rural settlements are restricted by a variety of natural and social factors, therefore, a scientific assessment of the spatial and temporal processes is urgent for the urbanization of these regions. For this reason, we selected Shanghang county, which is experiencing rapid urbanization, as a case study for our work. We used high-resolution remote sensing images and DEM data form the years 2004 and 2014, and extracted data on rural settlements, rivers, roads, and slope information, among others. RS, GIS, and Fragstats techniques were used to quantify the spatio-temporal variability in rural settlements. The findings of our study are as follows: (1) spatial pattern of rural settlements did not show a significant change, and these settlements were found to be mainly concentrated in the west and northeast of the Tingjiang River watershed; this was confirmed by the Voronoi model. However, nearest neighbor analysis showed different results, which is more concentrate in 2004 than 2014. (2) Ripley’s K function revealed existence of scale effect in the rural settlement pattern: settlements at a height of less than 65 km showed gathering trends; highest concentrations were found to be at heights of 35 km and 15 km in 2004 and 2014 respectively, and spatial scaling within 30km is more concentrate in 2014. (3) The slopes, river systems, and roads can significantly affect the distribution of the rural settlements. Slope of 10° is the threshold and 80% of rural settlements are spread within 10°, slope of 5° is the most important factor within 10° more than 67% of the rural settlements are distributed within the 2km buffer zone from the river system; more than 98.28% of the settlements are distributed within the 500m buffer zone of the roads, which implies that greater attention should be paid to the role of roads in the urbanization of mountainous regions in future. (4) The rural settlements located in the government township were found to have expanded 4.59 times than in the past, which is the most dramatic change area of town-village landscape in mountainous urbanization. Besides, we proposed that center town-village settlement is the most critical area, and also key development region. We expect our research to provide a methodological reference for the management and evaluation of rural settlements, and theoretical planning, and decision-making for mountainous urbanization in the future.

TidsskriftShengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica
Udgave nummer10
Sider (fra-til)3021-3031
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2016

ID: 209389266