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Monday, April 9 • 10:30am - 10:45am
LAND USE/LAND COVER CHANGE: Spatiotemporal Patterns and Environmental Impacts of Land Use and Land Cover in a Grassland Landscape: The Wulagai River Basin in Inner Mongolia, China

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AUTHORS: Chenwei Shang*, Beijing Normal University; Jianguo Wu, Arizona State University & Beijing Normal University; Qun Ma, Beijing Normal University

ABSTRACT: The Mongolian Plateau is best known for its vast grasslands, but increased human population and land use change have profoundly transformed the grassland landscapes on the plateau. Approaches based on landscape ecology and sustainability science are needed for better protecting the Mongolian grasslands. Thus, the main objective of this study was to investigate the spatiotemporal patterns, drivers, and environmental impacts of land use and land cover in the Wulagai River Basin – a biodiversity-rich, spectacular landscape known as the “last beautiful grassland” in Inner Mongolia, China. We used Landsat remote sensing data to derive land use and land cover (LULC) maps for the years of 1989, 2000, 2006, and 2016, based on visual interpretation. Landscape pattern metrics were then used to quantify spatiotemporal patterns of LULC change. Our results show that during the 27 years typical steppes expanded while meadow steppes decreased in spatial extent. At the same time, wetlands shrank, impervious surfaces expanded, and coal mining areas increased rapidly. Several landscape attributes, including patch density, edge density, landscape shape index, mean patch size, largest patch index, and fractal dimension increased, changed considerably, indicating an increasingly diversified and fragmented landscape. From the landscape pattern analysis, we further examined the major socioeconomic driving factors and environmental impacts.

Monday April 9, 2018 10:30am - 10:45am CDT
Grant Park Parlor