Identifying the driving forces of cultivated land fragmentation in China

Tianci Gu, Wanxu Chen, Jiale Liang, Sipei Pan, Xinyue Ye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cultivated land fragmentation (CLF) has severely affected China’s agricultural production efficiency, large-scale operations, agricultural modernization, and food security. Exploring the spatiotemporal evolution patterns and driving forces of CLF is crucial for agricultural modernization. However, the driving forces of CLF in different agricultural regions in China still need to be clarified. In this study, CLF was measured in 2000, 2010, and 2020 based on remote sensing data with landscape pattern metrics, and the driving forces of spatial differentiation were detected based on a geographical detector model. The overall cultivated land area has slightly declined during the study period while the CLF has intensified. CLF showed significant spatial autocorrelation, with CLF increased-cultivated land decreased (2000 to 2010) and CLF decreased-cultivated land decreased (2010 to 2020). The contribution rate of land use intensity on CLF was the highest among all agricultural regions, excluding the Qinghai Tibet Plateau. In contrast, the contribution rates of other factors significantly varied across agricultural regions. These findings provide scientific support in formulating policies to conserve cultivated land for sustainable use of agricultural resources and CLF management in China.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)105275-105292
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number48
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • China
  • Cultivated land fragmentation
  • Driving mechanism
  • Geodetector model
  • Landscape pattern metrics
  • Spatial autocorrelation

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