Mapping sustainability-oriented China’s cropland use stability

Xinyuan Liang, Xiaobin Jin*, Yue Dou, Xiaolin Zhang, Hanbing Li, Shilei Wang, Fei Meng, Shaojun Tan, Yinkang Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Shifting to more sustainable use can curb cropland resource degradation and improve production resilience. However, most cropland use assessments are unilaterally focused on biophysical levels and productivity, ignoring the multi-dimensional aspects of degraded cropland. This study attempts to describe cropland use stability in China by proposing a multi-dimensional assessment framework (including quantity, quality, management, service, and risk) to provide a reference for designing land degradation-neutral strategies. Results show that multi-dimensional cropland use characteristics present significant spatial heterogeneity. Western regions are reserve resource agglomerations that can replenish cropland quantity. In contrast, main grain-producing areas cover most current resources with preferably cultivation quality, management efficiency, and ecosystem services, while risk resistance is weak (especially in Middle-lower Yangtze Plain). Generally, the stability of cropland use in Northeast Plain is the highest and in Loess Plateau the lowest. Besides, urbanization will occupy about 9.31% of the high-stability cropland in 2030, of which 70.29% will occur in Northeast Plain and Huang-Huai-Hai Plain. The total potential productivity loss in Huang-Huai-Hai Plain alone will reach 100.1 kt, equivalent to supplying the food demand of 199,200 people annually. Therefore, a sustainable-oriented refined cropland management strategy should be designed according to the hierarchical nested spatial layout of comprehensive planning-stability map-multi-dimensional utilization characteristics to ensure the loss-replenishment balance and stable production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108823
JournalComputers and electronics in agriculture
Early online date10 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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