Main content area

Quantifying the teleconnections between local consumption and domestic land uses in China

Chen, Yimin, Li, Xia, Liu, Xiaoping, Zhang, Yuanying, Huang, Min
Landscape and urban planning 2019 v.187 pp. 60-69
agricultural land, domestic trade, environmental degradation, financial economics, forest land, grazing lands, international trade, land use change, models, water shortages, China
Land teleconnections refer to the socioeconomic and environmental interactions related to land use among distant regions. China has been experiencing radical land use changes since its economic reform in 1978. The quantification of land teleconnections is critical for understanding land-related social and environmental problems. This study describes the land teleconnections in China at the provincial scale, using a multiregional input-output model and the latest domestic trade data in 2012. It is found that large amounts of land in the western provinces of China are consumed by the coastal provinces. More than 90% of land consumed by Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai is from other provinces. Agricultural land mainly transfers in the west-to-east and north-to-south directions. The regions in Northeast and Northwest China have the largest amount of agricultural land outflow compared with the other regions. At the national level, 11.21% of cultivated land, 14.23% of aquatic land, 12.06% of forestland, 9.70% of grazing land and 13.04% of built-up land are exported through international trade. Despite the economic benefits accompanying interregional land flow, vulnerable regions with severe water shortages may face a even more challenging future if the current land teleconnections strengthen. By presenting the latest information with respect to the land teleconnections, our results can provide a basis to further assess the ecological degradation due to distant land utilization and allow the identification of the specific land consumers that should be responsible for the ecological degradation.