PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (10): 1316-1323.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.10.012

• Land Use • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Change in land use form of rural settlements in the farming-pastoral transitional zone: a case study in Aluke'rqin Banner, Inner Mongolia

Guang CHEN1,2, Fengrong ZHANG1,2,*, Bailin ZHANG1,2,3   

  1. 1. School of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    2. Research Center of Land Use and Management, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    3. School of Management, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387, China
  • Received:2015-02-01 Accepted:2015-06-01 Online:2015-10-20 Published:2015-10-20
  • Contact: Fengrong ZHANG


:Land use form of rural settlements transformed profoundly in the process of rapid industrialization and urbanization in China. By selecting seven rural settlements of different geomorphic types in the Aluke'rqin Banner located in the farming-pastoral transitional zone in Inner Mongolia and examining land use change through a survey, we discuss the relationship between morphological features of the rural settlements and farmers’ livelihood. Participatory rural appraisal method and geographic information system and remote sensing techniques were employed in the survey and analysis. The results show that: (1) Morphological features of rural settlements were closely related to livelihood of rural households, especially with regard to the quantity and quality of cultivated land and grassland and livelihood activities. Along with the increase of population, conversion of grassland to cultivated land, and diversification of rural household livelihood activities, rural pastoral settlements transformed into agro-pastoral settlements. (2) Land use types of agro-pastoral settlements were gradually diversified through time. Before the Reform and Opening-up of China in 1978, agricultural production was the dominant livelihood activity of rural households. Homestead was the primary land use type of rural settlements. After the Reform and Opening-up, however, livelihood activities of rural households gradually diversified and became increasingly non-agricultural. Commercial land, industrial warehousing land, and land for public service provision expanded rapidly in the rural settlements. (3) Homestead takes a significant share in agro-pastoral settlements. Cropping and animal husbandry are important productive activities for rural households. Corresponding to the livelihood demands of rural households,within the settlements homesteads are divided into production and ancillary production lands including colony house, vegetable garden, and warehouse in rural households. Both per capital construction land and homestead area in the case study settlements are larger than the national standard, which indicates an adaptive land use in response to the livelihood demands of the agro-pastoral resettlements. Therefore, the authors recommend that the governments should take concrete measures in the process of rural residential land consolidation that take into consideration the livelihood demands of rural households in this particular area.

Key words: farming-pastoral transitional zone, livelihood, rural settlement, participatory rural appraisal (PRA), change in land use form, Aluke'rqin Banner of Inner Mongolia