PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (2): 207-219.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.02.003

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Landscape multifunctionality change in rapidly urbanized areas of the Yangtze River Delta:A case study of Suzhou City

LIANG Xinyuan1,2, JIN Xiaobin1,2,3,*(), HAN Bo1, SUN Rui1, ZHANG Xiaolin1, ZHOU Yinkang1,2,3   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Coastal Zone Exploitation and Protection, Ministry of Natural Resources, Nanjing 210023, China
    3. Jiangsu Land Development and Consolidation Technology Engineering Center, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2020-04-27 Revised:2020-06-01 Online:2021-02-28 Published:2021-04-28
  • Contact: JIN Xiaobin
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No(41971234);National Natural Science Foundation of China, No(41971235);Major Program of National Social Science Foundation of China, No(19ZDA096)


Assessing the characteristics of landscape multifunctionality change in rapidly urbanized areas is critical for understanding resource allocation and optimization under the background of rural-urban development and transformation and for formulating reasonable regional land management and planning policies. This study took Suzhou City, the most prominent representative city in the urbanization process in the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone, as the research area. Six landscape multifunctionality indicators are selected, including residential support, food supply, habitat maintenance, water conservation, climate regulation, and soil retention. Based on the 1 km landscape units, change in hotspots of regional landscape multifunctionality and trade-off co-evolution relationships were analyzed through spatial analysis, self-organizing feature maps (SOFM) network model, and other methods. The research shows that: 1) Affected by urban expansion, landscape multifunctions in Suzhou during 2000-2015 were dominated by the spread of residential support functions. Other landscape functions represented a differentiated shrinking trend, of which the function of food supply and habitat maintenance was weakened most significantly, and the spatial distribution characteristics of the three regulatory functions were consistent. 2) Landscape multifunctionality in Suzhou has gradually increased over time, and its high-value (>2) areas are concentrated in forest, grassland, and farmland areas. The spatiotemporal change of regional landscape multifunctionality varied from strong to weak and gradually stabilized under the influence of socioeconomic development, the hotspots of change were mainly distributed in rural areas and rural-urban junctions, and the cold spots are mainly based on ecological spatial agglomerations. 3) Trade-off relationships between landscape multifunctions during the study period did not change over time, but there is a volatile change in trade-off degrees. Combining the features of multifunctional trade-offs and the changing pattern of multifunctionality hotspots, Suzhou City can be divided into eight types of dominant landscape functions and four types of rural-urban development zones in landscape units and township administrative units. Overall, the advantages of landscape multifunctionality in rapidly urbanized areas of the Yangtze River Delta present a circular spatial migration process of "city → near suburbs → far suburbs → rural areas". However, land use diversifications mapped out by the multifunctionality will inevitably lead to more land use conflicts. Policymakers should consider the design and implementation of landscape management or land use policies from a multi-scale spatiotemporal coupling perspective.

Key words: Yangtze River Delta, urbanization, landscape multifunctionality, characteristics of change, multiscale coupling