PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2008, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (6): 12-17.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2008.06.002

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Measurement of Land Use Intensity

LI Xiubin, ZHU Huiyi, TAN Minghong, XIN Liangjie   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2008-06-01 Revised:2008-10-01 Online:2008-11-25 Published:2008-11-25


In view of the chaotic state of its measurements, the article discriminates several different concepts and the corresponding measurements of land use intensity and appraises the characteristics and application field of these measurement methods. These measures include input or output indicators, physical or monetary indicators, overall indices or single-item measurement, within-type or across-type measurement, and measurement of primary or secondary intensity. This paper claims that land use intensification or disintensification are two essential ways to realize reasonable utilization of land resources, rather than themselves the targets of land use. The essence of land intensification (or disintensification) is the resource substitution. Thus land intensification can be defined as a phenomenon of employing capital or labor to substitute land resources, through which the relationship can be constructed between two types of land use changes, namely, quantity and intensity changes of land use. In order to serve the study of land use changes, the basic measure of land use intensity should be input of capital and labor per unit land area during the specific spell, while the output indices can only be regarded as the surrogate ones. Finally, from the viewpoint of the demand of land use change studies, some suggestions are given for the index selection of land use intensity.

Key words: land use changes, land use intensity, measuring indices