PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2015, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (6): 772-780.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2015.06.012

• Ecology and Environment • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Discussion on desertification of humid region in southern China

Yuanliang JIN, Hua PENG*(), Luobin YAN, Yuewu XIANG, Xiangyu WANG   

  1. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2014-09-01 Revised:2015-02-01 Online:2015-06-15 Published:2015-06-15
  • Contact: Hua PENG


Desertification is a serious problem worldwide that has environmental and socioeconomic consequences. Desertification research has important significance for protecting the environment and for regional sustainable development. Based on an examination of the connotation of desertification we suggest that desertification not only are caused by human disturbance superimposing on climatic drought in dryland areas of the north, but also can be a result of extreme land degradation due to soil erosion superimposing on physical drought effect in southern humid areas. This study compared different aspects of the desertification processes in dry and humid areas, including material base, climatic conditions, influencing factors, formation forces, core functions, and land surface processes. Finally, we used red beds area of southern China as an example to analyze red beds land degradation by combining on-the-spot investigation and vegetation cover (VFC) data derived from Landsat TM images in 1992-2013. The results show that under the impact of repeated human interference and natural factors, there is a clear trend of vegetation change, topsoil loss, and rock weathering, which produce desert-like landscape. The degradation process in red beds is similar to the Karst rocky desertification and land degradation of red soil in hilly areas, but whether this type of extreme land degradation that took place in the humid area of southern China is "desertification" needs further studying.

Key words: desertification, land degradation, southern humid area, red beds desertification, remote sensing monitoring