PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (9): 1129-1143.

• Articles •

### Evaluation of cultivated land fragmentation degree based on farmers' perspective:A case of Jiangxia District, Xian'an District, and Tongshan County in Hubei Province

Gaohui WEN, Gangqiao YANG*, Wenxiong WANG, Wei ZHAO

1. College of Public Administration, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
• Received:2016-06-01 Revised:2016-08-01 Online:2016-09-20 Published:2016-09-20
• Contact: Gangqiao YANG

Abstract:

Farmers are the most important actors of economic activities and the most basic decision-making units in rural China and the main managers of cultivated land, and therefore it is important to examine cultivated land fragmentation degree based on farmers' perspective. This study used average distance between parcels to characterize the spatial distribution of parcels, and developed an evaluation indicator system of cultivated land fragmentation degree. Taking Jiangxia District, Xian'an District, and Tongshan County in Hubei Province as cases, the improved TOPSIS method was employed to evaluate cultivated land fragmentation degree based on data from a farming household sampling survey. The results are as follows. (1) Selection of indicators of cultivated land fragmentation should be based on the characteristics of cultivated land fragmentation, that is, the area, number, and distribution of land parcels. Therefore, average area of parcels, number of parcels, and average distance between parcels were selected to measure the degree of cultivated land fragmentation. (2) There were significant differences in cultivated land fragmentation between hillock and plain area and low mountain and hilly area. The average area of parcels in the hillock and plain area in the north of the study area was larger than that in the low mountain and hilly area in the south. The number of parcels in the hillock and plain area was more than that in the low mountain and hilly area; the average distance between parcels or the average distance from parcels to home in the hillock and plain area was shorter than that in the low mountain and hilly area; and cultivated land fragmentation degree in the hillock and plain area was lower than that in the low mountain and hilly area. (3) Due to the difference in landform in the study area, cultivated land fragmentation degree showed a general pattern of low in the northern hillock and plain area and high in the southern low mountain and hilly area. (4) Cultivated land fragmentation showed significant differences in areas with different economic development level. In the hillock and plain area, the higher the level of economic development of the area, the higher the degree of cultivated land fragmentation; while in the low mountain and hilly area, the higher the level of economic development of the area, the lower the degree of cultivated land fragmentation.