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land use changes, ecological risk, Yongjiang River Basin

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Studying land use changes and ecological risk assessment in Yongjiang River Basin in Zhejiang Province, China, provides theoretical references for optimal configuration of land resources and maintaining stability of ecosystems. Given impacts of land use changes on landscape patterns in the Yongjiang River Basin, ecological risk assessment indexes were constructed and used to analyze temporal and spatial variation characteristics of ecological risk within different periods. Results show that (1) the construction land area was increased quickly, while the cultivated area decreased sharply. A prominent characteristic of land use changes was manifested by transforming cultivated area and forestland into construction land. The utilized degree of the land increased continuously. Spatially, the land utilized degree in northern regions was higher than that in southern regions and the degree in eastern regions was higher than that in western regions. (2) The ecological risk in the Yongjiang River Basin was intensified and the area of high ecological risk was expanded by 893.96 km2. Regions with low and relatively low ecological risks concentrated in western and southern regions of the Basin, whereas regions with high ecological risks were mainly in northern and eastern regions. Landscapes in cities and towns at a high economic development level are highly sensitive to human activities. (3) Transformation of ecological risk is complicated. Land area with the ecological risk changing from a low level to a high level was 4.15 times that with the ecological risk changing from a high level to a low level. There were 15 transformation directions among different ecological risk regions.

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Sustainability, v. 11, issue 10, art. 2817