Author(s): Fang H, Liu G, Kearney M, Fang H, Liu G, Kearney M
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The Yellow River Delta, one of China's three major river deltas, is becoming a major region for the development of agriculture and fisheries. Protecting the delicate ecology of newly formed aquatic systems as well as the evolution of soils, natural vegetation, and fauna on older upland environments in the delta is a priority in planning for the wise use of the delta's resources for future agricultural development. In this article, we use a Geographic Information System (GIS) to analyze relationships between land-use/ land-cover characteristics in the Dongying municipality, one of the most intensely developed areas of the delta, and spatial variations in soil salinity and landforms. This analysis reveals that soil salt content decreases from regionally high values in isolated depressions to relatively moderate values in embanked former back swamps, with the lowest values occurring in abandoned river courses. Comparing the present land use on this soil salinity-landform pattern shows that it is basically at odds with general concepts of land suitability for agricultural utilization of saline soils. Crop-based agriculture in the region is probably overdeveloped, whereas more appropriate agricultural development, like cattle and forest production, is underrepresented. Future development should focus on converting farmland in embanked former back swamps and abandoned river courses into grasslands and forests. Crop-based agriculture (up to 151,000 ha) could be planned at the low-salinity terrace uplands and flood plains. The article provides guidelines for decision-makers regarding agricultural land use and wetland protection in the Yellow River Delta.
This article was published in Environ Manage
and referenced in Forest Research: Open Access