Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Spatial Distribution of Population Density and Pressure on Sustainable Cropland Use in Shandong Province in China during the 17th-20th Century

Version 1 : Received: 17 May 2017 / Approved: 17 May 2017 / Online: 17 May 2017 (13:34:53 CEST)

How to cite: Ye, Y.; Wei, X.; Fang, X.; Li, Y. Spatial Distribution of Population Density and Pressure on Sustainable Cropland Use in Shandong Province in China during the 17th-20th Century. Preprints 2017, 2017050133 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201705.0133.v1). Ye, Y.; Wei, X.; Fang, X.; Li, Y. Spatial Distribution of Population Density and Pressure on Sustainable Cropland Use in Shandong Province in China during the 17th-20th Century. Preprints 2017, 2017050133 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201705.0133.v1).

Abstract

Cropland area per capita and pressure index on cropland is the important parameters measuring the social vulnerability and sustainability in the perspective of food security in a certain region in China during the historical periods. This study reconstructs the spatial distribution change of cropland area per labor/household and pressure index on cropland during the 17th-20th century by the methods of historical documents, regression analysis, pressure index model and GIS. Then it analyzed the impacting process of climate change and sustainability of cropland use during the different periods. It draws conclusions: (i) the spatial difference of labor/household density was obvious which had the same pattern as cropland distribution during the same periods, which is higher density in three agricultural areas. (ii) Cropland area per capita was relatively higher during the 17th-18th century, which were above 0.4 ha/person in majority counties and distributed homogenously. Till the 19th century and the beginning of 20th century, cropland area per capita in large amount of regions decreased below 0.2 ha/person embodying the increase of social vulnerability and unsustainability at that time. (iii) Pressure index on cropland also showed the similar spatial pattern as cropland area per capita which presented lower threshold than nowadays. During the 17th-18th century there was no pressure on cropland. While, in the 19th century and at the beginning of 20th century, two high value centers of pressure index on cropland appeared in Middle Shandong and the Jiaodong region, pressure on sustainable cropland use increased obviously and a food crisis is probably created. (iv) Higher sustainable extent of cropland use corresponds to cold period, and lower sustainable extent of cropland use corresponds to warm period in Shandong over the past 300 years. The turning point of 1680s from dry to wet attributes to the decrease of sustainable extent of cropland use in Shandong not very distinctively. More and more pressure on sustainability of cropland use finally since the beginning of 20th century would intensify the social conflict and increase the probability of social revolts.

Subject Areas

Key words: Pressure on cropland; Labor / household density; Shandong Province in China; The 17th-20th century

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