• Journal of Geographical Sciences
  • Vol. 30, Issue 4, 04000535 (2020)
LUO Xiang1, AO Xinhe1, ZHANG Zuo1, WAN Qing2、*, and LIU Xingjian3
Author Affiliations
  • 1College of Public Administration, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
  • 2School of Management, Wuhan Institute of Technology, Wuhan 430205, China
  • 3Department of Urban Planning and Design, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
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    In this study, the carbon emissions (CEs) from cultivated land (CL) were included as an undesirable output in the utilization efficiency of such land. A slack-based model was used to calculate the CL use efficiency (CLUE) for 11 provinces and cities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt (YREB) from 2007 to 2016, and then a kernel density estimation map was drawn to analyze the spatiotemporal variations of CLUE. The Tobit model was also employed to analyze the factors affecting the CLUE. The results show the following. 1) In the YREB, the CEs from CL showed a rising and then a slowly decreasing trend. In this paper, we calculate CEs by carbon emission factors and major carbon sources, and the CEs from CL in the YREB totaled 25.2354 million tons in 2007. By 2014, the value had increased gradually to 28.4400 million tons, and by 2016 it had declined to 27.8922 million tons, suggesting that the carbon-emission reduction measures of the government had an impact. 2) The CLUE of various provinces and cities in the YREB showed an upward trend in the time dimension, while for the spatial dimension, the kernel density was high in the east and low in the west, and the areas with high kernel density were mainly located in the Yangtze River Delta. 3) The per capita gross domestic product, the primary industrial output, and the number of agricultural technicians per 10,000 people had positive effects on the CLUE. The CL area per capita and the electrical power per hectare for agricultural machinery had significant negative impacts on CLUE. In addition, every 1% increase in the number of agricultural technicians increased the CLUE by 0.057%.

    1 Introduction

    As one of the most basic means of agriculture, cultivated land (CL) provides the basis for human survival, reproduction, and development. However, the rapid growth of the world’s population has put tremendous pressure on the limited CL resources (Yang et al., 2000; Deng et al., 2005; Jin et al., 2017). In recent years, the CL resources in China have faced the problems of low quantity, low quality, low utilization efficiency, and insufficient reserve resources (Deng et al., 2015; Jin et al., 2013). In the 20th century, Brown (1995) asked who will feed China, believing that China’s food shortage would lead to an overall increase in world food prices, which would bring about a global crisis. However, in the 21st century China has paid much attention to planting high-yield varieties and constantly improving its agricultural infrastructure and technology. With less than 10% of the world’s CL, China has succeeded in feeding more than 20% of the world’s total population, effectively protecting China’s food security (Lyle et al., 2015; Huang et al., 2004; Chen et al., 2011). In addition, China has formulated relevant policies for the strict control of the land minimum concerning CL and intensive utilization of land resources, and measures for the remediation of farmland and land reclamation have been proposed (Liu et al., 2017; Jin et al., 2019).