Topic Editors

College of Landscape Architecture & Arts, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
School of Architecture, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
Prof. Dr. Yike Hu
School of Architecture, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300272, China
Prof. Dr. Liang Li
School of Landscape Architecture, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China
College of Landscape Architecture & Arts, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China

Sustainable Landscape in Rural Areas: Theories, Strategies, and Practices

Abstract submission deadline
closed (20 May 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (20 August 2023)
Viewed by
44419

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays more than 60 percent of the population with low and lower-middle income countries lives in rural areas. Progress in rural development plays a key role in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. However, the current strategies of rural development is seriously threatening the protection of natural capital, posing an increasing risk to rural sustainability.

Efforts on rural sustainability have been considered to be based on creating the sustainable landscape in rural areas, which carries rural production and life activities, and ecological processes through long-term collaboration among multiple stakeholders. Determining how to create sustainable landscape in rural areas requires the joint efforts of transdisciplinary research as the rural landscape grows more complex in the context of urban–rural integration, climate change, and carbon neutrality targets. There is still a significant gap from achieving the sustainable landscape goal in rural areas in theories, strategies, and practical experience. The important reason is that rural areas are greatly heterogeneous in climate, geography, social economy, and development stage, and corresponding sustainable solutions should be pertinent to the case.

Therefore, this Topic intends to encourage new exploration into actionable knowledge of the sustainable landscape in rural areas. Both original research papers and review papers are welcomed. Relevant themes include but are not limited to:

  • New theories and technologies to create a sustainable landscape in rural areas;
  • Evolution of landscape planning and design in rural areas;
  • Landscape sustainability science;
  • Spatial analysis and landscape simulation;
  • Demonstration projects that showcase sustainable landscape planning/site design;
  • Ecological restoration of rural landscapes;
  • Tourism and rural development;
  • Built environment and health in rural areas;
  • Revitalizing traditional villages;
  • Biodiversity conservation in rural areas.

Prof. Dr. Bo Hong
Prof. Dr. Zhe Li
Prof. Dr. Yike Hu
Prof. Dr. Liang Li
Dr. Kai Wang
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • rural development strategies
  • digital landscape and technologies
  • rural landscape planning and design
  • spatial planning
  • bioclimatic design
  • rural tourism
  • geo-design
  • public participation
  • rural resilience

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Buildings
buildings
3.8 3.1 2011 14.6 Days CHF 2600
Forests
forests
2.9 4.5 2010 16.9 Days CHF 2600
Land
land
3.9 3.7 2012 14.8 Days CHF 2600
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ijerph
- 5.4 2004 29.6 Days CHF 2500
Atmosphere
atmosphere
2.9 4.1 2010 17.7 Days CHF 2400

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Published Papers (23 papers)

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25 pages, 2899 KiB  
Article
The Comprehensive Management Zoning of Mountains, Rivers, Forests, and Farmlands Based on Element Recognition
by Huiting Yu and Jiupai Ni
Land 2023, 12(11), 2077; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12112077 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 864
Abstract
Land subsidence, soil erosion, and landscape fragmentation frequently occur in regions of backward production capacity. Therefore, it is imperative to carry out efforts for ecological restoration in these mine-closed regions. The proposal of holistic conservation of mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands, and [...] Read more.
Land subsidence, soil erosion, and landscape fragmentation frequently occur in regions of backward production capacity. Therefore, it is imperative to carry out efforts for ecological restoration in these mine-closed regions. The proposal of holistic conservation of mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands, and deserts provides important guidance for ecological restoration. To support the governance of regional ecology, this paper aims to discuss the layout of element governance zoning in four southern towns of Qijiang District, Chongqing. SBAS-InSAR technology, vulnerability assessment, linear trend analysis, and suitability evaluation were used to divide the mountain, water, forest, and farmland management areas. Regional comprehensive management work was implemented according to the severity of each element’s existing ecological questions. Eventually, a comprehensive management pattern of mountains, rivers, forests, and farmlands can be obtained. The results show that the mountain management area is 8.03 km2 (3.24% of the total management area), the hydrological management area is 212.07 km2 (85.80% of the total management area), the forest management area is 7.04 km2 (2.84% of the total management area), and the farmland management area is 20.07 km2 (8.12% of the total management area). In light of the current circumstances, this study advocates for the implementation of three integrated governance approaches, with a focus on managing hydrological factors. These approaches include ridge-based mountain, water, and forest governance, valley-based mountain, water, and farmland governance, and undergrowth economy-based water, forest, and farmland governance. This study explores the spatial layout and priority of the governance areas from the perspective of elements, which provides a new development direction for the current research on the life community based on policy analysis. Full article
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17 pages, 7539 KiB  
Article
Prediction and Evolution of Carbon Storage of Terrestrial Ecosystems in the Qinling Mountains North Slope Region, China
by Jian Chen, Kai Wang, Maomao Li, Xianzhi Wang, Xiaoxiao Zhang, Lixin Niu and Yanlong Zhang
Land 2023, 12(11), 2063; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12112063 - 14 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 833
Abstract
The Qinling Mountains north slope region constitutes a vital terrestrial ecosystem reserve within China. This study employs land use and land cover (LULC) data spanning from 1990 to 2020. Utilizing methodologies encompassing land use classification, transfer matrix analysis, and the application of the [...] Read more.
The Qinling Mountains north slope region constitutes a vital terrestrial ecosystem reserve within China. This study employs land use and land cover (LULC) data spanning from 1990 to 2020. Utilizing methodologies encompassing land use classification, transfer matrix analysis, and the application of the PLUS and InVEST models, this research endeavors to elucidate the spatial-temporal dynamics of land use patterns and associated carbon storage in the region. These analyses are conducted within the context of four prospective scenarios: Natural Development Priority, Arable Land Protection Priority, Ecological Protection Priority, and Urban Development Priority, all projected onto the landscape for 2030. Notably, our findings reveal a consistent decline in carbon storage across all four scenarios for 2030 compared to the baseline year 2020. This stark reality presents substantial challenges to achieving the region’s targets of carbon peaking and eventual carbon neutrality. Furthermore, this paper meticulously delineates six key drivers contributing to this decline in carbon storage. In conclusion, it proffers nine strategic recommendations aimed at augmenting carbon storage, with an overarching objective of establishing a harmonized mechanism capable of balancing urban development, safeguarding cultivated land, fortifying ecological preservation, and enhancing carbon sequestration within the area. Full article
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23 pages, 13784 KiB  
Article
Study on the Modification Effect and Mechanism of a Compound Mineral Additive and Basalt Fiber on Coal Gangue Concrete
by Jisheng Qiu, Yong Huo, Zeping Feng, Le Li, Jianwei Wang, Yuqing Zhang and Xiao Guan
Buildings 2023, 13(11), 2756; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13112756 - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 611
Abstract
Compared with ordinary concrete, coal gangue concrete (CGC) is limited by its poor mechanical properties and frost resistance, which seriously restricts its wide application in cold regions. In order to improve the resource utilization rate of coal gangue, this paper takes advantage of [...] Read more.
Compared with ordinary concrete, coal gangue concrete (CGC) is limited by its poor mechanical properties and frost resistance, which seriously restricts its wide application in cold regions. In order to improve the resource utilization rate of coal gangue, this paper takes advantage of the ‘overlapping effect’, ‘micro-aggregate filling effect’ and ‘volcanic ash effect’ of fly ash (FA) and silica fume (SF) and the anti-cracking effect of basalt fiber (BF) to study their effects on the macro performance of CGC and the micro modification mechanism. Modified CGC was prepared by replacing cement with 20% total mineral additives and adding BF. Taking different fly ash and silica fume incorporation ratios (F/S) and the BF content as variables, the research was carried out from two scales of macro performance and microstructure. The results show that the mechanical properties and frost resistance of CGC can be significantly improved by adding mineral additives and BF, and the modification effect is better with a decrease in F/S. When F/S = 1, the compressive strength, splitting tensile strength and flexural strength of the specimens increased by 13.73%, 8.37% and 4.27%, respectively. After 300 freeze–thaw cycles, the specimen was still not damaged by freezing and thawing. At the same time, keeping F/S = 3 unchanged and changing the BF content, it was found that the optimal content of BF was 0.15 vol% under the combined action of BF, FA and SF. In terms of microstructure, the addition of mineral additives and BF segregates and fills the macropores in the structure, greatly reducing the harmful pores and turning them into harmless and less harmful pores. When F/S = 1, the number of multi-harmful pores decreased by 16.89%, and the number of harmless pores and less harmful pores increased by 9.19%, which greatly optimized the pore structure and pore gradation. Full article
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34 pages, 11050 KiB  
Review
Research Progress on Features and Characteristics of Rural Settlements: Literature Distribution, Key Issues, and Development Trends
by Qiang Yao, Na An, Guangcan Gu, Ende Yang, Huihui Yang, Chun Li and Kai Yan
Buildings 2023, 13(10), 2457; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13102457 - 27 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2229
Abstract
During the development of rural settlements, the loss of distinctive rural characteristics, caused by the contradiction between urban expansion and the ideal of pastoralism, has attracted widespread attention from researchers worldwide. To effectively understand the development and trends of the Research of Features [...] Read more.
During the development of rural settlements, the loss of distinctive rural characteristics, caused by the contradiction between urban expansion and the ideal of pastoralism, has attracted widespread attention from researchers worldwide. To effectively understand the development and trends of the Research of Features and Characteristics of Rural Settlements (abbreviated as RFCRS), this paper uses the knowledge mapping software CiteSpace to conduct co-citation analysis, research collaboration analysis, keyword clustering, and keyword co-occurrence. The study analyzes the basic concepts, the literature distribution characteristics, research clusters, key issues, and development trends of RFCRS. The research found that the current key issues in RFCRS include “Eco-logical services and environmental protection of rural settlements”, “Sustainable planning and architectural design issues of rural settlements”, and “Human settlement environment and service facility construction of rural settlements”. This paper predicts that future RFCRS research trends will focus on the study of landscape features and characteristics based on ecology, climate, and aesthetics; study of architectural features and characteristics based on characteristic factors and hierarchical structure; and research on rural revitalization based on sustainable development principles. The paper also offers four priority research suggestions for researchers from different disciplines. Full article
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15 pages, 16614 KiB  
Article
Hani Mushroom House Building Adaptability
by Xueyue Bai, Yutong Duan and Dafang Li
Buildings 2023, 13(9), 2333; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13092333 - 14 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 881
Abstract
The Hani Rice Terraces are a famous World Heritage Site. The mushroom houses in the terraced fields have a unique architectural style and national cultural characteristics. This study focused on four traditional villages with the most obvious characteristics of mushroom houses: Azheke Village, [...] Read more.
The Hani Rice Terraces are a famous World Heritage Site. The mushroom houses in the terraced fields have a unique architectural style and national cultural characteristics. This study focused on four traditional villages with the most obvious characteristics of mushroom houses: Azheke Village, Dayutang Village, Yakou Village, and Dayazi Village. A total of 34 mushroom houses were mapped. The forms of the mushroom houses were classified first, and then, the basic prototype of the building structure of the Hani mushroom houses was extracted for structural modeling. Finally, the structure of the prototype of the mushroom houses under different load conditions was analyzed. The results show that the Hani mushroom house design has a simple structure and good stability, can adapt to the local natural environment, and is the product of the Hani people’s adaptation to the local natural environment. Full article
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20 pages, 32156 KiB  
Article
Research on Township Industry Development under GEP Accounting—A Case Study of Hanwang Town in Xuzhou City
by Shuai Tong, Jianjie Gao, Fengyu Wang and Xiang Ji
Land 2023, 12(7), 1455; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12071455 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
The protection and utilization of ecological environment are very important for urban and rural development. At present, a large number of relevant theoretical and practical explorations have been carried out, which confirms the important conclusion that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable [...] Read more.
The protection and utilization of ecological environment are very important for urban and rural development. At present, a large number of relevant theoretical and practical explorations have been carried out, which confirms the important conclusion that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. The sustainable development of ecological environments is based on coordination with human production and life. In this paper, by constructing an accounting system for the gross ecosystem product (GEP) applicable to Hanwang town, using the market value method, the alternative cost method, the travel cost method, the willingness to pay method and other technical methods, the GEP of Hanwang town is calculated from three aspects: product supply, regulation service and cultural tourism. Finally, the spatial distribution characteristics of value are used to guide the development and layout of ecological industry in Hanwang town. The results showed that the total ecosystem product value of Hanwang town in Xuzhou was relatively high, reaching 1.165 billion CNY, with per capita reaching 30 million CNY, which was 49.16% of the town’s GDP in 2020. The value of cultural tourism is 820 million CNY, the value of regulatory services is 239 million CNY, and the value of product provision is 106 million CNY. The ecological value of Hanwang town varies greatly in spatial distribution. On the whole, the price is low in the southwest, but high in the northeast. The high-value areas are mainly concentrated in three areas: Yudai River Riverside, Xuzhou Paradise in the north, Hanwang Scenic Spot in the middle and the Panaxi Valley tourist spot in the south. Based on the principle of ecological value transformation, combining with the spatial distribution characteristics of ecological value in Hanwang town, four modes of promoting ecological value transformation were proposed: ecological industrialization management, ecological governance and value promotion, ecological resource index trading and ecotourism. This paper preliminarily explores a method to calculate and transform the value of ecological space, which provides feasible concrete strategies for the protection of ecological space and the development of ecological industry in towns. Full article
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15 pages, 5209 KiB  
Article
Spatial Principles of Territories Selection for Priority Development of Agroforestry Complexes
by Alexey A. Tubalov
Forests 2023, 14(6), 1225; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14061225 - 13 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 804
Abstract
The creation of protective forest plantations on agricultural land is a long-term and capital-intensive investment aimed at creating sustainable agroforest landscapes. The purpose of the ongoing scientific research was to identify areas and create protective plantings, which will bring maximum effects. The methodology [...] Read more.
The creation of protective forest plantations on agricultural land is a long-term and capital-intensive investment aimed at creating sustainable agroforest landscapes. The purpose of the ongoing scientific research was to identify areas and create protective plantings, which will bring maximum effects. The methodology for achieving this goal is based on cartographic methods. Modern means of geoinformation modeling of territories and remote data make it possible to identify and follow the components of landscapes to obtain their quantitative characteristics. The result of the work carried out is a cartographic model of the study area, which allows for the analysis of the sufficiency of the number of existing forest plantations to ensure a sustainable development of the territories. The theoretical basis for determining the sufficiency of the number of forest plantations is the idea of the optimal forest cover of the territories. A review and analysis of existing points of view on the issue of optimal forest cover made it possible to identify the minimum parameters of protective forest cover. For the region of research, it is equal to 3%. The actual average value of the indicator of protective forest cover, calculated on the basis of the area of the entire study area, is 0.8%. The search for factors that determine the high efficiency of agroforestry measures made it possible to perform a differentiated assessment of the need for agroforestry measures. The ability to identify priority sites for the creation of protective forest plantations in these areas will bring maximum effects. The main principles of the search for areas of priority development are taking into account the geomorphological features of the study area, as well as the differences in the forest-growing properties of soils. The range of protective forest cover values for six geomorphologically different parts of the study area is from 0.6% to 2.7%. An analysis of the mutual arrangement of protective forest plantations and soil contours made it possible to identify the localization of spatial areas. When planning the creation of new protective forest plantations, priority is given to the most fertile lands, the indicators of protective forest cover of which are minimal. Full article
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24 pages, 16202 KiB  
Article
Spatial Reconstruction of Traditional Villages towards Synergistic Development in the Fuchun River Basin Based on the Gravity Model
by Jing Wang, Yaping Zhang, Guofu Yang, Yinyi Wang, Xiaomeng Cheng and Bin Xu
Land 2023, 12(5), 1037; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12051037 - 09 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1447
Abstract
With the continuous promotion of the rural revitalisation strategy, the planning and organisation of individual villages can hardly adapt to the current development needs of rural areas, causing synergistic development among villages to become a critical goal in promoting the sustainable development of [...] Read more.
With the continuous promotion of the rural revitalisation strategy, the planning and organisation of individual villages can hardly adapt to the current development needs of rural areas, causing synergistic development among villages to become a critical goal in promoting the sustainable development of rural areas. Reconstructing the development space of traditional village clusters can reduce their development gaps and promote coordinated development. Understanding the connections between traditional village units can support adaptive reconstructions of village spatial network structures and offer scientific and reasonable development planning strategies. Based on geographical and economic data publicly released in 2022, this study takes the traditional villages of the Fuchun River Basin in China as an example and uses village development quality and the shortest traffic time crawled in real time by Python to construct a spatial connection model of traditional villages in the Fuchun River Basin. The study also uses social network analysis to analyse the characteristics of the spatial network structure. The results show that (1) the intensity of spatial connections in these traditional villages is severely polarised and imbalanced. (2) The spatial network structure is in the development stage; few villages act as intermediaries, and the networks have poor connectivity and integrity. (3) The connection density within cohesive subgroups varies considerably. No complete transmission path exists among the subgroups, and the path of collaborative development is imperfect. These findings can optimise and reconstruct the selected spatial network of traditional villages to integrate and upgrade their development. The framework system also holds reference significance for other similar rural traditional villages. Full article
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16 pages, 2253 KiB  
Article
Diversity of Spontaneous Plants in Eco-Parks and Its Relationship with Environmental Characteristics of Parks
by Yifan Yang, Qingqing Yu, Dongshi Fu, Yuting Hou, Yanfan Chen, Tingting Guo, Hao Chen, Hai Yan, Feng Shao and Yinke Zhang
Forests 2023, 14(5), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14050946 - 04 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1309
Abstract
Suburban areas connect the city and the natural land. This kind of area is subject to high ecological sensitivity. To give full play to the ecological value of spontaneous plants, it was applied to the construction of suburban parks. We need to explore [...] Read more.
Suburban areas connect the city and the natural land. This kind of area is subject to high ecological sensitivity. To give full play to the ecological value of spontaneous plants, it was applied to the construction of suburban parks. We need to explore the influence factors of park characteristics on spontaneous plants. This study takes Jiangyangfan Ecological Park as the main research object. We have investigated the spontaneous plants in it and the surrounding parks. Hence, 16 kinds of park environmental characteristic factors were selected to explore their effects on the composition and diversity of spontaneous plants. The results showed that: (1) There were 138 species of spontaneous plants belonging to 126 genera and 62 families in Jiangyangfan Ecological Park. Native plants accounted for 88.10%. (2) The Shannon-Wiener diversity index of spontaneous plants was ranked as Jiangyangfan Ecological Park > White Pagoda Park > Eight Diagrams Field Relic Park > Haiyue Waterscape Park. (3) Among the overall characteristic factors, the park perimeter and the actual accessible area had the most significant positive correlation to the diversity of spontaneous plants (p < 0.05). Among the environmental element characteristic factors, the Shannon-Wiener diversity index of cultivated plants had the strongest positive correlation with the diversity of spontaneous plants (p < 0.01). The number of water bodies presented the strongest negative correlation (p < 0.01). This study provides a useful reference for the rational planning of parks in suburban areas and the construction of sustainable urban and rural landscapes. The research results will contribute to the restoration of the ecological environment. Full article
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15 pages, 5014 KiB  
Article
Assessing Livestock Grazing Distribution in Communal Rangelands of the Eastern Cape, South Africa: Towards Monitoring Livestock Movements in Rangelands
by Bukho Gusha, Anthony R. Palmer and Thantaswa C. Zondani
Land 2023, 12(4), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12040760 - 28 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2132
Abstract
In the past, rangelands were managed in a semi-nomadic manner, where pastoralists would distribute livestock to different parts of the rangeland depending on the availability of forage. However, understanding how livestock use rangelands has not been a subject of many studies as the [...] Read more.
In the past, rangelands were managed in a semi-nomadic manner, where pastoralists would distribute livestock to different parts of the rangeland depending on the availability of forage. However, understanding how livestock use rangelands has not been a subject of many studies as the devices to monitor livestock were not available. The objective of this study was to assess livestock grazing distribution in communal rangeland of the Eastern Cape in South Africa in order to improve livestock grazing. The study used Global Positioning Systems (GPS) that were placed on six animals including three sheep and three cattle, selected randomly from participating households. The GPS collars recorded the geographic position of the areas where animals were grazing, at five-minute intervals during the wet and dry season. Grass species composition was surveyed using line transects on areas where livestock grazing occurred. The study further identified three production domains, which were separated by bound polygons on Google Earth Pro to extract MODIS EVI where livestock grazing occurred. Livestock grazing distribution was analysed using T-LoCoH installed in R. The results revealed that both sheep and cattle spent most of their time grazing in areas associated with human features. The dominant grass species were Hyperrenia hirta and Eragrostis plana, suggesting a negative impact of the current livestock grazing distribution. Possible explanations of the current grazing distribution might be that these areas are close to homesteads and provide grazing lawns that contain a high nitrogen content. This study will help in providing an informed basis for the development of South African communal rangeland policies for effective livestock management. Full article
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15 pages, 5203 KiB  
Article
Assessing Land-Use Conflict Potential and Its Correlation with LULC Based on the Perspective of Multi-Functionality and Landscape Complexity: The Case of Chengdu, China
by Jiao Chen, Liwei Zhang, Shan Zhao and Hua Zong
Land 2023, 12(4), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12040742 - 25 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1362
Abstract
The rapid development of megacities has greatly impacted land use in the urban–rural fringe area. The Western Protected Area defined by Chengdu’s Master Plan (2016–2035) to end the unrestrained urban sprawl, where locates the most superior agricultural and ecological resources, namely Mount Qingcheng [...] Read more.
The rapid development of megacities has greatly impacted land use in the urban–rural fringe area. The Western Protected Area defined by Chengdu’s Master Plan (2016–2035) to end the unrestrained urban sprawl, where locates the most superior agricultural and ecological resources, namely Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Essence Irrigation District, is facing great challenges when implementing protective strategies, related to huge land use competition caused by land multi-functionality. To better assess and understand land-use conflict and its influence, this paper constructs a comprehensive evaluation model with ‘multi-functionality and landscape complexity’ based on existing research, with a 1 km × 1 km spatial resolution, and analyzes its relationship with land-use and land-cover (LULC) change, based on 30 m land resolution data from 2000, 2010, and 2020, produced by the Institute of Resource and Environmental Science and the Data Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Overall, two kinds of land-use conflict concerning function suitability and landscape pattern co-emerge spatially, but there also exist “high-low” combinations. The result shows that land consolidation or the adjustment of land use might take place more often when both the suitability conflict and the landscape conflict reach a certain threshold. The results provide enlightenment for further expanding the quantitative research on land-use conflict and confirm the potential of applying the land-use conflict index in delineating territorial spatial planning control areas. Full article
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13 pages, 982 KiB  
Article
Rockrose Land Management: Contribution of Periodic Harvesting to Increase Value and to Control Cistus ladanifer L. Shrublands
by David Franco Frazão, José Carlos Gonçalves, Amélia M. Silva and Fernanda Delgado
Forests 2023, 14(3), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14030638 - 21 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1364
Abstract
Cistus ladanifer L. (Cistaceae) occupies extensive areas as a dominant species (shrublands) or is associated to other major forest typologies in the Iberian Peninsula. Cistus ladanifer shrublands are mostly present in oligotrophic lands with little valorisation and management and as they develop over [...] Read more.
Cistus ladanifer L. (Cistaceae) occupies extensive areas as a dominant species (shrublands) or is associated to other major forest typologies in the Iberian Peninsula. Cistus ladanifer shrublands are mostly present in oligotrophic lands with little valorisation and management and as they develop over the years (up to 20-years-old) they promote the ignition and perpetuation of fire. To contribute to the proper management and valorisation of such systems, a 5-year-old dense shrubland was evaluated for its labdanum resin, seeds, and biomass productivity using different non-destructive harvest periodicities (annual and biennial) and seasons (early, mid-, and late summer), in a two-year case-study. Annual harvest modality maximized labdanum resin productivity (reaching 230 ± 50 kg∙ha−1∙2 years−1 at late summer) and photosynthetic biomass productivity. In contrast, a biennial harvest yielded significant amounts of more diversified products. It maximized seeds productivity (reaching 75 ± 41 kg∙ha−1∙2 years−1 independently of the summer season) and lignified biomass. However, it also reached a labdanum resin productivity of 134 ± 20 kg∙ha−1∙2 yearrs−1 at late summer and a photosynthetic biomass productivity around two times lower than the annual harvest. In this study, we propose two modalities of periodic harvest to be considered as proper long cycle management practices of rockrose lands. It intends to minimize fire risks, break the vegetation auto-succession mechanism, and increase profit from non-productive lands based on three direct outputs with a myriad of applications and valorisation pathways. Full article
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20 pages, 9722 KiB  
Article
Constructing the Landscape Ecological Security Pattern in the Dawen River Basin in China: A Framework Based on the Circuit Principle
by Jianchun Li, Rong Shan and Wenhua Yuan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(6), 5181; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20065181 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1599
Abstract
With the rapid development of urbanization, land cover, and land use patterns have greatly changed in China, which has damaged the landscape structure, affected the energy balance and material flow within the system, and reduced the value of ecosystem services. The construction of [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of urbanization, land cover, and land use patterns have greatly changed in China, which has damaged the landscape structure, affected the energy balance and material flow within the system, and reduced the value of ecosystem services. The construction of landscape ecological security patterns could promote species exchange between biological groups and increase material and energy exchange between landscape elements. Few studies have focused on the randomness of species to migration path, thus failing to objectively reflect the process of species migration and diffusion. Therefore, circuit theory was used in this study to better match the random selection of migration paths by species. In this paper, 14 typical mammal species from the Dawen River basin of the lower Yellow River in China were selected as examples, and the conclusions were as follows: (1) The ecological sources of the Dawen River basin were 49, with forest land and lakes as the main sources, and they were crucial to the stability of the regional ecological security pattern. A total of 128 ecological corridors were identified, among which 83 were key corridors and the rest were potential corridors. The key corridors throughout the whole region need priority protection and can be used as a core area for the observation and monitoring of natural resources. (2) Based on the circuit principle, 32 pinch points and 21 barrier points were identified, indicating that regional habitat connectivity must be further improved. (3) Four types of zones were determined, and optimization measures were proposed. (4) On the basis of conceptual protection, the ecological protection network of the Dawen River basin was built to enhance ecological resilience. The landscape ecological security pattern of the Dawen River basin was constructed from the three levels of points, corridors, and areas. Based on the concept of regional ecological security, a resource optimization strategy for ecological security patterns was proposed, which is significant for maintaining the integrity of watershed ecosystems. Full article
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19 pages, 3246 KiB  
Article
Rethinking China’s Rural Revitalization: The Development of a Sense of Community Scale for Chinese Traditional Villages
by Wei Wang, Yun Gao and Adrian Pitts
Land 2023, 12(3), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12030618 - 05 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2715
Abstract
Improving the sense of community (SOC) in Chinese traditional villages is crucial to preventing population loss and conserving the cultural heritage of China’s rural areas. These factors are important components of China’s rural revitalization policy, and thus, it is necessary to measure the [...] Read more.
Improving the sense of community (SOC) in Chinese traditional villages is crucial to preventing population loss and conserving the cultural heritage of China’s rural areas. These factors are important components of China’s rural revitalization policy, and thus, it is necessary to measure the SOC of villagers as part of the process. This study has developed a new SOC scale for Chinese traditional villages based on McMillan and Chavis’s four-factor theory involving membership, influence, need fulfillment, and emotional connections. An initial proposed sense of community scale for Chinese traditional village (SCSCTV) was structured as a four-factor scale with 28 items, including items from existing SOC studies and new items created by considering the features of Chinese traditional village communities. The scale was tested in the studies of three traditional villages in Chongqing by using two different methods. The findings provide guidance for the study of villages in the context of Chinese rural societies and a reliable scale for measuring villagers’ SOC. Full article
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19 pages, 5035 KiB  
Article
Plant Community Degradation Inquiry and Ecological Restoration Design in South Lake Scenic Area of China
by Xue Zhang, Haitao Hu, Xuhui Wang, Qianqian Tian, Xingyao Zhong and Lina Shen
Forests 2023, 14(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/f14020181 - 18 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1831
Abstract
The most visited provincially administered park in Hanzhong City, the South Lake Scenic Area, is degrading the Masson Pine forest communities. Determining and repairing the landscape degradation and impacts on recreational value due to the degraded community structure is essential for restoring the [...] Read more.
The most visited provincially administered park in Hanzhong City, the South Lake Scenic Area, is degrading the Masson Pine forest communities. Determining and repairing the landscape degradation and impacts on recreational value due to the degraded community structure is essential for restoring the environment of the southern Qinling Mountains. By evaluating the degree, trend, and pattern (DTP) of impacts, we identified the degradation status of the plant community in the South Lake Scenic Area in the past 20 years. We show that the scenic area has experienced an increase in the degradation of vegetation cover in the last 20 years. The area of degraded vegetation cover is significantly larger than the area of improvement, and the overall area is changing, with fewer stable areas. The area of reduced forest cover in the South Lake Scenic Area from 2000–2010 and 2010–2020 has been expanding, and the area of forest land transferred to nonforest land from 2010–2020 has been accelerating compared with 2000–2010; the landscape pattern index has decreased year over year, fragmentation has become serious, landscape connectivity is declining, woodland patches are subject to human disturbance, and patch shapes are simplifying. Based on theories of natural succession and moderate disturbance, the Miyawaki method and interlogging are used to promote plant community renewal and biodiversity restoration. This is intended to shorten the natural succession process in the scenic area and to rapidly restore the ecological foundation of the scenic area. Recovery will meet the aesthetic and ecological values of the South Lake Scenic Area. Full article
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16 pages, 1089 KiB  
Article
Effect of Village Informal Institutions and Cadre-Mass Relationship for Farmers’ Participation in Rural Residential Environment Governance in China
by Diandian Hao, Ziyi Yan, Yanan Wang and Bowen Wang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20010003 - 20 Dec 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1561
Abstract
Rural residential environment governance (RRE), as the first tough battle of China’s rural revitalization strategy, relies on farmers’ participation since farmers are the main laborers, builders, and administrators in environmental governance. However, lackluster farmers’ enthusiasm and initiative have hindered RRE initiatives, prompting this [...] Read more.
Rural residential environment governance (RRE), as the first tough battle of China’s rural revitalization strategy, relies on farmers’ participation since farmers are the main laborers, builders, and administrators in environmental governance. However, lackluster farmers’ enthusiasm and initiative have hindered RRE initiatives, prompting this paper. Based on the survey data of 1804 farmers in China, this paper, from the perspective of mobilization governance, empirically analyzes the impact of informal village institutions, the cadre-mass relationship, and their interaction on farmers’ participation in RRE governance through the entropy method, ols, and quantile regression model. The empirical results indicate that informal institutions promoted farmers’ participation through three mechanisms, with disciplinary supervision impact being the most significant and value-oriented next, but transmission internalization doesn’t work as well as it should. Meanwhile, for farmers with varying degrees of participation, there is a general difference in the governance effect of informal institutions. Furthermore, the close cadre-mass relationship significantly strengthened disciplinary supervision and transmission internalization effects to mobilize farmers’ participation. Therefore, the village committee should implement diverse informal institutions based on the actual situation of their village. Moreover, it is necessary to shape a close cadre-mass relationship to improve the accuracy of institutions’ implementation. Full article
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21 pages, 9560 KiB  
Article
Assessing Social Values for Ecosystem Services in Rural Areas Based on the SolVES Model: A Case Study from Nanjing, China
by Haoran Duan and Ning Xu
Forests 2022, 13(11), 1877; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13111877 - 09 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2428
Abstract
Assessing social values attributed to ecosystem services based on the Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES) model helps ecosystems to provide services sustainably, including land and forest products and non-material services. Currently, urbanization has accelerated the deterioration of rural environments, which affects the [...] Read more.
Assessing social values attributed to ecosystem services based on the Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES) model helps ecosystems to provide services sustainably, including land and forest products and non-material services. Currently, urbanization has accelerated the deterioration of rural environments, which affects the supply of social values for rural ecosystem services. How to scientifically assess the social values for ecosystem services in rural areas remains to be studied. In addition, there are significant differences in the perceptions of social value among stakeholder groups. Therefore, this study aims to provide a complete and systematic approach to identify the social value of complex and specific rural ecosystem services and to fill the gap in the research of perceived differences among stakeholder groups in rural areas. On the basis of building environmental raster datasets on a village scale, this research applies the SolVES model to evaluate social values in the Paifang rural community. Results show that aesthetic, health care, recreation, and biodiversity values are highly regarded in rural areas. The normalized difference vegetation index, the distance to rural settlements, the distance to tourist attractions, and the distance to agricultural production spaces can improve the evaluation accuracy, and the level of social values can be predicted by certain environmental variables. The spatial distribution of social values and the degree of attention paid to the biodiversity value, and the trade-off between the aesthetic and biodiversity value are the main perception differences between villagers and tourists. This research contributes to ecological construction and sustainable development in rural areas. Full article
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17 pages, 2496 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Land Consolidation as a Tool to Promote Rural Restructuring in China: Theoretical Framework and Case Study
by Qiqi Yin, Shenglu Zhou, Chengxiang Lv, Yang Zhang, Xueyan Sui and Xiaorui Wang
Land 2022, 11(11), 1932; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11111932 - 30 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2767
Abstract
In the context of current global rural decline, land consolidation has been adopted with the objectives of promoting rural vitalization and regional sustainable development. In this paper, we provide a theoretical framework for rural restructuring driven by comprehensive land consolidation (CLC). The framework [...] Read more.
In the context of current global rural decline, land consolidation has been adopted with the objectives of promoting rural vitalization and regional sustainable development. In this paper, we provide a theoretical framework for rural restructuring driven by comprehensive land consolidation (CLC). The framework describes three key mechanisms of rural spatial, economic, and social restructuring driven by CLC: improving spatial patterns and functions, vitalizing the collective economy, and reshaping the social community. Based on the theoretical framework, we present a case that exemplifies the micro processes of rural restructuring. Taking spatial restructuring as the material basis and carrier, CLC promotes economic restructuring from traditional agricultural production to modern agricultural production and industrial integration, as well as social restructuring from a traditional rural society to urbanization, communitization, and a society with diversified culture. After CLC, it is very important to further enhance the sustainability of the collective economic development and enhance the cohesion and prosperity of the social community. Full article
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32 pages, 72323 KiB  
Article
On the Landscape Activity Measure Coupling Ecological Index and Public Vitality Index of UGI: The Case Study of Zhongshan, China
by Xueling Zhang, Ruoxuan Huang and Yixuan Yang
Land 2022, 11(11), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11111879 - 22 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2482
Abstract
In the context of high-quality urban development and the increasingly important role of urban green infrastructure (UGI) in public life, landscape activity (LA) has gradually become a dominant indicator for improving UGI quality and efficiency, as well as optimizing its environmental friendliness and [...] Read more.
In the context of high-quality urban development and the increasingly important role of urban green infrastructure (UGI) in public life, landscape activity (LA) has gradually become a dominant indicator for improving UGI quality and efficiency, as well as optimizing its environmental friendliness and meeting the recreational needs of the public. Relevant studies have shown that the ecological index (EI) and the public vitality index (PVI) can characterize LA from the perspectives of greening quality and public activities, respectively, and their simultaneous analysis can provide professional judgment and quantitative technical approaches for the LA analysis of UGI. At the same time, with the support of remote sensing, big data, GIS, and other spatial information data, the LA model coupling EI and PVI of UGI needs to be developed. First, this article established a research framework for UGI landscape activity, and by combining environmental remote sensing and location-based services (LBS) technology, a technical LA measurement strategy suitable for the coupled analysis of EI and PVI was formed. Then, based on the MATLAB platform and the entropy-weighted TOPSIS model, this research developed a fusion analysis algorithm of EI and PVI to establish the LA model, taking the central urban area of Zhongshan as a case study. Finally, four-quadrant classification and quantitative grading of LA were developed based on the ArcGIS platform. Empirical research showed that the UGI area of the study area was about 176.43 km2, and 160 UGI units were identified. The minimum LA value is 0.06, and the maximum is 0.85. The LA of UGI in the study area can be divided into three grades: low (0–0.24), medium (0.24–0.46), and high (0.46–0.85). Among them, the top 5% of UGI units mainly correspond to urban parks and waterfront greenways, and the bottom 5% mainly correspond to islands and farmland. The quantitative distribution of UGI in the four quadrants of LA in the study area is relatively balanced: among them, the number of high-quality developing types is the largest, accounting for 29.4%, and that of high-quality mature types is the least, accounting for 20.0%. This article forms a concise model and technical process for the LA of UGI, which can be used for its quantitative analysis and evaluation. It is expected that the research result will be significant for the high-quality construction of UGI and the sustainable development of the urban landscape in terms of research and exploration. Full article
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26 pages, 10160 KiB  
Article
Rural Space Aesthetics and Rural Construction Paths from the Perspective of the Montage: The Cases of Seven Villages in Guangdong, China
by Zhongwei Wang, Qianda Zhuang, Yue Ma and Pengnan Li
Buildings 2022, 12(10), 1723; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12101723 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2413
Abstract
In the rural areas of China, construction is growing vigorously, and the question of how to realize the creative inheritance and development of these areas in the regional context, as well as the exploration of new construction methods and paths, are important problems. [...] Read more.
In the rural areas of China, construction is growing vigorously, and the question of how to realize the creative inheritance and development of these areas in the regional context, as well as the exploration of new construction methods and paths, are important problems. Nowadays, there are two developing trends in terms of research methods. Firstly, the boundaries between various disciplines are becoming increasingly blurred, and interdisciplinary theoretical reference has become an effective means of realizing innovation in this field. The other trend relates to the great development of digital technology, such as parameterization and spatial information technology. This technological innovation sheds new light on rural image construction. This study aims to draw on the montage art concept and organization techniques and to integrate the new technical language into the construction of new aesthetic orientations and context-related inheritance paths of rural historical places in China. Based on the aesthetic relevance of montage aesthetics to rural regional characteristics, the aesthetic cognition of the rural area in Guangdong is analyzed and demonstrated. Then, the strategies and methods used for the construction of rural area are established based on four layers, i.e., the narrative clues, base site pattern, spatial interfaces and monomer construction. The present research expands on the perspectives and methods of rural reconstruction, provides new ideas for the current rural practice, and is conducive to promoting the systematic study of rural construction theory. Full article
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17 pages, 5337 KiB  
Article
Distribution Pattern and Factors Influencing Spontaneous Plant Diversity in Different Wetland Habitats
by Yifan Yang, Bin Xu, Qingqing Yu, Likun Fan, Tingting Guo, Dongshi Fu, Hao Chen, Hai Yan, Feng Shao and Xiaopeng Li
Forests 2022, 13(10), 1678; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13101678 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2330
Abstract
Wetlands contain a large number of spontaneous plants, and the ecological value of such plants should not be underestimated. However, the influence of the surrounding environment on the composition of spontaneous plants in wetlands is still unclear. Hangzhou Jiangyangfan Ecological Park, built more [...] Read more.
Wetlands contain a large number of spontaneous plants, and the ecological value of such plants should not be underestimated. However, the influence of the surrounding environment on the composition of spontaneous plants in wetlands is still unclear. Hangzhou Jiangyangfan Ecological Park, built more than 20 years ago, is the first ecological park in China based on the “wild state” concept. The wetland in the park was taken as a study case, and we investigated some of the ecological factors affecting the diversity and distribution pattern of spontaneous plants in wetland habitats after natural succession. A total of 100 species of spontaneous plants were recorded, belonging to 93 genera and 48 families, with native species accounting for approximately 78% of the total. We found significant differences in the species diversity and distribution patterns of spontaneous plants in different habitats and microhabitats. According to the biological characteristics of spontaneous plants, the fruit types were mostly achenes and capsules, and the seed dispersal mode was mainly animal dispersal. Different fruit types and dispersal modes affected the composition and distribution of spontaneous plants. In terms of environmental factors, the water depth and slope aspect were the key factors determining the diversity and distribution pattern of spontaneous plants. It was also found that the clustering degree of cultivated plants had an effect on the composition of spontaneous plants. To form a more natural wetland landscape, it is necessary to provide a variety of growing environments for spontaneous plants. We suggest allocating appropriate habitat types in wetlands and reducing human intervention to increase biodiversity. Full article
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28 pages, 9720 KiB  
Review
Knowledge Mapping Analysis of the Study of Rural Landscape Ecosystem Services
by Yinyi Wang, Yaping Zhang, Guofu Yang, Xiaomeng Cheng, Jing Wang and Bin Xu
Buildings 2022, 12(10), 1517; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12101517 - 23 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2005
Abstract
Understanding the research lineage of rural landscape ecosystem services (RLESs) is of importance for improving rural landscapes and developing sustainable ecosystem services. However, there is currently no literature analysis on the scientific quantification and visualization of RLESs. In this study, 4524 articles related [...] Read more.
Understanding the research lineage of rural landscape ecosystem services (RLESs) is of importance for improving rural landscapes and developing sustainable ecosystem services. However, there is currently no literature analysis on the scientific quantification and visualization of RLESs. In this study, 4524 articles related to RLESs from 1990 to 2021 were analyzed using the bibliometric method and ISI Web of Science database. The results show that RLES research hotspots have gradually shifted from the early keywords of “vegetation”, “land use change”, “agriculture”, “rural gradients” and “models” to the emerging “cultural ecosystem services”, “rural tourism”, “landscape preferences” and “policy guidance”. Scholars from developed and developing countries place different emphases on research hotspots in terms of research content, scale and methodology due to differences in their research backgrounds and other aspects. In addition, five categories of research fronts were obtained through literature co-citation analysis. Through burst word detection analysis, combined with basic research and research hotspots and frontier analysis, we concluded that future RLES research will focus on four areas: (1) the relationship and collaboration between and management of biodiversity and ecosystem services; (2) the landscape value of RLESs; (3) land-use changes and ecosystem service values; and (4) research methods for innovative RLESs. Our findings may contribute to better in-depth RLES research by providing a theoretical reference and practical help for future related research. Full article
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21 pages, 4013 KiB  
Article
Analysis Model of the Relationship between Public Spatial Forms in Traditional Villages and Scenic Beauty Preference Based on LiDAR Point Cloud Data
by Guodong Chen, Xinyu Sun, Wenbo Yu and Hao Wang
Land 2022, 11(8), 1133; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11081133 - 24 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2225
Abstract
Traditional villages are historically, culturally, scientifically and aesthetically valuable, and a beautiful landscape is the primary embodiment of a traditional village environment. Urbanization and modernization have had a great impact on village landscapes. As an important aspect of traditional village landscapes, creating beautiful [...] Read more.
Traditional villages are historically, culturally, scientifically and aesthetically valuable, and a beautiful landscape is the primary embodiment of a traditional village environment. Urbanization and modernization have had a great impact on village landscapes. As an important aspect of traditional village landscapes, creating beautiful public spaces is an effective way to attract tourists and improve the well-being of residents. Landscape aesthetic activities are the result of the interaction between landscape objects and aesthetic subjects. Research on the relationship between the form of traditional village public spaces and subjective aesthetic preferences has long been neglected. This research examined 31 public spaces in traditional villages in the Dongshan and Xishan areas in Lake Taihu, Suzhou. An index system of public spatial forms in traditional villages was created, basic data of spatial forms were collected using a hand-held 3D laser scanner, and the value of the spatial forms index was calculated using R language. The scenic beauty estimation (SBE) method was improved, with the estimation of the beauty of the scenic environment based on VR panorama rather than traditional photo media. Parameter screening was performed using correlation analysis and full subset regression analysis, and four models were used to fit the SBE scores and grades. The results show that the majority of public spaces had lower than average SBE scores, and the four key indicators of average contour upper height, solid-space ratio, vegetation cover, and comprehensive closure predicted SBE. In addition, the linear model (R2 = 0.332, RMSE = 64.774) had the most accurate SBE level prediction and the stochastic forest model (R2 = 0.405, RMSE = 63.311) was better at predicting specific SBE scores. The model provides managers, designers, and researchers with a method for the quantitative evaluation of visual landscape preferences and quantitative landscape spatial forms and provides a reference for the protection and renewal of traditional village landscapes. Full article
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