Detecting Urban Growth Patterns and Wetland Conversion Processes in a Natural Wetlands Distribution Area
Yuanbin Cai1, Hao Zhang2, Wenbin Pan1
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1College of Environment and Resources, Fuzhou University,
2 Xueyuan Road, Shangjie Town, Minhou County 350108, Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China
2Department of Environmental Science and Engineering,
Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Shanghai 200433, China
Submission date: 2015-05-10
Acceptance date: 2015-06-20
Publication date: 2015-09-21
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2015;24(5):1919–1929
Since the 20th century, urbanization has been experiencing a fast developing stage. In two decades, the natural wetlands distribution area (NWDA) of Fuzhou, a forefront city in the West-Taiwan Strait Economic Zone of China, has dramatically changed from an agriculture-dominated landscape to a modern industrialization urban setting. The integrated approach of concentric zone-based analysis and biophysical indices were used to examine the spatial–temporal changes of urban growth patterns and explore historical wetland conversion processes based on remote sensing and geographic information systems in the NWDA from 1989 to 2009. The popular belief was that the wetland was destroyed and converted to developed land, while our study demonstrated wetland losses were conversions to cropland, which revealed that the city growth occupied massive farmland at the initial stage of urbanization. Meanwhile, results demonstrated that the growth pattern can be characterized as dispersed or sprawl in the NWDA during 1989-2009. The large area of developed lands is concentrated within a 3-15 km zone, and the population with high density mainly is concentrated within the scope of 0-9 km areas. Therefore, the best management practice for land use and urban planning should be made to minimize the adverse effects of urbanization in those areas urgently.