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Ambio. 2004 Aug;33(6):311-5.

Impact of impoldering and lake restoration on land-cover changes in Dongting Lake area, Central Yangtze.

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Department of Ecology, College of Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China.


Human activities can have a remarkable effect on land-cover patterns over time. This study characterized long-term (1930s-1998) land-cover changes in Dongting Lake area in the Central Yangtze River, China, by digitalizing historical topographical maps for the 1930s and 1950s and interpreting satellite remote sensing data for 1978, 1989, and 1998. The study indicates that land-cover patterns in Dongting Lake area have been greatly altered by impoldering and subsequent lake restoration activities in the past 70 years. There are two distinct periods of change characterized by impoldering (1930s-1978) and lake restoration (1978-1998). In the former period, cropland increased sharply at the cost of a drop in other land-cover types, which had resulted in significant negative consequences, while the pattern of land-cover changes reversed in the later period.

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