2021 Vol. 31, No. 4

Display Method:
The Environmental Impacts of Informal Economies in China: Inverted U-shaped Relationship and Regional Variances
Jiangmin YANG, Yiming TAN, Desheng XUE, Gengzhi HUANG, Zuge XING
2021, 31(4): 585-599. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1210-z
This paper aims to the debate on the nexus between informal economies and the environment by investigating the long-term dynamic impacts of China’s informal economies on pollution and considering regional differences in informal economies’ pollution. This paper uses the Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) model to estimate the size of informal economies and employs econometric models to examine their relationships to pollution based on provincial-level panel data from 2000 to 2017. The results indicate that informal economies’ effects on environmental pollution are not purely positive or negative. Rather, our model indicates that there is an inverted U-shaped relationship between informal economies and pollution in the long run in China; this means that the level of environmental pollution increases at first and then decreases with the growth of informal economies. Further analysis shows that while this inverted, U-shaped relationship is significant in different regions of China, it is affected by different environmental impact factors. The paper concludes by discussing the policy implications for environmental protection and sustainable development.
Cross-national Perspectives on Using Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Indicators for Monitoring Sustainable Development: A Database and Analysis
Xiangyu WANG, Changqing SONG, Changxiu CHENG, Sijing YE, Shi SHEN
2021, 31(4): 600-610. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1213-9
Sustainable development is the theme of the 21st century. To monitor the progress of sustainable development, the United Nations launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. Subsequently, nations of the world have drawn up a list of localized indicators regarding the United Nations SDGs as a paradigm. We established a database including SDGs indicator systems of 11 economies by collecting and determining a large number of materials. Based on this database, we analyzed SDGs indicators by designing a conceptual framework of comparative analysis that included three views. We found that the SDGs indicator systems of 11 economies are different between the number of indicators, the proportion of different categories, and the connotation of indicators. Although the SDGs indicator systems among economies regarded the United Nations SDGs as a framework and included the major social problems related to sustainability, the inconsistency between SDGs indicator systems is large. It is a major reason why scholars lack the systematic method for developing indicators. There are challenges faced in data accessibility. The framework for comparative analysis could be applied to different economies.
Regional Equity and Influencing Factor of Social Assistance in China
Jiawei WANG, Shilin YE, Xinhua QI
2021, 31(4): 611-628. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1195-7
Social assistance is the last safety net in the social security system and plays a vital role in poverty alleviation in countries around the world. Promoting the equal financial assistance is meaningful to achieve equalization of social assistance. Based on the provincial panel data from 2002 to 2017, this paper analyzes the dynamic characteristics and main influencing factors of the equity of social assistance in China, using the Theil index and geographically weighted regression (GWR) model. The results suggest that the level of per capita social assistance expenditure (PSAE) in China keeps increasing year by year, but the changes in different regions and provinces are quite different. These changes not only significantly changed the spatial pattern of PSAE in China, but also greatly improved its spatial coupling with the deeply impoverished areas. Further analysis shows that the regional inequality of PSAE between provinces is obvious during the study period, and the inter-regional inequality is significantly higher than the intra-regional inequality. This makes inter-regional inequality become the main source of the regional inequality of PSAE in China for a long time. According to GWR results, there is obvious spatiotemporal heterogeneity in the influence intensity and direction of the per capita financial revenue, urbanization rate, urban unemployment rate, natural disaster-affected area, and transfer payment intensity on the PSAE. The urbanization rate and per capita financial revenue are the main driving factors of PSAE, and the impact intensity of per capita financial revenue tends to strengthen. The remaining three factors have a positive effect on PSAE, but the effect intensity is not high.
Spatial Heterogeneity of Agricultural Science and Technology Parks Technology Diffusion: A Case Study of Yangling ASTP
Zhao WANG, Jianhong LIU, Tongsheng LI, Wanying REN, Yang RUI
2021, 31(4): 629-645. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1196-6
Agricultural science and technology parks (ASTPs) represent an important growth pole in China’s agricultural modernization. Clarifying their diffusion laws can optimize the technological diffusion process and improve its efficiency. Our study uses disaggregated spatial information in its model to analyze ASTP technology diffusion in a heterogeneous space. We constructed a comprehensive index system to evaluate the diffusion environmental quality and introduced the heterogeneous diffusion equation to calculate the technological diffusion probability. We applied this framework to a real-world scenario: the apple planting technology diffusion of the Yangling ASTP in the Loess Plateau, China. The results indicated: 1) the technological diffusion environment of the Loess Plateau advantageous apple producing area showed strong spatial heterogeneity caused by climate, topography, and external transportation links. 2) Under the combined effects of distance and spatial heterogeneity, the spatial diffusion pattern of the Yangling ASTP apple technology was expansion diffusion supplemented by hierarchical diffusion and banded diffusion, and 3) ASTP technology diffusion showed a strong distance attenuation effect, and the frictional effect of distance can be decreased by improving the diffusion environmental quality. These laws can promote regional balanced ASTP-driven development.
Spatio-temporal Evolution Characteristics and Driving Mechanism of the New Infrastructure Construction Development Potential in China
Tianshi GU, Peng ZHANG, Xujia ZHANG
2021, 31(4): 646-658. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1214-8
With the advent of the era of big data and artificial intelligence, new infrastructure construction (NIC) has attracted the attention of many countries. The development of NIC provides an opportunity to bridge the digital divide and narrow the regional gap, providing continuous impetus to further promote economic development. Here, we considered 31 provincial-level administrative units in China (not including Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan of China due to data unavailable) and established comprehensive evaluation indicators for the development potential of NIC. Afterward, we used the entropy-weight TOPSIS model to determine the development potential of NIC and analyze its spatio-temporal evolution characteristics. Furthermore, the GeoDetector model was applied to explore the driving mechanism of the NIC development potential. The conclusions were as follows: 1) The Chinese NIC development potential is generally low. The eastern China was the region with the highest development potential year by year, while the development potential in the central China was found to be in an accelerating phase. 2) The evolution of the Chinese NIC development potential’s spatial pattern has been characterized by an inland extension and coastal agglomeration. Moreover, we identified a superior development zone, a rising development zone, an inferior development zone, and a declining development zone. 3) The scope of Chinese NIC development potential agglomeration areas has gradually expanded and its degree has gradually deepened. The range of high-value agglomeration in eastern area gradually expanded and its degree gradually deepened. 4) Investment in innovative talents appears as the core factor affecting the Chinese NIC development potential. Whether acting alone or synergistically with other factors, its promoting effect on Chinese NIC development potential is the strongest.
Predicting Surface Urban Heat Island in Meihekou City, China: A Combination Method of Monte Carlo and Random Forest
Yao ZHANG, Jiafu LIU, Zhuyun WEN
2021, 31(4): 659-670. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1215-7
Given the rapid urbanization worldwide, Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect has been a severe issue limiting urban sustainability in both large and small cities. In order to study the spatial pattern of Surface urban heat island (SUHI) in China’s Meihekou City, a combination method of Monte Carlo and Random Forest Regression (MC-RFR) is developed to construct the relationship between landscape pattern indices and Land Surface Temperature (LST). In this method, Monte Carlo acceptance-rejection sampling was added to the bootstrap layer of RFR to ensure the sensitivity of RFR to outliners of SUHI effect. The SHUI in 2030 was predicted by using this MC-RFR and the modeled future landscape pattern by Cellular Automata and Markov combination model (CA-Markov). Results reveal that forestland can greatly alleviate the impact of SUHI effect, while reasonable construction of urban land can also slow down the rising trend of SUHI. MC-RFR performs better for characterizing the relationship between landscape pattern and LST than single RFR or Linear Regression model. By 2030, the overall SUHI effect of Meihekou will be greatly enhanced, and the center of urban development will gradually shift to the central and western regions of the city. We suggest that urban designer and managers should concentrate vegetation and disperse built-up land to weaken the SUHI in the construction of new urban areas for its sustainability.
Spatial Structure of Urban Residents ’ Leisure Activities: A Case Study of Shenyang, China
Liya MA, Chunliang XIU
2021, 31(4): 671-683. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1216-6
The spatial characteristics of residents’ leisure activities not only reflect their demand for urban leisure space but also affect the urban spatial layout. This study takes Shenyang, China as an example and analyzes the characteristics of residents’ leisure activities through questionnaires. On this basis, it uses point of interest data and mobile phone signaling data to identify various types of residential and leisure functional relationships, and uses spatial analysis and community detection to assess the distance characteristics, flow patterns, and community structure of residents’ leisure activities, so as to discuss the spatial structure of residents’ leisure activities in Shenyang. The results showed that: 1) in addition to leisure at home, Shenyang residents mainly went to shopping malls, supermarkets, and parks for leisure activities, and the proportions of residents of the two types of leisure activities were approximately equal; 2) the average distances that residents traveled for shopping and park leisure were near in the middle and far in the periphery, and the travel costs of peripheral residents for centrally located leisure were higher than those for residents in central areas; 3) the flow patterns of the residential-shopping and residential-park functional relationships displayed clustering mode characteristics, and Shenyang presented a significant monocentric structure; and 4) residents’ shopping activities were concentrated in the southern community, and walking in the park activities were concentrated in the western community. Residents’ leisure activities were characterized by centripetal agglomeration, which was prone to problems such as traffic congestion and big city diseases. The spatial expansion process in the city was characterized by obvious directional inheritance and path dependence, and the construction of sub-cities is needed to improve the related service facilities.
Vegetation Index Reconstruction and Linkage with Drought for the Source Region of the Yangtze River Based on Tree-ring Data
Jinjian LI, Shu WANG, Ningsheng QIN, Xisheng LIU, Liya JIN
2021, 31(4): 684-695. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1217-5
Variations in vegetation are closely related to climate change, but understanding of their characteristics and causes remains limited. As a typical semi-humid and semi-arid cold plateau region, it is important to understand the knowledge of long term Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) variations and find the potential causes in the source region of the Yangtze River. Based on four tree-ring width chronologies, the regional mean NDVI for July and August spanning the period 1665–2013 was reconstructed using a regression model, and it explained 43.9% of the total variance during the period 1981–2013. In decadal, the reconstructed NDVI showed eight growth stages (1754–1764, 1766–1783, 1794–1811, 1828–1838, 1843–1855, 1862–1873, 1897–1909, and 1932–1945) and four degradation stages (1679–1698, 1726–1753, 1910–1923, and 1988–2000). And based on wavelet analysis, significant cycles of 2–3 yr and 3–8 yr were identified. In additional, there was a significant positive correlation between the NDVI and the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) during the past 349 yr, and they were mainly in phase. However, according to the results of correlation analysis between different grades of drought/wet and NDVI, there was significant asymmetry in extreme drought years and extreme wet years. In extreme drought years, NDVI was positively correlated with PDSI, and in extreme wet years they were negatively correlated.
Identification of Suitable Hydrologic Response Unit Thresholds for Soil and Water Assessment Tool Streamflow Modelling
Liupeng JIANG, Jinghai ZHU, Wei CHEN, Yuanman HU, Jing YAO, Shuai YU, Guangliang JIA, Xingyuan HE, Anzhi WANG
2021, 31(4): 696-710. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1218-4
Use of a non-zero hydrologic response unit (HRU) threshold is an effective way of reducing unmanageable HRU numbers and simplifying computational cost in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrologic modelling. However, being less representative of watershed heterogeneity and increasing the level of model output uncertainty are inevitable when minor HRU combinations are disproportionately eliminated. This study examined 20 scenarios by running the model with various HRU threshold settings to understand the mechanism of HRU threshold effects on watershed representation as well as streamflow predictions and identify the appropriate HRU thresholds. Findings show that HRU numbers decrease sharply with increasing HRU thresholds. Among different HRU threshold scenarios, the composition of land-use, soil, and slope all contribute to notable variations which are directly related to the model input parameters and consequently affect the streamflow predictions. Results indicate that saturated hydraulic conductivity, average slope of the HRU, and curve number are the three key factors affecting stream discharge when changing the HRU thresholds. It is also found that HRU thresholds have little effect on monthly model performance, while evaluation statistics for daily discharges are more sensitive than monthly results. For daily streamflow predictions, thresholds of 5%/5%/5% (land-use/soil/slope) are the optimum HRU threshold level for the watershed to allow full consideration of model accuracy and efficiency in the present work. Besides, the results provide strategies for selecting appropriate HRU thresholds based on the modelling goal.
Trade-offs/Synergies in Land-use Function Changes in Central China from 2000 to 2015
Qing LI, Yong ZHOU, Tao XU, Li WANG, Qian ZUO, Jingyi LIU, Xueping SU, Nan HE, Zhengxiang WU
2021, 31(4): 711-726. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1219-3
To solve the problems caused by irrational land-use, studying the functions of land-use, its changing characteristics, and the relationship between each land-use function will be beneficial for achieving sustainable land development. In this research, we constructed an evaluation framework of multiple land-use functions (LUFs) based on sustainable land-use theory. Specifically,, we classified the multiple LUFs into three types: agricultural production function (APF), living function (LVF), and ecological service function (ESF). We then spatialized the economic and social data, and implemented the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) model and RUSLE (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation) model to evaluate each sub-LUF (crop production, aquatic production, woodlands production, livestock production, living space, life quality, water supply, soil conservation, climate regulation, biological conservation) in central China in 2000 and again in 2015. Moreover, by analyzing the changes to LUFs and the relationships between each LUF change, we were able to discern patterns of LUF change in central China. The results show that: 1) 42.12% of total territory in the study area increased their APF from 2000 to 2015, while 43.41% of the lands increased their ESF yet only 8.98% of the lands increased their LVF; 2) in Hubei and Hunan, there was more land with an increase of APF than in Anhui or Jiangxi. The APF in Jiangxi exhibited the greatest decline over time period, the LVF increased more in the provincial capital cities than in other regions, and the ESF expanded more in Jiangxi than in the other provinces; and 3) the changes in APF were significantly and positively correlated with changes in LVF. Additionally, changes in ESF were negatively but non-significantly correlated with changes in APF and LVF.
The Effects of Groundwater Depth on the Soil Evaporation in Horqin Sandy Land, China
Tingting YANG, Musa ALA, Dexin GUAN, Anzhi WANG
2021, 31(4): 727-734. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1220-x
The interactions between groundwater depth and soil hydrological processes, play an important role in both arid and semi-arid ecosystems. The effect of groundwater depth on soil water variations were neglected or not explicitly treated. In this paper, we combine a simulation experiment and a water flow module of HYDRUS-1D model to study the variation in soil evaporation under different groundwater depth conditions and the relationship between groundwater depth and evaporation efficiency in Horqin Sandy Land, China. The results showed that with an increase in groundwater depth, the evaporation of soil and the recharge of groundwater decrease. In this study, the groundwater recharge did not account for more than 21% of the soil evaporation for the depths of groundwater examined. The soil water content at 60 cm was less affected by the evaporation efficiency when the mean groundwater depth was 61 cm during the experimental period. In addition, the evaporation efficiency (the ratio of actual evaporation to potential evaporation) decreases with the increase in groundwater depth during the experiment. Furthermore, the soil evaporation was not affected by groundwater when the groundwater depth was deeper than 239 cm.
Risk Prevention and Control for Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Based on the Process of Pressure-Transformation-Absorption in Chongqing, China
Kangwen ZHU, Yucheng CHEN, Sheng ZHANG, Zhimin YANG, Lei HUANG, Bo LEI, Hailing XIONG, Sheng WU, Xixi LI
2021, 31(4): 735-750. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1221-9
According to China’s second national survey of pollution sources, the contribution of agricultural non-point sources (ANS) to water pollution is still high. Risk prevention and control are the main means to control costs and improve the efficiency of ANS, but most studies directly take pollution load as the risk standard, leading to a considerable misjudgment of the actual pollution risk. To objectively reflect the risk of agricultural non-point source pollution (ANSP) in Chongqing, China, we investigated the influences of initial source input, intermediate transformation, and terminal absorption of pollutants via literature research and the Delphi method and built a PTA (pressure kinetic energy, transformation kinetic energy, and absorption kinetic energy) model that covers 12 factors, with the support of geographical information system (GIS) technology. The terrain factor calculation results and the calculation results of other factors were optimized by Python tools to reduce human error and workload. Via centroid migration analysis and Kernel density analysis, the risk level, spatial aggregation degree, and key prevention and control regions could be accurately determined. There was a positive correlation between the water quality of the rivers in Chongqing and the risk assessment results of different periods, indirectly reflecting the reliability of the assessment results by the proposed model. There was an obvious tendency for the low-risk regions transforming into high-risk regions. The proportion of high-risk regions and extremely high-risk regions increased from 17.82% and 16.63% in 2000 to 18.10% and 16.76% in 2015, respectively. And the risk level in the main urban areas was significantly higher than that in the southeastern and northeastern areas of Chongqing. The centroids of all grades of risky areas presented a successive distribution from west to east, and the centroids of high-risk and extremely high-risk regions shifted eastward. From 2000 to 2015, the centroids of high-risk and extremely high-risk regions moved 4.63 km (1.68°) and 4.48 km (12.08°) east by north, respectively. The kernel density analysis results showed that the high-risk regions were mainly concentrated in the main urban areas and that the distribution of agglomeration areas overall displayed a transition trend from contiguous distribution to decentralized concentration. The risk levels of the regions with a high proportion of cultivated land and artificial surface were significantly increased, and the occupation of cultivated land in the process of urbanization promoted the movement of the centroids of high-risk and extremely high-risk regions. The identification of key areas for risk prevention and control provides data scientific basis for the development of prevention and control strategies.
Effect and Risk Assessment of Animal Manure Pollution on Huaihe River Basin, China
Youbao WANG, Fanghui PAN, Jiayue CHANG, Rongkang WU, Matthew TIBAMBA, Xuecheng LU, Xinxi ZHANG
2021, 31(4): 751-764. doi: 10.1007/s11769-021-1222-8
Currently the deteriorated water quality for Huaihe River Basin (HRB) in China was still serious because of the negative influence multiple pollution sources including animal manure. However, little attention was paid to the potential risk of animal manure for farmland and water quality of HRB. This study was quantified and forecasted animal manure risk and its spatiotemporal variations in HRB from 2008 to 2018, through pollution discharge coefficient method and pollution load calculation, combined with kriging interpolation method of ArcGIS technology, based on statistics principle. All the data were originated from livestock and poultry breeding in HRB from 2008 to 2018. The future risk of farmland and water environment in HRB was further forecasted. The results indicated that the livestock and poultry manure has become a key pollution source causing a negative influence on farmland and water quality owing to a large amount of animal manure production without efficient recycle utilization. The chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total nitrogen (TN) discharge of animal manure in HRB almost accounted for 17.00% and 39.00% of the whole COD and TN discharge in China. The diffusion concentration of TN and TP in those regions of Shangqiu, Zhoukou, Heze, Zhumadian, Luohe, Jining, Xuchang, Kaifeng, Taian and Zhengzhou of HRB has exceeded the threshold value 10.00 mg/L of TN and 0.08 mg/L of TP, causing water eutrophication and cancer villages. The assessment of farmland and water quality risk revealed that Zhumadian, Zhoukou, Shangqiu, Taian, Jining, Heze, Linyi and Rizhao belonged to high risk areas in HRB, which were still obtained high farmland and water quality risk index in 2030. The results provided insight into an important significance of sustainable balance of livestock and poultry development and ecosystem in HRB.