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Journal of Arid Land  2024, Vol. 16 Issue (5): 603-614    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-024-0013-3
Research article     
Landscape ecological risk assessment and its driving factors in the Weihe River basin, China
CHANG Sen, WEI Yaqi, DAI Zhenzhong, XU Wen, WANG Xing, DUAN Jiajia, ZOU Liang, ZHAO Guorong, REN Xiaoying, FENG Yongzhong*()
College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
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Weihe River basin is of great significance to analyze the changes of land use pattern and landscape ecological risk and to improve the ecological basis of regional development. Based on land use data of the Weihe River basin in 2000, 2010, and 2020, with the support of Aeronautical Reconnaissance Coverage Geographic Information System (ArcGIS), GeoDa, and other technologies, this study analyzed the spatial-temporal characteristics and driving factors of land use pattern and landscape ecological risk. Results showed that land use structure of the Weihe River basin has changed significantly, with the decrease of cropland and the increase of forest land and construction land. In the past 20 a, cropland has decreased by 7347.70 km2, and cropland was mainly converted into forest land, grassland, and construction land. The fragmentation and dispersion of ecological landscape pattern in the Weihe River basin were improved, and land use pattern became more concentrated. Meanwhile, landscape ecological risk of the Weihe River basin has been improved. Severe landscape ecological risk area decreased by 19,177.87 km2, high landscape ecological risk area decreased by 3904.35 km2, and moderate and low landscape ecological risk areas continued to increase. It is worth noting that landscape ecological risks in the upper reaches of the Weihe River basin are still relatively serious, especially in the contiguous areas of high ecological risk, such as Tianshui, Pingliang, Dingxi areas and some areas of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Landscape ecological risk showed obvious spatial dependence, and high ecological risk area was concentrated. Among the driving factors, population density, precipitation, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and their interactions are the most important factors affecting the landscape ecological risk of the Weihe River basin. The findings significantly contribute to our understanding of the ecological dynamics in the Weihe River basin, providing crucial insights for sustainable management in the region.

Key wordsland use      ecological risk      spatiotemporal distribution      geographic detector      driving factors     
Received: 08 December 2023      Published: 31 May 2024
Corresponding Authors: *FENG Yongzhong (E-mail:
Cite this article:

CHANG Sen, WEI Yaqi, DAI Zhenzhong, XU Wen, WANG Xing, DUAN Jiajia, ZOU Liang, ZHAO Guorong, REN Xiaoying, FENG Yongzhong. Landscape ecological risk assessment and its driving factors in the Weihe River basin, China. Journal of Arid Land, 2024, 16(5): 603-614.

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Fig. 1 Spatio-temporal variation of land use types in the Weihe River basin from 2000 to 2020. (a), 2000; (b), 2010; (c), 2020.
Land use type Cropland Forest land Shrub land Grassland Water body Barren land Construction land
Cropland 45,430.50 1598.89 2.73 9365.88 73.28 8.18 2135.01
Forest land 328.71 28,323.06 20.55 72.67 0.08 0.01 1.54
Shrub land 8.98 161.02 33.64 105.26 0.00 0.00 0.01
Grassland 5468.17 3633.04 45.68 35,875.27 14.63 5.05 74.84
Water body 23.19 0.44 0.00 1.20 70.91 0.04 11.63
Barren land 0.27 0.00 0.00 1.46 0.15 0.38 0.21
Construction land 6.95 0.02 0.00 0.16 27.43 0.03 1799.96
Table 1 Land use transfer matrix in the Weihe River basin from 2000 to 2020
Year NP PD (numbers/km2) ED LSI AREA (km2) H'
2000 1,619,590 12.02 72.13 664.24 8.32 1.14
2010 1,401,248 10.40 64.25 591.95 9.62 1.17
2020 1,503,770 11.16 69.48 639.93 8.96 1.20
Change rate (%) -7.15 -7.15 -3.67 -3.66 7.70 5.71
Table 2 Changes in landscape ecological pattern indices in the Weihe River basin
Fig. 2 Area of landscape ecological risk at different levels in the Weihe River basin from 2000 to 2020
Fig. 3 Spatio-temporal variation of landscape ecological risk classification in the Weihe River basin from 2000 to 2020. (a), 2000; (b), 2010; (c), 2020.
Fig. 4 Spatial auto-association cluster of landscape ecological risk in the Weihe River basin from 2000 to 2020. Values in brackets represent the number of grids. (a), 2000; (b), 2010; (c), 2020.
Fig. 5 The q values of driving factors in geographic detector from 2000 to 2020. * indicates that P value is less than 0.001 and q value has significant influence. The q value indicates the influence degree of driving factors on spatial distribution of landscape ecological risk. NDVI, normalized difference vegetation index; DEM, digital elevation model.
Year Driving factor DEM (X1) Slope (X2) NDVI (X3) Annual
2000 Slope (X2) 0.11
NDVI (X3) 0.18 0.14
Annual precipitation (X4) 0.20 0.19 0.19
Population density (X5) 0.18 0.16 0.22 0.22
Annual temperature (X6) 0.11 0.13 0.20 0.22 0.18
Night light (X7) 0.12 0.10 0.13 0.20 0.15 0.13
Slope (X2) 0.07
NDVI (X3) 0.18 0.14
Annual precipitation (X4) 0.17 0.14 0.18
2010 Population density (X5) 0.18 0.16 0.24 0.22
Annual temperature (X6) 0.10 0.10 0.20 0.21 0.18
Night light (X7) 0.13 0.10 0.14 0.19 0.18 0.14
2020 Slope (X2) 0.06
NDVI (X3) 0.18 0.15
Annual precipitation (X4) 0.14 0.11 0.17
Population density (X5) 0.15 0.14 0.23 0.21
Annual temperature(X6) 0.08 0.07 0.20 0.16 0.16
Night light (X7) 0.14 0.11 0.16 0.20 0.18 0.16
Table 3 Interaction of different driving factors in geographic detector
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