Assessment of land degradation in the North China Plain driven by food security goals

Ziyue Yu, Xiangzheng Deng

    Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Land degradation directly affects global and regional economic, social development, and food security, which has become a hot and challenging issue in the global ecological field. A successful response to land degradation requires understanding its causes, impacts, and extent. It is also essential to recognize the effects of climate, soil, water, land cover, and socioeconomic factors on land degradation. Therefore, assessing land degradation risk can help prevent and reverse land degradation trends, especially for the main grain production area. The Environmental Sensitivity Area Index (ESAI) was used to identify land degradation sensitive areas in the North China Plain and combined with a random forest model to determine the main drivers affecting land degradation and predict future land degradation sensitive areas. The results show decreasing land degradation risk in the North China Plain. In 2015, the sensitivity of land degradation in the North China Plain had improved. The proportion of land area with high sensitivity to land degradation reduced to 0.02%. Combining the spatial and temporal distribution of ESAI and the prediction results of the random forest model, we know that socio-economic factors have the most significant impact on land degradation sensitivity. Although the risk of land degradation is decreasing, it is still necessary to pay attention to the possible future land degradation risk to stabilize food production. Assessing land degradation risk in North China Plain provides important decision information for rational and sustainable land management and has more vital practical significance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number106766
    JournalEcological Engineering
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


    • Environmental sensitive area index
    • Land degradation
    • NDVI
    • North China Plain
    • Random forest

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Engineering
    • Nature and Landscape Conservation
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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