Resources Science ›› 2019, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (6): 1093-1101.doi: 10.18402/resci.2019.06.08

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial distribution and temporal changes of facility agriculture on the Tibetan Plateau

Hui WEI1,2(), Changhe LV1,2(), Yaqun LIU1,2, Kaijie YANG3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Forestry College, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
  • Received:2018-12-19 Revised:2019-01-13 Online:2019-06-25 Published:2019-06-25


During the past decade, the rapid growth of facility agriculture has been a new highlight of agricultural development in the Tibetan Plateau. Revealing the spatial distribution and change characteristics of facility agriculture is helpful for understanding its development trend and can provide supports for its planning and spatial layout on the plateau. Based on the high-resolution imagery data of Google Earth in 2018, this study obtained and revealed the spatial distribution of facility agriculture on the plateau by visual interpretation combined with geostatistical analysis. Further, the spatiotemporal changes of facility agriculture in Xining and Lhasa Cities were analyzed based on high-resolution images of 2008 and 2018. The results show that: (1) In 2018, the total area of facility agriculture on the Tibetan Plateau was 7821.74 hm2, mainly distributed at the periphery of cities in river basins, roughly in line with the rivers. Of the total facility agriculture lands, 58.10% was distributed in Qinghai Province and 36.49% in Tibet Autonomous Region; (2) Facility agriculture showed a significant altitudinal differentiation under the influence of topographic factors. The land was distributed between 1400 m and 4600 m, mostly concentrated in two elevation zones of 2200~2600 m and 3600~3700 m; (3) Facility agriculture grew rapidly in Xining and Lhasa Cities from 2008 to 2018, with the area increased from 293.73 hm2 and 429.01 hm2 to 2111.45 hm2 and 1422.30 hm2, respectively. At the same time, more than 60% of facility agriculture lands in the urban areas was occupied by built-up land, resulting in significant changes in the spatial pattern; (4) There is a good prospect for the development of facility agriculture in the region because of strongly anticipated growing demands for vegetables and melons driven by the rapid urbanization and tourism development. To that end, a general planning for facility agricultural development is needed in order to avoid the lands being frequently changed and resulting in wasteful use, improve the situation of highly depending on single type of greenhouses, and avoid possible ecological problems such as plastic pollution.

Key words: facility agriculture, spatial distribution, spatiotemporal changes, high-resolution image, Tibetan Plateau