• karst rocky desertification;
  • land use;
  • restoration strategies;
  • spatial analysis;
  • GIS;
  • Guizhou Province;
  • PR China;
  • Landsat imaging


Karst rocky desertification (KRD) has become one of the most important eco-environmental problems in China. In order to put forward valid restoration strategies, the spatial-temporal KRD evolution processes were analyzed mathematically using 1:100 000 scale digital KRD distribution maps of Guizhou Province obtained from interpreting Landsat images from 1986, 1995, and 2000. The results showed that: (1) no obvious change took place in the total area of KRD land, but the mutual transformation of different types of KRD land was remarkable. (2) The change patterns of KRD land were classified into three types: simple mode, continuous mode, and reverted mode. (3) The total change rate of KRD land was 398·31 km2 per year. (4) The higher the rank of KRD land is, the lower the change rate of KRD land will be. (5) Moderate KRD land had the fastest change frequency and was feasible to change to another type. On the whole, these indicated that the expansion of KRD had been brought under control because of the successful execution many ecological construction programmes. However, new KRD land appeared meanwhile owing to ‘backward’ eco-social development, and this should be clearly recognized. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.