The Impact of Tourism Development on the Structure of Agricultural Landscape of the Dongshan River Basin, Taiwan

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Authors:
Wen-Pin Lin, Ling Tung University, Taiwan
Shu-Chun Huang, Shih Hsin University, Taiwan
Email: wenpin@teamail.ltu.edu.tw
Published: September 2014
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijsee.1.1.02

Citation: Lin, W.-P., & Huang, S.-C. (2014). The Impact of Tourism Development on the Structure of Agricultural Landscape of the Dongshan River Basin, Taiwan. IAFOR Journal of Sustainability, Energy & the Environment, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijsee.1.1.02


Abstract

After the establishment of the Dongshan River Scenic Area of Yilan County in Taiwan, land use in the Dongshan River Basin has undergone dramatic change, from agricultural areas to recreational settings, in the past decades. The pur- pose of this study was to apply the approach of landscape ecology to analyze the spatiotemporal transition of the agricultural landscape of the river basin after tour- ism development. The study aimed to examine the landscape change in the river ba- sin and its ecological implications. Maps of the Dongshan River Basin in 1987 and 2003 were generated, and the land uses were grouped into six land-use types: paddy fields, high-density vegetation, low-density vegetation, water, built-up land, and sandy beaches. A set of landscape metrics were computed with FRAGSTATS. The results showed that, from 1987 to 2003, the major change in the river basin land- scape was a rapid increase in the area of built-up patches, while the areas for all other land use decreased. As for paddy fields, although their overall structure was not significantly altered over the study period, 5% (301 hectares) of the paddy fields had been replaced by urban settlements, which included the river park, the booming country house scene, and a traditional arts center. These changes were the main con- tributors to the increasing patch edge of paddy fields. Viewing paddy fields in Dong- shan River Basin as unique man-made habitats, attention is then given to both the dispersion of built-up patches and the increase in size of the patch edge of paddy fields.

Keywords

tourism development, paddy fields, landscape ecology, land-use changes, GIS