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Population, land use and environmental impacts in Shuchen County, Anhui Province, China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties

Population, land use and environmental impacts in Shuchen County, Anhui Province, China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties
Population, land use and environmental impacts in Shuchen County, Anhui Province, China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties
The paper considers the documented environmental history of Shucheng County, located in Anhui Province, eastern China, during the Ming and Qing dynasties. We take Shucheng County as a case study to reconstruct the variations of population and land use in the last 500 years, and to examine their influence on the environmental changes in this region. Data are compiled for population, land use, settlement, recorded climate hazards, and consequent disasters such as drought and flooding. The causative links between climate, human activities and environmental responses are not straightforward. At times, climate seems to have acted as a strong control on human activities, especially the timing of early agricultural expansion in the warm and wet late Ming period. But at other times human activities appear to have strongly modified environmental responses to climate. For example, while the overall incidence of flooding seems to be linked to periods of wetter climate the long term rising trend in the flood record on the Hangbu and Fengle rivers tracks the long term development of hydraulically engineered river systems, the expansion of paddy field agriculture and exploitation of the mountains.
environmental history, anhui, ming, qing, population, land use
0967-3407
61-78
Yan, Zuozhi
f83256b1-cc11-4db5-9875-178297e5c133
Gu, Hongyi
df4fd634-11ec-4c5a-b66c-3cdc8becaeab
Dai, Yangben
d1336aa1-962d-4ecc-a23f-a01e79ad2f8a
Wu, Xuande
4c7a4c10-6f09-4b96-806b-8f39d351c2ce
Dearing, John A.
dff37300-b8a6-4406-ad84-89aa01de03d7
Zhang, Weiguo
dbf82c28-a608-4281-8512-440597f9d715
Yu, Lizhong
5188ff36-ec81-4d48-93f4-4a7da5456362
Yan, Zuozhi
f83256b1-cc11-4db5-9875-178297e5c133
Gu, Hongyi
df4fd634-11ec-4c5a-b66c-3cdc8becaeab
Dai, Yangben
d1336aa1-962d-4ecc-a23f-a01e79ad2f8a
Wu, Xuande
4c7a4c10-6f09-4b96-806b-8f39d351c2ce
Dearing, John A.
dff37300-b8a6-4406-ad84-89aa01de03d7
Zhang, Weiguo
dbf82c28-a608-4281-8512-440597f9d715
Yu, Lizhong
5188ff36-ec81-4d48-93f4-4a7da5456362

Yan, Zuozhi, Gu, Hongyi, Dai, Yangben, Wu, Xuande, Dearing, John A., Zhang, Weiguo and Yu, Lizhong (2009) Population, land use and environmental impacts in Shuchen County, Anhui Province, China during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Environment and History, 15 (1), 61-78. (doi:10.3197/096734009X404662).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The paper considers the documented environmental history of Shucheng County, located in Anhui Province, eastern China, during the Ming and Qing dynasties. We take Shucheng County as a case study to reconstruct the variations of population and land use in the last 500 years, and to examine their influence on the environmental changes in this region. Data are compiled for population, land use, settlement, recorded climate hazards, and consequent disasters such as drought and flooding. The causative links between climate, human activities and environmental responses are not straightforward. At times, climate seems to have acted as a strong control on human activities, especially the timing of early agricultural expansion in the warm and wet late Ming period. But at other times human activities appear to have strongly modified environmental responses to climate. For example, while the overall incidence of flooding seems to be linked to periods of wetter climate the long term rising trend in the flood record on the Hangbu and Fengle rivers tracks the long term development of hydraulically engineered river systems, the expansion of paddy field agriculture and exploitation of the mountains.

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More information

Published date: February 2009
Keywords: environmental history, anhui, ming, qing, population, land use

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 63764
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/63764
ISSN: 0967-3407
PURE UUID: 55ae45df-8e33-46fc-9a35-6a8d6a19bedd
ORCID for John A. Dearing: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1466-9640

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 20 Mar 2009
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 01:53

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Contributors

Author: Zuozhi Yan
Author: Hongyi Gu
Author: Yangben Dai
Author: Xuande Wu
Author: John A. Dearing ORCID iD
Author: Weiguo Zhang
Author: Lizhong Yu

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