Sub-regional Assessment of China: Urbanization in Biodiversity Hotspots
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2013, Springer Netherlands. All rights reserved. China has been urbanizing rapidly since the early 1980s. This is manifested by large rural-urban population migrations and by the expansion of urban areas and the built environment. One consequence of urban expansion has been the loss of fertile agricultural land. Another, less noticed, has been the urban expansion within biodiversity hotspots. Throughout the country, expansion of urban areas have increasingly threatened habitats critical for conservation of biodiversity (Mc Laren 2011). Especially along the coast, many ecosystems have been destroyed as a result of continuous building and development (Zhao et al. 2006). On the other hand, further inland and especially along major rivers, the economic development and urban growth has increasingly been impacting ecologically sensitive lands (Li 2012).