Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2022, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (6): 1048-1057.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2022.06.010

• Tourism Resource and Ecotourism • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research on Ecological Carrying Pressure in the Greater Dunhuang Region based on the Relationship between Supply and Consumption

WEN Xin1,2,3(), YAN Huimin1,3,*(), DU Wenpeng1,3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2021-08-20 Accepted:2022-03-20 Online:2022-11-30 Published:2022-10-12
  • Contact: YAN Huimin
  • About author:WEN Xin, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20010202);The National Key Research and Development Program of China(2016YFC0503505)


The Greater Dunhuang Region has experienced ecological degradation in the past 100 years caused by human factors such as ecological immigration, expansion of arable land, and the construction of reservoirs. At present, through the restoration of various ecological projects, the progress of ecological deterioration has slowed down. Ensuring that the development and construction of the Greater Dunhuang Region Cultural Tourism Economic Circle does not threaten ecological security is the top priority of the regional sustainable development plan. Based on the balance between supply and consumption of the ecosystem, this study assesses the pressure of ecological consumption in the Greater Dunhuang Region, and analyzes the patterns and trends in the ecological carrying status. The results reveal three important aspects of the ecological carrying pressure in this Region. (1) After 2000, the ecological supply in the Greater Dunhuang Region experienced a fluctuating growth trend. In the entire ecosystem, the farmland ecosystem provides more than 55% of the ecological supply, and areas with relatively high supply capacity are concentrated in a small number of valleys. (2) The Greater Dunhuang Region is under greater production pressure and there is less pressure from living consumption. The production consumption intensity has exceeded the ecological supply since 2014. The production and consumption structure of the Greater Dunhuang Region is dominated by animal husbandry production and consumption, accounting for more than 65% of the total production and consumption. (3) The Greater Dunhuang Region has been in a state of rich and surplus from 2000 to 2017. However, Dunhuang City turned into a surplus state in 2017 due to the pressure of the fast-growing tourist population. The Greater Dunhuang Region urgently needs to alleviate the ecological pressure through the development of eco-friendly industries. It is necessary to develop an ecological protection resource utilization model that focuses on the development of ecological and cultural services in pastoral areas to ease the pressure on the ecosystem from animal husbandry production.

Key words: the Greater Dunhuang Region, ecological consumption, ecological pressure, ecological pressure state