Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2019, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (6): 569-573.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.06.001

• Preface •     Next Articles

Ecological Carrying Capacity and Green Development in the “Belt and Road” Initiative Region

ZHEN Lin1,2, XU Zengrang1,*(), ZHAO Yuan3,4, WANG Jijun5,6, HU Yunfeng1,2, WANG Juanle1,7   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Ginling College, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China
    4. School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China
    5. Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
    6. Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China;
    7. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2019-09-20 Accepted:2019-11-12 Online:2019-11-30 Published:2019-12-09
  • Contact: XU Zengrang
  • Supported by:
    The Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20010202);The Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research(2019QZKK0600);The National Natural Science Foundation of China(41571496);The National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971263);The National Key Research and Development Programme(2016YFC0503403)


Since the 1970s, resource crisis, environmental pollution and ecological degradation have become prominent globally, and the limits to growth have always been an important theoretical and policy issue. The technological system of early warning and regulation based on carrying capacity evaluation has great potential in natural resource utilization, environmental management and ecosystem conservation. In this paper, the evolution of carrying capacity research and the concept of ecological carrying capacity are summarized, and the existing evaluation methods of ecological carrying capacity are classified into ecological footprint method, comprehensive index system method, ecosystem service analysis method and human appropriation of net primary productivity method. The current problems in ecological carrying capacity study were analyzed and the trend was outlooked. Combined with the special issue, the recent proceeding of ecological carrying capacity study in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) region was narrated, from the aspects of ecological carrying capacity evaluation method and application, the supply and consumption of ecosystem services, and the resources use and environment change. Some suggestions have been proposed to improve the accuracy and reliability of ecological carrying capacity evaluation: 1) the spatial heterogeneity and temporal dynamic change of ecological carrying capacity should be explored furtherly; 2) the interaction between ecological process and human activities should be simulated; 3) factors such as climate change, human activities and ecological products and ecological service flows should be integrated into the evaluation system of ecological carrying capacity.

Key words: ecological carrying capacity, ecological footprint, ecosystem services, green development, the “Belt and Road” Initiative;