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    Nitrogen Addition Decreases Soil Respiration without Changing the Temperature Sensitivity in a Semiarid Grassland
    DU Wei, LI Yue, HE Pei, ZHANG Jiaqi, JING Haichao, NIE Cheng, LIU Yinghui
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (2): 129-139.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.02.001
    Abstract164)      PDF (829KB)(57)      
    The mechanisms underlying the response of soil respiration (Rs) to nitrogen (N) addition remain to be explored in semiarid ecosystems. This study was conducted to determine the effect of N addition on soil microbial composition, Rs and the temperature sensitivity of Rs (Q10). The N addition experiment was carried out in a semiarid grassland in China, with N fertilizer application rates of 0, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 g N m-2 yr-1. Microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), Rs and Q10 were measured, and their relationships with soil properties were determined for three growing seasons. The results showed that N addition significantly increased the content of soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and inorganic nitrogen (IN), and decreased soil pH. With respect to soil microbes, N addition reduced soil PLFAs, reduced the fungi to bacteria ratio (F:B) and increased the gram-positive bacteria to gram-negative bacteria ratio (G+:G-). Rs under the N2, N4, N8, N16 and N32 treatments decreased by 2.58%, 14.86%, 22.62%, 23.97% and 19.87%, respectively, compared to the N0 (control) treatment. The results of structural equation models showed that N addition reduced Rs by lowering soil PLFAs and altering the microbial composition. However, N addition had no significant effect on either Q10, soil total organic carbon (TOC) or total nitrogen (TN), indicating that N addition alleviated soil carbon loss and was unlikely to change the potential for a bigger loss under global warming.
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    Spatial Distribution Pattern of the Catering Industry in A Tourist City: Taking Lhasa City as A Case
    LI Yunyun, LIU Haiyang, WANG Ling-en
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (2): 191-205.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.02.007
    Abstract146)      PDF (1036KB)(9)      
    Affected by factors such as the city’s functional orientation and tourism consumption, the spatial layout of the catering industry in a tourism city has its own distinctive characteristics. The spatial distribution characteristics of the catering industry and the factors impacting it (from the perspectives of transportation, tourism resources and population) in the main city area of Lhasa, Tibet were analysed through point of interest data mining, average nearest neighbour analysis, a standard deviational ellipse, kernel density estimation, and buffer analysis in ArcGIS software. As a result, the spatial distribution pattern showed catering providers are mainly aggregated in the vicinity of areas with either developed transportation or rich tourism resources. The resident population has an important but inconclusive influence on the distribution, while the distribution of its concentration is highly consistent with that of the instant population. Considering the spatial structure, functional orientation, and tourism development of the area, measures are proposed for optimizing the spatial layout of the catering industry in this tourism-heavy plateau city.
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    Evaluation of Water Yield and Soil Erosion in the Three-River-Source Region under Different Land-Climate Sce-narios
    GAO Min, XIAO Yan, HU Yunfeng
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (1): 13-26.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.01.002
    Abstract121)      PDF (2546KB)(101)      
    Exploring the water yield and soil conservation in the Three-River-Source region is of great significance for evaluating both the ecological stability of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Yellow River basin, Yangtze River basin and Lancang River basin and the sustainable development of human society. The data sources for this study were land use/cover data from four phases (2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015), daily precipitation and temperature datasets, and the 1:1000000 Chinese soil database. These data were combined with vector data, such as data on settlements, roads, and rivers, along with population, economic raster datasets and CCSM4 common climate model prediction results. The Three-River-Source region was taken as the study area, and four land use/cover development scenarios and two climate change scenarios were designed based on the FLUS model and the downscaling correction method. The InVEST model was used to quantitatively simulate the water yield and soil erosion under different scenarios in the study area in 2030. The results showed the following: (1) Under different land use/cover development scenarios, grassland remained the dominant land use/cover type in the Three-River-Source region, and the area ratio was always greater than 67%. (2) Under the RCP4.5 climate scenario, the annual water yield and soil erosion increased by more than 7% and 3.9%, respectively. Under the RCP8.5 climate scenario, the annual water yield and soil erosion decreased by more than 3.3% and 1.3%, respectively. (3) Climate change played a leading role in the changes in water yield and soil erosion. Climate change contributed as much as 89.97%–98.00% to the change in water yield and 60.49%–95.64% to the change in the soil erosion modulus. However, the contribution of land use/cover changes to the change in regional water yield was only 2.00%–10.03%, and the contribution of the soil erosion modulus change was 4.36%–39.91%. Therefore, the land use development strategy in the Three-River-Source region should comprehensively consider issues such as regional development, the input of returning farmland to forest and grassland, and the resulting ecological benefits.
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    Progress in Research on the Influences of Climatic Changes on the Industrial Economy in China
    LIU Yuanzhe, SONG Wei, ZHAO Dongsheng, GAO Jiangbo
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (1): 1-12.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.01.001
    Abstract109)      PDF (528KB)(103)      
    Global climate changes have led to ocean acidification, ice and snow melting, a continuous rise in temperature, and an increasing frequency of extreme weather events, with profound impacts on the social economic system. With the aggravation from climate changes, even the industrial fields with a relatively strong resistance to climatic changes have also suffered serious losses. At present, the vulnerability of the industrial field is growing, and the absolute economic losses are increasing. The quantitative evaluation of these industrial economic losses is therefore an important basis for formulating policies to tackle global climate change, and analyzing the current research progress can provide ideas and methods for the effective evaluation of the industrial economy. Therefore, in this paper, we summarized both the positive and negative effects of climate changes on the industrial fields and found that the influences of climatic changes on different industrial sectors are slightly variable. For example, while the mining industry, so far, has positively responded to the changing climate, severe weather events such as storms, drought, and rain could severely impede the normal production and business operation activities of the mining industry in the future. The manufacturing industry mostly involves indoor jobs, which are relatively resistant to extreme weather events, and some industries have complex response mechanisms. In terms of the construction industry, its losses are mainly indirect through increased electricity costs. The production and supply industries for electricity, heat, and water would suffer transmission supply losses in extreme weather events; and as the largest carbon emission industries, the costs of emission reduction would affect the economic growth of this sector in the short term. Overall, the industrial sectors pay relatively high costs for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and therefore, the quantitative evaluation of industrial economic losses through models is crucial for both the development of reasonable policies and ensuring a smooth and consistent growth of the industrial economy.
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    A Study of China’s Air Pollution Prevention and Control Policy Framework from a Policy Instrument Perspective
    QIN Qin, SUN Youhai
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (2): 182-190.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.02.006
    Abstract107)      PDF (585KB)(17)      
    Environmental pollution caused by rapid economic development like that seen in China over the past twenty years poses various threats to human health. People have started to place much more of an emphasis on environmental security, working to find a balance between sustainability and economic growth. In recent years, air pollution has emerged as a highly discussed topic of social and environmental relevance in China, due in part to persistent smog that affects everyday life and causes serious harm to human health. Although air pollution is normally associated with human activity, is can be caused by natural processes such as eruptions and forest fires, but is always characterized by the release of certain substances into the atmosphere which, when present in certain concentrations or for given durations, can harm human health, daily life, productivity, and other aspects. In humans, it mainly affects the respiratory system, notably the lungs, as well as the immune system. A series of studies both in China and overseas have shown, in certain cases, even low concentrations of air pollution can pose a great threat to human health. In this study, we conducted an analysis of air quality policies, focusing on the 2018 revision of the People’s Republic of China’s Law on the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution (LPCAP). We utilized the content analysis method and Strauss and Corbin’s grounded theory to construct a policy framework, demarcate analysis units, code and classify policy texts, determine descriptive statistics, and analyze dimensional interactions. We used two dimensions (basic policy instruments classified as demand-, supply-, and environment-side; and air carrying capacity) to quantify and analyze the LPCAP, which enabled us to analyze the deficiencies and conflicts within policy instruments. The results show a higher utilization frequency of environment-side policy instruments, particularly regulation management and strategic measures. This reflects efforts by the government to create a favorable environment for improving air quality. Additionally, supply-side policy instruments are used far less frequently than environment-side policy instruments. Air quality legal policies and pollution control measures mainly consist of environment-side policy instruments; ecological thinking and air quality policies that are based mainly on supply-side and environment-side policy instruments; and social coordination policies that mainly use environment-side policy instruments. Based on the results of this study, we recommend an increase in the number of supply- and demand-side policy instruments, particularly the latter which includes promoting ecological thinking amongst citizens, to optimize and improve air pollution prevention and control policies.
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    Coupling the Occurrence of Correlative Plant Species to Predict the Habitat Suitability for Lesser White-fronted Goose (Anser erythropus) under Climate Change: A Case Study in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River
    XIANG Ling, GAO Xiang, PENG Yuhui, LIANG Jie
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (2): 140-149.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.02.002
    Abstract104)      PDF (2300KB)(17)      
    Climate change and human activities influence species biodiversity by altering their habitats. This paper quantitatively analyzed the effects of climate change on a migratory bird. The Lesser White-fronted Goose (LWfG), a species which migrates via the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River region, is an herbivorous species of high ecological value. It is an endangered species threatened by climate change and human activities, so comprehensive information about its distribution is required. To assess the effectiveness of conservation of the LWfG under climate change, both climate variables and human activities are often used to predict the potential changes in the distribution and habitat suitability for LWfG. In this work, the current scenario and the Global Circulation Models (GCMs) climate scenarios were used to simulate the future distribution of the species. However, besides climate change and human activities, the spatial pattern of plants surrounding the wetland is also known to be closely related to the distribution of LWfG. Therefore, the distribution model results of six plant species related to LWfG’s diet selection were used as environment variables to reflect the changes of suitable LWfG habitat. These environmental variables significantly improved the model’s performance for LWfG, since the birds were clearly influenced by the plant distribution factors. Meanwhile, the suitable habitat area decreases by 2070 in GCM models under two representative concentration pathways scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). More appropriate management and conservation policies should be taken to adapt to future climate change. These adjustments include modifications of the size, shape and use of the conservation area for this species.
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    Are There Differences in the Response of Natural Stand and Plantation Biomass to Changes in Temperature and Precipitation? A Case for Two-needled Pines in Eurasia
    USOLTSEV Vladimir Andreevich, SHOBAIRI Seyed Omid Reza, TSEPORDEY Ivan Stepanovich, AHRARI Amirhossein, ZHANG Meng, SHOAIB Ahmad Anees, CHASOVSKIKH Viktor Petrovich
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (4): 331-341.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.04.001
    Abstract100)   HTML1)    PDF (1562KB)(16)      

    A comparative discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of natural stands and plantations, including in terms of their productivity and stability, began from the moment of the first forest plantings and continues to this day. In the context of the progressive replacement of natural forests by plantations due to deforestation, the question of how will change the carbon storage capacity of forest cover when replacing natural forests with artificial ones in a changing climate becomes extremely relevant. This article presents the first attempt to answer this question at the transcontinental level on a special case for two-needled pine trees (subgenus Pinus L.). The research was carried out using the database compiled by the authors on the single-tree biomass structure of forest-forming species of Eurasia, in particular, data of 1880 and 1967 of natural and plantation trees, respectively. Multi-factor regression models are calculated after combining the matrix of initial data on the structure of tree biomass with the mean January temperature and mean annual precipitation, and their adequacy indices allow us to consider them reproducible. It is found that the aboveground and stem biomass of equal-sized and equal-aged natural and plantation trees increases as the January temperature and precipitation rise. This pattern is only partially valid for the branches biomass, and it has a specific character for the foliage one. The biomass of all components of plantation trees is higher than that of natural trees, but the percent of this excess varies among different components and depends on the level of January temperatures, but does not depend at all on the level of annual precipitation. A number of uncertainties that arose during the modeling process, as well as the preliminary nature of the obtained regularities, are noted.

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    Ecological Security Assessment of the Yancheng National Nature Reserve based on GIS
    LI Haiping, GAO Ge, LI Jing
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (1): 38-49.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.01.004
    Abstract99)      PDF (2839KB)(253)      
    This study used remote sensing and GIS to analyze the landscape pattern changes in the Yancheng Nature Reserve from 1983 to 2018, established an evaluation index system based on the regional natu-ral-socio-economic complex ecosystem security pattern, and then analyzed the spatial characteristics of eco-logical security changes and discusses reasons for these changes. The results show that the landscape pattern changed dramatically from natural landscape to a mixture of natural landscape and artificial landscape from 1983 to 2018 due to the intensification of human activities. At present, the ecological security status of the protected areas is not optimistic. From the perspective of the survival status of red-crowned cranes, the protected areas are suitable. However, due to the increase of human activities and policy adjustments, the habitat of red-crowned cranes is fragmented. The red-crowned crane currently gathers in localized areas such as the core area and the buffer zone. We should pay more attention to management, policy development and the environmental awareness of local residents. At the same time, it is necessary to reduce the intensity of human activities within the reserve.
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    Development of Optimal City Size Theory: A Critical View
    ZHANG Yang
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (1): 100-110.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.01.010
    Abstract98)      PDF (488KB)(164)      
    Nowadays more and more people reside in metropolitan areas, and the impact of this phenomenon is clearly creating challenges for the environment, the economy and the society at large. It is therefore useful and in-structive to consider the issue of optimal city size and review the literature over the past decades on optimal city size theory. Based on the progress in recent years of comparative analysis and inductive research, from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, this paper outlines the original definitions proposed for optimal city size and discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of the various theories. The two prevailing models in the classical analysis of optimal city size, the Henry George Theorem (HGT) and the neoclassical approach, are examined later. This paper then introduces the supply oriented dynamic model (SOUDY model) and offers a plausible model for optimal city size based on the general equilibrium analysis, which is related to sustainable development. The results show that: (1) Simple optimal city size theories come from the cost-benefit analysis developed by main stream economics, and therefore cannot overcome the defect that the optimal size of cities is the same since the same production function; (2)The Henry George Theorem, which is one of the classical analysis paradigms of optimal city size, has been used more frequently in recent years to research the issues of optimal tax and public goods and has gradually lost its connection to the topic of optimal city size; (3) The neoclassical approach to optimal city size consists of externalities influencing optimal city size, the equilibrium and optimal models for city size, the optimal town, product variety and city size distribution. This kind of research is still in the mainstream of the study of optimal city size. Compared to single optimal city size, more attention is paid to the optimal distribution of city size; and (4) The supply-oriented dynamic model allows for the integration of a spatial dimension into the economic research of optimal city size, and the constraint between city level and city size is relaxed and this has more power to explain real-world problems. At the same time, the general equilibrium analysis, as a significant economic research method, provides a new perspective for the study of optimal city size. The supply-oriented dynamic model and general equilibrium analysis are two new research paradigms that deserve more attention in the analysis of optimal city size.
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    Change in the Distribution of National Bird (Himalayan Monal) Habitat in Gandaki River Basin, Central Himalayas
    Raju RAI, Basanta PAUDEL, GU Changjun, Narendra Raj KHANAL
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (2): 223-231.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.02.010
    Abstract98)      PDF (5933KB)(7)      
    Gandaki River Basin (GRB) is part of the central Himalayan region, which provides habitat for numerous wild species. However, due to changes in climate and land cover, the habitats of many protected species are at risk. Based on the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model, coupled with bioclimatic layers, land cover and DEM data, the impacts of environmental factors on habitat suitability of Himalayan Monal (Lophophorus impejanus), a national bird of Nepal, was quantified. This study further assessed the present and future habitat and distribution of the Himalayan Monal in the context of climate and land cover changes. The results of this study show that the highly suitable habitat of Himalayan Monal presently occupies around 749 km2 within the northern, eastern and western parts, particularly protected areas such as Langtang National Park, Manaslu Conservation Area and Annapurna Conservation Area, while it is likely to decrease to 561 km2 by 2050, primarily in the northern and northwestern parts (i.e., Chhyo, Tatopani, Humde and Chame). These expected changes indicate increasing risk for Himalayan Monal due to a decline in its suitable habitat area.
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    Analysis of Obstacles to Sustainable Development of Ecotourism in Nature Reserves: A Field Investigation of Three National Na-ture Reserves in Liaoning Province
    LU Xiaobo, CHEN Xiaoying
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (1): 50-58.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.01.005
    Abstract95)      PDF (373KB)(30)      
    Nature reserves are key sites for ecotourism. In the context of sustainable development, a great number of ecotourism practices have been carried out in nature reserves around the world. Important ecotourism practices in nature reserves include the establishment of ecotourism certification systems, the development of management mechanisms promoting effective community participation and the development of standards for ecotourism practices. This paper uses questionnaires, a field investigation and interviews to examine the obstacles influencing the sustainable development of ecotourism in nature reserves, taking three nature reserves in Liaoning Province to serve as examples. The study found that there are two kinds of obstacles to the sustainable development of ecotourism in nature reserves. The first group of obstacles all represent common problems in China including: (1) environmental education is ignored; (2) community participation occurs on an ad hoc basis; (3) tourism management is not rigorous; (4) nature reserve administration is in a state of confrontation with local governments and residents. The second group of obstacles consists of specific problems faced by ecotourism in the three nature reserve, each of which has its own natural, social, cultural and economic environment that generate unique difficulties for ecotourism. In order to promote the healthy improvement of nature reserve ecotourism and achieve the goal of sustainable development, the research team puts forward five suggestions, developing correct understanding, striving to meet the reasonable demands of stakeholders, establishing scientific mechanisms, increasing the social responsibility of management departments of nature reserve ecotourism, and providing separate supervision and management.
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    Comparison and Analysis of Estimation Methods for Heavy Metal Pollution of Farmland Soils
    Mamattursun EZIZ, Adila HAYRAT, YANG Xiuyun
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (5): 435-442.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.05.001
    Abstract94)   HTML1)    PDF (492KB)(22)      

    Heavy metal pollution of farmland soils is a serious environmental problem. The accurate estimation of heavy metal pollution levels of farmland soils is very crucial for sustainable agriculture. Concentrations of heavy metal elements (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in farmland soils at 186 sampling sites in the Baghrash Lake Basin, NW China, were determined and analyzed based on the pollution index (Pi), the geo-accumulation index (Igeo), the enrichment factor (EF), the ecological risk index (ER), and the environmental risk index (Ier). The results of these five different estimation methods were compared and discussed. The obtained results indicated that the average concentrations of all the heavy metals in the farmland soils of the study area were lower than the Soil Environmental Quality of China (GB 15168-2018) levels, but the average concentrations of Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, and Zn exceed the corresponding background values. Significant differences in estimation results existed between the five estimation methods. Based on the identified concentrations, the average Pi, Igeo, and EF values of the heavy metals in farmland soils decreased in the order of: Zn > Pb > Cd > Cr > Ni > Cu > As, whereas the average ER values decreased in the order of: Cd > As > Cu > Pb > Ni > Cr > Zn, and the average Ier values decreased in the order of: Cd > Cu > Zn > As = Pb > Cr > Ni. The pollution class values with different estimation methods were ranked as: Pi > Igeo = EF > ER = Ier. The obtained results suggest that the most appropriate estimation method and soil background values of farmlands should be used for better understanding the environmental quality of farmland soils. Overall, the EF and ER methods are recommended for assessing heavy metal pollution risks of farmland soils.

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    Safety Evaluation of Sustainable Uranium Development in China Combined with an Analytical GAN Framework
    LIU Liangyan, CHENG Ming
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (4): 394-404.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.04.008
    Abstract94)   HTML0)    PDF (622KB)(4)      

    Uranium is the basic raw material for nuclear energy and is quite highly regarded. Developing a safe supply of uranium is important for safeguarding sustainable nuclear development. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the sustainability of uranium development in China based on dynamic system modeling combined with GAN (Generative Adversarial Network) analysis. We considered eight essential indicators and 42 sub-indicators as part of a detailed quantitative description, and then developed a framework to evaluate and rank China-specific sustainability in light of the quantitative performance of five options for fuel cycle transition scenarios. We began by using KMO sample measurements and the Bartlett Test of Sphericity to determine the suitability of factor analysis and the fitness of the corrected model map and observation data. We then analyzed the roles of different representatives of the decision makers and their impacts on the overall ranking by applying GAN methods from a weighted perspective. Five transition scenarios identified are 1) Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors, 2) Mixed Light Water Reactor + Fast Reactor, 3) Mixed LWR+FR fuel cycle scheme with heterogeneous irradiation, 4) Mixed Pressurized Water Reactor + FR fuel cycle scheme with plutonium recycled directly and repeatedly, and 5) Sodium-cooled fast breeder reactor power plant. The results showed that scenario 1 is the most unsustainable and highly confrontational scenario with a high demand for uranium resources, the lowest sustainability and a high level of antagonism among departments. On the other hand, Scenario 5 requires more advanced technology but exhibits less antagonism among the departments, and thus it largely satisfies the basic requirements for uranium sustainability and low levels of antagonism. In this paper, a safety assessment index system for the uranium supply is computed using a GAN framework. This system plays a crucial role in the sustainable supply and development of uranium, and provides flexibility for coping with the evolution and inherent uncertainties of the necessary technological developments.

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    Analysis of the Causes of Cyanobacteria Bloom: A Review
    ZHOU Bing, CAI Xiaoli, WANG Sen, YANG Xinxin
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (4): 405-413.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.04.009
    Abstract93)   HTML0)    PDF (680KB)(10)      

    Among water blooms, cyanobacteria bloom occurs over the widest range and is much more harmful than other blooms. Its occurrence in inland water bodies is affected by many factors, such as meteorology, hydrology, and human activities. Therefore, the study of the causes of cyanobacterial bloom has become a major focus of scholars. The China Knowledge Network Journal Database contains 143 papers from China and abroad from the years 2004 to 2019 that are relevant to the study of cyanobacteria bloom. We begin by analyzing keywords in these studies and creating a keyword distribution map which indicates the factors related to the blooms. Based on parameters such as the frequency of words appearing in the text, the full text of each of the 143 papers is analyzed to form a word cloud created by a program written in Python language. After irrelevant terms are eliminated, the word cloud map can reveal potential factors that were not identified by keywords alone. After completing this macro analysis, we examined approximately 100 related papers from the China Knowledge Network Journal Database and Web of Science Database published from 2014 to 2019. Finally, we summarize the main reasons for the outbreak of water blooms. The factors causing blooms can be divided into natural factors and human factors. Among the natural factors are illumination, water temperature and nutrient salt conditions. The human factors are generally related to large-scale water conservancy projects. This paper analyzes and summarizes these factors, and provides a reference to aid in the prevention and treatment of algal blooms. The information in the paper has a certain practical significance for the protection of water environments.

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    Optimum Solution for the Safe Drinking Water Crisis in Tala Upazila, Bangladesh
    Sajidur RAHMAN, ZHAO Junkai
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (2): 213-222.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.02.009
    Abstract92)      PDF (5238KB)(16)      
    Coastal areas of Bangladesh are especially vulnerable due to their physiographic location and exposure to natural calamities. Around 35 million people living in coastal areas have no access or limited access to safe drinking water. Contamination of water sources by salinity, arsenic or iron are the principal causes of water scarcity. Rising sea levels and unevenness of climatic events due to climate change will exacerbate the situation in coastal areas, especially in the southwestern coastal zone. This study examines one of the vulnerable coastal upazila Tala at Satkhira (an “upazila” is a medium level administrative unit in Bangladesh) in the southwestern zone of Bangladesh to understand the gravity of the problems. The study develops a GIS based multi-criteria analysis to identify suitable options and locations of fresh water as part of a current and future solution to the problems and further deterioration. To fulfill the objectives, a questionnaire-based GPS guided field survey was conducted to collect details of field level conditions in order to find a suitable solution. Because aquifers are considered the primary source of drinking water, field data have been analyzed for two distinct aquifers, one relatively shallow and one deeper, to understand aquifer quality. Potentiality of different water sources the socioeconomic status of communities, types of water use and corresponding sources and water demand are also evaluated. The analysis finds that alternative water sources that are safe are difficult to find, because both surface and groundwater-based sources are already contaminated, and there are no nearby, easily accessible safe sources. Groundwater-based sources are contaminated by arsenic, iron or salinity, and surface water-based sources are not in use due to maintenance and management issues. In some cases, surface water sources are polluted by flash flooding of high saline water during storm surges or seepage from saline water-based aquacultures. Multiple limitations identified during field observations and field data analysis were considered as an analytical parameter A GIS based multi-criteria analysis incorporated field data, including Geo-spatial and socioeconomic information for road networks, settlement locations, number of households, quality and quantity of existing water sources, water demand and business opportunities. The analysis found some potential options in distributed locations which are consistent with community demand. Suggested options made use of technologies that are already understood and commonly used by communities, like deep tubewells, PSFs (Pond Sand Filter) and WTPs (Water Treatment Plant). In the study area, PSF is the most commonly used method and to make this surface water-based technology sustainable some precautionary measurements are suggested.
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    Effects of Grassland Restoration Approaches in Different Major Function-oriented Zones of the Headwater Region of the Yellow River in China
    WEI Yunjie, ZHEN Lin, DU Bingzhen
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (2): 150-158.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.02.003
    Abstract90)      PDF (560KB)(17)      
    Given the high alpine grassland coverage and intensive animal grazing activity, the ecosystem and livelihood of the herders are extremely vulnerable in the headwater region of the Yellow River. A series of programs have been implemented by the Chinese government to restore degraded grasslands in this region, and major function-oriented zones (MFOZs) applied in 2014, have divided the region into three zones, i.e., the development prioritized, restricted, and prohibited zones, based on environmental carrying capacity, as well as the utilization intensity of grassland. This study identified various restoration approaches adopted in different MFOZs, and assessed the effects of the approaches in order to determine the most effective approaches. We collected 195 questionnaires from herders to analyze the effects of the various restoration approaches, and additional remote sensing and statistical data were also used for the analysis. Four distinct differences in the ecological and socioeconomic characteristics were found in three MFOZs. (1) Five technologies were applied in the study areas. (2) The grassland recovery rate was higher in development prioritized zones than in restricted and prohibited zones during 2000 and 2016, and especially high and very high coverage grasslands increased in the areas where crop-forage cultivation and grass seeding dominated in the prioritized zones. (3) The net income of households in the development prioritized zone was the best of all three zones. (4) The degree of awareness and willingness of herders to restore grassland was more positive in development prioritized zones than in restricted zones, where more herders adopted approaches with a combination of enclosure + deratization + crop-forage cultivation + warm shed. Based on these findings, it is recommended that decision-makers need to increase their efforts to narrow the gap of willingness and behavior between herders and other stakeholders, such as researchers and grassland administrators, in order to ensure grassland sustainability in the MFOZs. It is also beneficial to understand the effects of restoration on the ecological carrying capacities in different zones depending on the different development goals.
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    Changes in China’s Grain Production Pattern and the Effects of Urbanization and Dietary Structure
    LU Chunxia, LIU Aimin, XIAO Yu, LIU Xiaojie, XIE Gaodi, CHENG Shengkui
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (4): 358-365.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.04.004
    Abstract90)   HTML0)    PDF (533KB)(10)      

    Grain production patterns are the basis of a nation’s food security. Since China’s reform and opening-up began in 1978, China’s urbanization process, driven by rapid social and economic development, has accelerated steadily. During this time, the dietary structure of urban and rural Chinese has also changed significantly. Accordingly, grain production patterns have undergone major changes. First, traditional grain production patterns in the north and the south have changed, and the food production center has shifted toward the north. In 1980, the grain yield of southern provinces accounted for 60% of China’s total, while that of northern provinces accounted for 40%. In 2015, the grain yield of southern provinces accounted for 56% of the total, while that of northern provinces accounted for 44%. Second, grain production by regions of the country is “shrinking in the east but expanding in the central regions,” meaning that grain production in eastern coastal provinces has decreased significantly, while that in the central region has expanded. The proportions of the nation’s total grain production from the eastern, central and western regions were 38%, 36% and 26%, respectively, in 1980. These had changed to 27%, 46%, and 27%, respectively, in 2015. Third, the spatial centralization of grain production has increased. The total grain yield of 13 major grain-producing provinces and regions in the country accounted for 69.27% of nation’s total in 1980, and it had reached 76.18% in 2015, showing that the impact of major grain-producing areas on national food security has increased. The influence of rapid urbanization on grain production areas shows remarkable regional differences. As the level of urbanization has increased, build-up land occupies a large number of high-quality farmland, especially in east coastal provinces and thus the grain planting area decreased obviously. The effect of dietary structure changes on grain production patterns was evident in two ways. On the one hand, as dietary diversity has increased, total grain consumption has decreased. The reduction in the proportion of planting area for grain crops to total crop planting area dropped from 82% in 1980 to 68% in 2015, making this change in total grain consumption evident. On the other hand, the ratio of grain for human consumption declined as the ratio of grain consumed by animals increased. The reduction in the proportion of rice and wheat grown and an increase in the proportion of feed grain production (mostly maize) from 20% in the 1980s to 36% in 2015 makes this change in grain production and consumption evident. In the future, with the establishment of national functional areas for grain production, the spatial pattern of grain production will return, while the demand for feed grains will continue to increase but with the space for expansion limited.

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    Impact of Grazing Exclusion on the Surface Heat Balance in North Tibet
    FENG Yunfei, DI Yingwei, ZHANG Jing, ZHANG Xianzhou, SHI Peili, Niu Ben
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (3): 283-289.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2020.03.005
    Abstract88)   HTML0)    PDF (786KB)(40)      

    The grazing exclusion program used by the Tibetan government to protect the ecological environment has changed the vegetation and impacted the surface heat balance in North Tibet. However, little information is available to describe the in?uences of the current grazing exclusion program on local surface heat balance. This study uses the records of fenced grassland patch locations to identify the impact of grazing exclusion on surface heat balance in North Tibet. The records of fenced grassland patch locations, including the longitude, latitude, and elevation of the vertices of each fenced patch (polygon shapes), were provided by the agriculture and animal husbandry bureaus of the counties where the patches were located. ArcGIS 10.2 was used to create polygon shapes based on patch location records. Based on satellite data and the surface heat balance system determined by the model, values for changes in land surface temperature (LST), albedo and evapotranspiration (ET) induced by grazing exclusion were obtained. All of these can influence surface heat balance and alter the fluctuation of LST in the northern Tibetan Plateau. The LST trends for day and night showed an asymmetric diurnal variation, with a larger magnitude of warming in the day than cooling at night. The maximum decrease in absorbed shortwave of LST (-0.5 - -0.4 ℃ per decade) occurred in the central region, while the minimum decrease (-0.2 - -0.1 ℃ per decade) occurred in the eastern region. The decreased latent heat lead to the LST increased maximum (>1 ℃ per decade) occurred in the central region, The eastern region increased at a rate of 0.2-0.5 ℃ per decade, while the minimum increase (0-0.1 ℃ per decade) occurred in the northwestern region.

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    Variations in the Drought Severity Index in Response to Climate Change on the Tibetan Plateau
    WANG Xiangtao, ZHANG Xianzhou, WANG Junhao, NIU Ben
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (3): 304-314.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2020.03.008
    Abstract87)   HTML0)    PDF (1520KB)(42)      

    Quantifying the relationship between the drought severity index and climate factors is crucial for predicting drought risk in situations characterized by climate change. However, variations in drought risk are not readily discernible under conditions of climate change, and this is particularly the case on the Tibetan Plateau. This study examines the correlations between the annual drought severity index (DSI) and 14 climate factors (including temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind speed, and hours of sunshine factors), on the Tibetan Plateau from 2000 to 2011. Spatial average DSI increased with precipitation and minimum relative humidity, while it decreased as the hours of sunshine increased. The correlation between DSI and climate factors varied with vegetation types. In alpine meadows, the correlation of the spatial DSI average with the percentage of sunshine and hours of sunshine (P<0.001) was higher compared to that in alpine steppes (P<0.05). Similarly, average vapor pressure and minimum relative humidity had significant positive effects on spatial DSI in alpine meadows, but had insignificant effects in alpine steppes. The magnitude of DSI change correlated negatively with temperature, precipitation, and vapor pressure, and positively with wind speed and sunshine. This demonstrates that the correlation between drought and climate change on the Tibetan Plateau is dependent on the type of ecosystem.

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    Option Pricing for Coffee Price Using Jump Diffusion Models
    Tesfahun BERHANE, Molalign ADAM, Guriju AWGICHEW, Eshetu HAILE
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (1): 111-120.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.01.011
    Abstract86)      PDF (1084KB)(37)      
    In this study, we aim at developing a model for option pricing to reduce the risks associated with Ethiopian coffee price fluctuations. We used daily closed Washed Sidama class A Grade3 (WSDA3) coffee price recorded in the period 31 May 2011 to 30 March 2018 obtained from Ethiopia commodity exchange (ECX) market to analyse the price fluctuation. The nature of log-returns of the price is asymmetric (negatively skewed) and exhibits high kurtosis. We used jump diffusion models for modeling and option pricing the coffee price. The method of maximum likelihood is applied to estimate the parameters of the models. We used the root mean square error (RMSE) to test the validation of the models. The values of RMSE for Merton’s and double exponential jump diffusion models are 0.1093 and 0.0783, respectively. These results indicate that the models fit the data very well. We used analytical and Monte Carlo technique to find the call option pricing of WSDA3 price. Based on the empirical results, we concluded that double exponential jump diffusion model is more efficient than Merton’s model for modeling and option pricing of this coffee price.
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    Rural Poverty Patterns and Influencing Factors in Yunnan Province, China: Based on County Level Dataset
    SHANG Xiaowen, CHEN Yufu
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (4): 366-377.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.04.005
    Abstract86)   HTML0)    PDF (2674KB)(9)      

    The identification of poverty at the county level is the precondition for poverty alleviation by formulating accurate strategies that are targeted for a certain area. Yunnan Province has the largest number of poverty counties in China. The vast number of people living under the poverty-line, and the deep degree of poverty across a wide distribution range, pose major challenges. Based on the rural poverty incidence data, this paper describes the rural poverty patterns in Yunnan Province in 2010 and 2015, and then it explores the main factors which influence the incidence and changes in rural poverty at the county level in Yunnan Province using a stepwise regression analysis method. This study found that the rural poverty in counties of Yunnan Province was deeply affected by natural conditions and the geographical environment. In 2010 and 2015, the rural poverty situation in the middle region of Yunnan Province was relatively light, while it was more serious in the northwest, northeast and south regions. The pattern of county poverty is in good agreement with the topography and landforms of Yunnan Province and the poverty-stricken areas. There are strong correlations between the incidence of rural poverty in Yunnan Province with both the annual per capita net income of rural residents and the degree of agricultural mechanization. These factors are related to the living standards and agricultural production necessary for the peasantry to sustain their livelihood. The change in the incidence of rural poverty at the county level in Yunnan Province from 2010 to 2015 is significantly correlated with changes in the value-added of the primary industries and the degree of agricultural mechanization. These correlations indicate that the development of primary industry plays a key role in the process of lifting rural residents in Yunnan Province out of poverty so they can achieve prosperity. Therefore, improving the annual per capita net income of rural residents and the degree of agricultural mechanization for rural areas in Yunnan Province are still the main points for focused efforts. In the current phase of poverty alleviation, Yunnan Province should emphasize increasing rural residents' income and agricultural production and management in order to formulate effective policies and measures for poverty alleviation.

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    Is GIAHS an Effective Instrument to Promote Agrosystem Con-servation? A Rural Community’s Perceptions
    HE Siyuan, LI Heyao, MIN Qingwen
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (1): 77-86.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.01.008
    Abstract85)      PDF (960KB)(39)      
    The Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) has been established by FAO to protect valuable agricultural systems that are rich in biodiversity and home to indigenous knowledge, technology and cultural values. GIAHS has been accepted by many countries as a tool to maintain traditional agrosystems as “living heritage”. This paper examined the Xinghua Duotian agrosystem in eastern China to explore whether the GIAHS programme is an effective instrument for top-down implementation of conservation policies initiated by the government. An intensive social survey using a questionnaire was conducted in the core conservation area to examine farmers’ understanding of the agrosystem and their willingness to conserve it. Statistical analyses including factor analysis, a linear model, a logit model and an optimal scale model were used to reveal farmers’ perception of GIAHS and the factors that impact their willingness to conserve. Results show that the agrosystem faces challenges of aging and population loss. Farmers were not very familiar with GIAHS. They did not link GIAHS to the agrosystem because they generally understood GIAHS as a title meant to bring economic benefits, although they also thought the agrosystem had non-economic values worth conserving. Because farmers were not sure about the economic outcomes of the GIAHS programme, they thought the government, not them, should take the main role in conservation. Therefore, GIAHS as a tool to encourage farmers to become active in conservation does not seem very effective. It will not become so until it truly facilitates the transformation of non-economic values to economic values in the agrosystem. We suggested that the concepts of GIAHS should be matched to farmers’ perceptions to provide farmers with conservation incentives.
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    Effects of Vegetation Cover, Grazing and Season on Herbage Species Composition and Biomass: A Case Study of Yabello Rangeland, Southern Ethiopia
    Yeneayehu FENETAHUN, XU Xinwen, YOU Yuan, WANG Yongdong
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (2): 159-170.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.02.004
    Abstract84)      PDF (821KB)(5)      
    The Yabello rangeland is a semi-arid area in Borana, Ethiopia that is facing great degradation challenges. Increasing infestation of vegetation cover, over grazing and high seasonal variation have significantly affected the herbage composition and biomass in the Yabello rangeland. This study focused on assessing the effect of vegetation cover, grazing and season on both herbage composition and biomass in the Yabello rangeland. An experiment was conducted using randomized plots of 1 m × 1 m. Sites were selected based on vegetation cover type and grazing variation, and seasonal impacts were also assessed. Data on herbage composition, height and mass with respect to those parameters were analyzed using SAS statistical software version 9.1 (SAS Institute, 2001) and Microsoft Excel. A total of 26 grass species were recorded and Chloris roxburghiana Chrysopogon aucheri and Chrysopogon aucheri grass species showed the highest average single species cover height and biomass production, for all the sites among all parameters. As a result, those grass species are highly recommended for the rehabilitation of degraded rangeland in the study area. This study also showed that vegetation cover type grazing and seasonal variation were the key factors in determining herbage species composition, height and biomass production. Finally, we recommended that sustainable management which controls bush vegetation cover and balances grazing levels is essential for sustainable herbage production and biodiversity conservation in the area.
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    Towards Regional Synergy: Reconciling Rangeland Ecological Functioning with Forage Production of Cultivated Pasture
    SHI Peili, ZHANG Xianzhou
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (3): 247-252.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2020.03.001
    Abstract81)   HTML9)    PDF (383KB)(39)      

    Animal husbandry and crop farming are specialized for development in separate areas on the Tibetan Plateau. Such a pattern of isolation has led to current concerns of rangeland and farming system degradation due to intensive land use. The crop-livestock integration, however, has been proven to increase food and feed productivity thorough niche complementarity, and is thereby especially effective for promoting ecosystem resilience. Regional synergy has emerged as an integrated approach to reconcile rangeland livestock with forage crop production. It moves beyond the specialized sectors of animal husbandry and intensive agriculture to coordinate them through regional coupling. Therefore, crop-livestock integration (CLI) has been suggested as one of the effective solutions to forage deficit and livestock production in grazing systems. But it is imperative that CLI moves forward from the farm level to the regional scale, in order to secure regional synergism during agro-pastoral development. The national key R & D program, Technology and Demonstration of Recovery and Restoration of Degraded Alpine Ecosystems on the Tibetan Plateau, aims to solve the problems of alpine grassland degradation by building up a grass-based animal husbandry technology system that includes synergizing forage production and ecological functioning, reconciling the relationship between ecology, forage production and animal husbandry, and achieving the win-win goals of curbing grassland degradation and changing the development mode of animal husbandry. It is imperative to call for regional synergy through integrating ecological functioning with ecosystem services, given the alarming threat of rangeland degradation on the Tibetan Plateau. The series of papers in this issue, together with those published previously, provide a collection of rangeland ecology and management studies in an effort to ensure the sustainable use and management of the alpine ecosystems.

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    Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Two Types of Truck Bumper Produced in the Algerian Auto Industry
    KEBBOUCHE Zahia, TAIRI Abdelaziz, SAFI Brahim
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (4): 378-387.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.04.006
    Abstract81)   HTML0)    PDF (5693KB)(5)      

    Currently, the reduction of weight in automotive is a very important topic to reduce the air pollution. In this context, the purpose of the present paper is to analyze a real case study through a comparison of the environmental impacts between a conventional steel bumper and a polyester prototype. In the first part of this work, a door-to-door life-cycle assessment methodology was used throughout the study of the component manufacturing phase. The SimaPro 7.1 software is used to evaluate the impacts of both bumpers on the environment and health. The second part is devoted to dust analysis from the polyester workshop. The obtained results have allowed us to show the company that its choice of steel substitution by the polyester is advantageous for certain impacts including the impact of climate change, but unfortunately there may be, given the working conditions of the polyester workshop, a transfer of impact, since we will end up with a risk of health (irritations, cancers) for the workers. LCA has proven to be a very useful tool for validating a redesigned automotive component from an environmental point of view; from this case study, several recommendations were made for the company to design environmentally friendly components, and ecodesign should be introduced into the company’s procedures.

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    Multifunctionality and Thresholds of Alpine Grassland on the Tibetan Plateau
    SONG Minghua, LI Meng, HUO Jiajuan, WU Liang, ZHANG Xianzhou
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (3): 263-271.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2020.03.003
    Abstract80)   HTML0)    PDF (2173KB)(52)      

    Ecosystems can simultaneously provide multiple functions and services. Knowledge on the combinations of such multi-dimensional functions is critical for accurately assessing the carrying capacity and implementing sustainable management. However, accurately quantify the multifunctionality of ecosystems remains challenging due to the dependence and close association among individual functions. Here, we quantified spatial patterns in the multifunctionality of alpine grassland on the Tibetan Plateau by integrating four important individual functions based on data collected from a field survey and remote sensing NDVI. After mapping the spatial pattern of multifunctionality, we extracted multifunctionality values across four types of grassland along the northern Tibet Plateau transect. Effects of climate and grazing intensity on the multifunctionality were differentiated. Our results showed that the highest values of multifunctionality occurred in the alpine meadow. Low values of multifunctionality were comparable in different types of grassland. Annual precipitation explained the large variation of multifunctionality across the different types of grassland in the transect, which showed a significantly positive effect on the multifunctionality. Grazing intensity further explained the rest of the variation in the multifunctionality (residuals), which showed a shift from neutral or positive to negative effects on multifunctionality across the different types of grassland. The consistently rapid declines of belowground biomass, SOC, and species richness resulted in the collapse of the multifunctionality as bare ground cover amounted to 75%, which corresponded to a multifunctionality value of 0.233. Our results are the first to show the spatial pattern of grassland multifunctionality. The rapid decline of the multifunctionality suggests that a collapse in the multifunctionality can occur after the vegetation cover decreases to 25%, which is also accompanied by rapid losses of species and other individual functions. Our results are expected to provide evidence and direction for the sustainable development of alpine grassland and restoration management.

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    Forest Transition and Its Driving Forces in the Qian-Gui Karst Mountainous Areas
    ZHAO Yuluan, REN Hongyu, LI Xiubin
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (1): 59-68.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.01.006
    Abstract77)      PDF (2938KB)(60)      
    This study investigates the spatial differences and the factors influencing those differences as they affect forest transitions in the Qian-Gui Karst Mountain areas to provide references for policy makers, and ideas for eco-logical environmental protection strategies and adaptive management strategies for forest restoration projects in mountain areas. Forest transition characteristics are determined in relationship to spatial and functional transitions. SPSS and a geographical detector are used to analyze the forces driving forest transitions in terms of natural environmental and socio-economic factors. The results were as follows: (1) The area of forestland in the Qian-Gui Karst Mountain areas increased by 673.5 km2 during 1990-2015, and a U-shaped curve generally describes the tendency of this change. More precisely, forest land area decreased initially and increased later, with the turning point occurring in the year 2000. This suggests that the Qian-Gui Karst Mountain areas are being maintained at a later stage of forest transition, and this means they are experiencing a net increase in forest land area. The average annual rainfall and temperature, distance to the nearest river and nearest rural residential area, amplitude of topographical relief, and slope contributed the most to forest spatial transitions. (2) During the study period, the tendency for forest coverage to change varied considerably in different parts of the study area, and the greatest increase occurred in the area of very high forest coverage, an area of 154173.71 km2. The ranking of other forest coverages tended to decrease during the past 25 years. The vegetation ecosystem, in general, is being maintained in the process of restoration, and changes in the ranking of forest coverage were high in the northern part of the study area and low in the southern part. Forest spatial transitions were affected by the interaction between natural environmental and socio-economic factors, and the average annual temperature and rainfall, elevation, and lighting intensity at night were the most important factors that governed forest functional transitions. An examination of the direction in which spatial and functional transitions are moving in the forest area indicates that ecological construction, rather than spatial expansion of the forest area, should be used in the future to improve forest quality.
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    Comparison of Methods for Evaluating the Forage-livestock Balance of Alpine Grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau
    CAO Yanan, ZHANG Xianzhou, NIU Ben, HE Yongtao
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (3): 272-282.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2020.03.004
    Abstract73)   HTML0)    PDF (1564KB)(47)      

    Livestock grazing is one of primary way to use grasslands throughout the world, and the forage-livestock balance of grasslands is a core issue determining animal husbandry sustainability. However, there are few methods for assessing the forage-livestock balance and none of those consider the dynamics of external abiotic factors that influence forage yields. In this study, we combine long-term field observations with remote sensing data and meteorological records of temperature and precipitation to quantify the impacts of climate change and human activities on the forage-livestock balance of alpine grasslands on the northern Tibetan Plateau for the years 2000 to 2016. We developed two methods: one is statical method based on equilibrium theory and the other is dynamic method based on non-equilibrium theory. We also examined the uncertainties and shortcomings of using these two methods as a basis for formulating policies for sustainable grassland management. Our results from the statical method showed severe overgrazing in the grasslands of all counties observed except Nyima (including Shuanghu) for the entire period from 2000 to 2016. In contrast, the results from the dynamic method showed overgrazing in only eight years of the study period 2000-2016, while in the other nine years alpine grasslands throughout the northern Tibetan Plateau were less grazed and had forage surpluses. Additionally, the dynamic method found that the alpine grasslands of counties in the northeastern and southwestern areas of the northern Tibetan Plateau were overgrazed, and that alpine grasslands in the central area of the plateau were less grazed with forage surpluses. The latter finding is consistent with field surveys. Therefore, we suggest that the dynamic method is more appropriate for assessment of forage-livestock management efforts in alpine grasslands on the northern Tibetan Plateau. However, the statical method is still recommended for assessments of alpine grasslands profoundly disturbed by irrational human activities.

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    The Distribution Patterns of Timberline and Its Response to Climate Change in the Himalayas
    SHI Peili, WU Ning, Gopal S. RAWAT
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (4): 342-348.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.04.002
    Abstract71)   HTML1)    PDF (516KB)(8)      

    Himalayan region represents the highest and most diverse treeline over the world. As one of the most conspicuous boundaries between montane forests and alpine vegetation, the alpine timberline attracted the interest of researchers for many decades. However, timberline in the Himalayas is understudied compared with European counterparts due to remoteness. Here we review the distribution pattern of timberline and its climatic condition, the carbon and nutrient supply mechanism for treeline formation, and treeline shift and treeline tree recruitment under climate change scenarios. Growth limitation, rather than carbon source limitation is the physiological cause of timberline under the low temperature condition. Nutrient limitation and water stress are not the direct cause of timberline formation. However, more clear local limitation factors are need to integrate in order to enable us to predict the potential impacts and changes caused by human activity and related global change in this sensitive region.

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    Analysis of the Potential for Crop-livestock Integration in Bu-rang County, China
    DUAN Cheng, SHI Peili, ZONG Ning, ZHANG Xianzhou
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2020, 11 (1): 69-76.   doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.01.007
    Abstract70)      PDF (2154KB)(40)      
    Crop-livestock integration (CLI) is a significant practice for livestock grazing systems in alpine rangelands. It offers the potential to achieve sustainable crop and livestock production. However, the separate crop and livestock systems that exist today have led to issues of intensive agriculture, rangeland degradation and forage shortage in the Tibetan Plateau. Developing crop-livestock integration through sown pastures can be an effective way to lift pasture productivity and improve livestock production. Thus, to explore the potential for integrating crop and livestock production in alpine grazing systems, an assessment of potential forage and livestock production using multiple datasets was carried out in Burang County, China. Results showed the marginal land potentially available for sown pastures was about 560 ha, located mostly in the Burang township of the Karnali basin. Accumulated temperature was the dominant limiting factor for establishing sown pastures, therefore cold tolerance of forage species and growth period should be taken into consideration. Furthermore, the number of livestock decreased during the period 2012–2016; yet often, the number of livestock in rangeland landscape was greater than that in agro-pastoral landscape. The average number of livestock was about 110000 standard sheep units (SU) in the study area, but forage from sown pastures and crop residues could potentially feed about 11000 SU, accounting for 50% of the livestock population in the Karnali basin. We found that integrating crop and forage production could fill feed gaps for grazing systems, particularly in the agro-pastoral landscape of the Karnali basin. The results of this study provide scientific support to guide future forage production and to promote further crop and livestock integration in Burang County.
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