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    Analysis of Water Resources Carrying Capacity of the “Belt and Road” Initiative Countries based on Virtual Water Theory
    ZHENG Xin, XU Zengrang
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (6): 574-583.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.06.002
    Abstract285)   HTML17)    PDF (520KB)(1072)      

    Most countries along the route of the “Belt and Road” initiative are faced with a shortage of water resources. However, successful implementation of the initiative depends on water availability to support economic and social development. We designed a water resources carrying capacity evaluation index system, assigned grades and weights to each evaluation index and calculated a water resources carrying index for the 65 countries along the route. We used virtual water theory to analyze China’s net virtual water import from key bulk agricultural products through international trade. For more than half of the countries along the route, their water resources will be unable to support the economic development that will be necessary for fulfilling the goals of the Initiative. As a country with insufficient water resources carrying capacity, China is a net virtual water importer in the virtual water trade. This virtual water trade can improve China’s water resources support capacity, and ensure China’s water and food security for the future.

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    Spatial and Temporal Variation of Cropland at the Global Level from 1992 to 2015
    TAN Minghong,LI Yuanyuan
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (3): 235-245.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.03.001
    Abstract380)   HTML22)    PDF (2091KB)(327)      

    Correlated increases in population and demand for food over recent decades have caused remarkable changes in cropland area globally. Utilizing the latest data product provided by the European Space Agency (ESA), this paper analyzes annual trends and spatiotemporal variations in cropland area and discusses cropland conversion, losses, and increases globally between 1992 and 2015 at a 300 m resolution. The results show that the global area of cropland increased rapidly between 1992 and 2004, more slowly between 2004 and 2012, and began to decrease gradually since 2012. First, an increasing trend in cropland area has been maintained solely in Africa; all other regions are characterized by decreasing trends in later periods despite different transition points and change rates. A reduction in cropland area frequently emerged earlier in high-income countries. Second, increase rates in cropland area have largely decreased in recent years while the overall rate of loss has remained almost the same. Hotspot areas of global cropland increases are mainly concentrated around the edge of the Amazon forest, Eurasian Steppe, and Sahara Desert. These hotspot areas of global cropland loss shifted from Europe to Asia while built-up areas have expanded at the expense of cropland.

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    Characteristics of Agricultural and Livestock Products Trade Flows between China and the “Belt and Road” Initiative Region: From the Perspective of Biocapacity
    JIN Mingming, XU Zengrang
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (6): 584-597.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.06.003
    Abstract220)   HTML11)    PDF (2032KB)(290)      

    In the context of global ecological overload, international trade has become one of the most important ways to make up for the ecological deficit. This study takes the “Belt and Road” Initiative as the study area to analyze the biocapacity and ecological footprint characteristics between China and other countries along the “Belt and Road” Initiative. Trade flow characteristics were explored from the perspective of biocapacity. The import and export of virtual land was used to assess the effect of trade on compensating for the resource gaps in crop and grazing land. The main results show that: 1) In 2005-2014, the majority of “Belt and Road” countries were experiencing increasing degrees of overload. In China, cropland takes up the largest proportion of biocapacity, while the ecological footprint is dominated by the carbon footprint. 2) The trade flow of agricultural and livestock products in the mainland of China shows a trend of increasing imports and decreasing exports, which increases dependence on specific regions. 3) In 2005-2014, China’s trade in cereals and oil crops along the “Belt and Road” Initiative were generally net imports, and the share of cereals traded along the “Belt and Road” Initiative is increasing gradually, but that of oil crops decreased rapidly. 4) The import trade has alleviated ecological deficit, as the selected products compensated for 1.03 times of the cropland deficit and 0.65 times of the grazing land deficit in China. This study is helpful to understand the relationship between the land use and trade deeply, and provide decision-making references for reducing ecological deficits, optimizing land resource allocation, and promoting win-win cooperation among China and other countries in the “Belt and Road” Initiative.

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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
    Abstract132)      PDF (2839KB)(260)      
    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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    Chinese Cropland Quality and Its Temporal and Spatial Changes due to Urbanization in 2000-2015
    WANG Chunyu,SUN Xiaofang,WANG Meng,WANG Junbang,DING Qingfu
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (2): 174-183.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.02.008
    Abstract304)   HTML8)    PDF (1511KB)(249)      

    The acceleration of urbanization has led to the occupation of more cropland, especially higher quality cropland, which could pose a huge threat to food security and have other implications for the inadequate cropland resource supply in China. Though the spatial status of Chinese cropland quality has been assessed, its temporal changes since 2000 to 2015 are still not clear. An accumulated probability distribution method was used to determine the criteria of cropland quality using the net primary production data product (MOD17) from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Then the cropland quality of higher, median and lower production was spatially mapped and its changes due to occupation by urbanization were analyzed through the land use changes (LUCC) data primarily from Landsat TM images in the three periods of 2000-2005, 2005-2010, and 2010-2015. The results showed that of the total cropland reduction area the proportion taken by urbanization increased from 47.29% in the early stage to 77.46% in the recent period. The quality of Chinese cropland was dominated by low- and medium-yield fields, accounting for 40.81% and 48.74%, respectively, with high-yield fields accounting for only 10.44% of the total cropland in the country in 2000. The high-yield areas have been seriously threatened by the expansion of construction land fields, with the ratio of high-yield area to total area occupied by urbanization increasing from 9.71% in 2000-2005 to 15.63% in 2010-2015. Spatially, this phenomenon has been moving from eastern and southern China to central and western China, especially in Northwest China where the ratio has arrived at the highest proportion, with 52.97% of high-yield cropland in the total land taken by the expansion by 2015. This study not only provides a method to assess cropland quality but also reveals the threatening trend from the expansion of urbanization on high-quality cropland. More attention should be paid to the latter in land use planning and policies made to prevent threats to food security from declines in both cropland quantity and quality.

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    Where Should the Start Zone Be Located for Xiong’an New Area? A Land Use Perspective
    JIANG Luguang, LV Peiyi, FENG Zhiming, LIU Ye
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (4): 374-381.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.005
    Abstract302)   HTML12)    PDF (2379KB)(248)      
    China announced plans on April 1, 2017 to create Xiong’an New Area, a new economic zone about 110 km southwest of Beijing. The new area of national significance covers the three counties of Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin in Hebei Province, and is home to Baiyangdian, a major wetland in northern China. It will cover around 100 km 2 initially (called “Starting Zone”) and will be expanded to 200 km 2 in the mid-term and about 2000 km 2 in the long term. In this context, it is important to assess the land use pattern for the new area’s planning and development. Based on remote sensing interpretation of Landsat OLI images, we examine the current land use features, the potential for built-up land saving and intensive use, and the spatial variation of arable land quality. The results indicate that the arable lands, built-up lands and wetlands account for around 60%, 20% and 10%, respectively. The potential for rural built-up land saving and intensive use is quite large. The arable land quality and use intensity in Rongcheng and Anxin counties are much better than that of Xiongxian. The pros and cons for three potential options for the Starting Zone are listed and compared. The eastern area of Rongcheng county, to the north of Baiyangdian, is believed to be the most suitable Starting Zone. Policy recommendations for built-up land expansion, farmland saving and flood risk mitigation for Xiong’an New Area are also proposed in this paper.
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    Sustainable Agriculture in the “Belt and Road” Region in Conjunction with the Sustainable Development Goals
    CHEN Shaofeng, LIU Yang, SU Liyang
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (6): 649-656.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.06.010
    Abstract308)   HTML8)    PDF (497KB)(224)      

    The countries along the “Belt and Road” (B&R) should devote their efforts to top-level planning in the field of agriculture, so as to ensure the sustainable development of agriculture in the region. This will require a precise assessment of the sustainability of agriculture along the B&R. With a view to understanding the concept of sustainable agriculture along the B&R, combined with the interpretation of the agricultural objectives contained in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this study uses statistical regression analysis and trend prediction to predict the social and economic development trends in terms of economic growth and urbanization in the countries along the B&R up until 2030, and the corresponding impacts on agricultural resources and the environment. The results show that the future prospects for agricultural resources and the environment along the B&R are not promising, and meeting the future food security needs of the region will be difficult. Only by adopting innovative policies and implementing strategic planning can the goals of sustainable agricultural development and food security by 2030 be achieved in this region. Therefore, countries along the B&R should formulate agricultural development strategies from three aspects: building an agricultural cooperation platform, setting up special funds, and innovating the agricultural cooperation mode, so as to achieve the sustainable development of agriculture in the region.

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    Forecasting the Ethiopian Coffee Price Using Kalman Filtering Algorithm
    Tesfahun Berhane, Nurilign Shibabaw, Aemiro Shibabaw, Molalign Adam, Abera A. Muhamed
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (3): 302-305.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.03.010
    Abstract289)   HTML1)    PDF (421KB)(220)      
    Ethiopian coffee price is highly fluctuated and has significant effect on the economy of the country. Conducting a research on forecasting coffee price has theoretical and practical importance.This study aims at forecasting the coffee price in Ethiopia. We used daily closed price data of Ethiopian coffee recorded in the period 25 June 2008 to 5 January 2017 obtained from Ethiopia commodity exchange (ECX) market to analyse coffee prices fluctuation. Here, the nature of coffee price is non-stationary and we apply the Kalman filtering algorithm on a single linear state space model to estimate and forecast an optimal value of coffee price. The performance of the algorithm for estimating and forecasting the coffee price is evaluated by using root mean square error (RMSE). Based on the linear state space model and the Kalman filtering algorithm, the root mean square error (RMSE) is 0.000016375, which is small enough, and it indicates that the algorithm performs well.
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    Analysis of Spatio-temporal Land Surface Temperature and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index Changes in the Andassa Watershed, Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia
    Melkamu Meseret Alemu
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (1): 77-85.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.01.010
    Abstract416)   HTML0)    PDF (778KB)(208)      

    Analysis of the nexus between vegetation dynamics and climatic parameters like surface temperature is essential in environmental and ecological studies and for monitoring of the natural resources. This study explored the spatio-temporal distribution of land surface temperature (LST) and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the relationship between them in the Andassa watershed from 1986 to 2016 periods using Landsat data. Monthly average air temperature data of three meteorological sites were used for validating the results. The findings of the study showed that the LST of the Andassa watershed has increased during the study periods. Overall, average LST has been rising with an increasing rate of 0.081°C per year. Other results of this study also showed that there has been a dynamic change in vegetation cover of the watershed in all seasons. There was also a negative correlation between LST and NDVI in all the studied years. From this study we can understand that there has been degradation of vegetation and intensification of LST from 1986 to 2016.

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    Farmland Abandonment Research Progress: Influencing Factors and Simulation Model
    SONG Wei,ZHANG Ying
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (4): 345-352.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.04.001
    Abstract687)   HTML50)    PDF (331KB)(206)      

    Farmland abandonment is a global problem and considered one of the most important areas in land use change research. Farmland abandonment research currently focuses on understanding the factors that affect farmland abandonment and developing scientific models to simulate farmland abandonment. The study reviewed the natural and political factors driving farmland abandonment and summarized the main models for farmland abandonment simulation together with their advantages and disadvantages. We discuss the main ecological effects of farmland abandonment and propose farmland abandonment research directions. The study found that: (1) the influence of labor cost change and ageing labor force on farmland abandonment needs further investigation, (2) simulation models for farmland abandonment must include the decision-making mechanism of individual farmers and focus on macro large-scale abandonment prediction models, and (3) the influence of farmland abandonment on landscape culture must be investigated in detail.

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    Spatial Distribution and Dynamic Changes in Research Hotspots for Desertification in China based on Big Data from CNKI
    LIANG Yuting, HU Yunfeng, HAN Yueqi
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (6): 692-703.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.06.015
    Abstract293)   HTML12)    PDF (5291KB)(191)      

    Desertification research plays a key role in the survival and development of all mankind. The Normalized Comprehensive Hotspots Index (NCH) is a comprehensive index that reveals the spatial distribution of research hotspots in a given research field based on the number of relevant scientific papers. This study uses Web Crawler technology to retrieve the full text of all Chinese journal articles spanning the 1980s-2018 in the Chinese Academic Journal full-text database (CAJ) from CNKI. Based on the 253,055 articles on desertification that were retrieved, we have constructed a research hotspot extraction model for desertification in China by means of the NCH Index. This model can reveal the spatial distribution and dynamic changes of research hotspots for desertification in China. This analysis shows the following: 1) The spatial distribution of research hotspots on desertification in China can be effectively described by the NCH Index, although its application in other fields still needs to be verified and optimized. 2) According to the NCH Index, the research hotspots for desertification are mainly distributed in the Agro-Pastoral Ecotone and grassland in Inner Mongolia, the desertification areas of Qaidam Basin in the Western Alpine Zone and the Oasis-Desert Ecotone in Xinjiang (including the extension of the central Tarim Basin to the foothills of the Kunlun Mountains, the sporadic areas around the Tianshan Mountains and the former hilly belt of the southern foothills of the Altai Mountains). Among these three, the Agro-Pastoral Ecotone in the middle and eastern part of Inner Mongolia includes the most prominent hotspots in the study of desertification. 3) Since the 1980s, the research hotspots for desertification in China have shown a general downward trend, with a significant decline in 219 counties (10.37% of the study area). This trend is dominated by the projects carried out since 2002. The governance of desertification in the eastern part of the Inner Mongolia-Greater Khingan Range still needs to be strengthened. The distribution of desertification climate types reflects the distribution of desertification in a given region to some extent. The Normalized Comprehensive Hotspots Index provides a new approach for researchers in different fields to analyze research progress.

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    Research on Land Resource Carrying Capacity: Progress and Prospects
    SUN Tong, FENG Zhiming, YANG Yanzhao, LIN Yumei, WU Yanjuan
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (4): 331-340.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.001
    Abstract242)   HTML0)    PDF (430KB)(187)      
    As an important part of resource and environment carrying capacity (RECC), land resource carrying capacity (LRCC) has focused on the limiting factors on regional development from the scale of land resources for more than two hundred years. After a brief review of the origin and early development of LRCC, the progress of LRCC is summarized as a progression from land resource population carrying capacity (LPCC) to land resource comprehensive carrying capacity (LCCC), and the hot issues of LRCC have changed from the simple human-grain relationship to more complex social and economic activities-land resources relationships. The corresponding research methods also evolved, from static research to dynamic research, and the assessment factor have evolved from a single factor to a comprehensive index system. Agro-ecological zoning (AEZ), system dynamics (SD), ecological footprint (EF), and comprehensive evaluation methods have come to be viewed as the most representative methods of LRCC in recent years. As a focus of conventional LRCC research, the human-grain relationship still plays a significant role in LRCC evaluation because grain remains the top limiting factor of land resources and is the most significant criterion in the balance between regional population and land resources, especially for very populous countries. More attention should be paid to the accurate calculation of arable land and average food consumption levels to improve the scientific basis of LRCC evaluation. The development of science and technology and the variation of lifestyle are also important factors that influence regional LRCC. As a new topic of LRCC, LCCC has expanded the research field of LRCC in an attempt to reveal the limiting effects of land resource under open systems, but some issues such as carrying mechanism research and the combination of theoretical and applied research are needed in future studies to promote the further development of LCCC.
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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
    Abstract153)      PDF (488KB)(179)      
    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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    Responding to Global Warming: Mitigation Policies and Actions of Stakeholders in China’s Tourism Industry
    FENG Ling,CHEN Da,GAO Shan,WANG Yongzhi,TANG Chengcai
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (1): 94-103.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.01.012
    Abstract280)   HTML3)    PDF (704KB)(175)      

    China’s tourism industry has witnessed rapid progress in recent years, and is now an important part of global tourism in dealing with climate change. Within a framework of Pressure-State-Response (PSR), this paper focuses on the emission reduction pressure, carbon emission status, and responses of stakeholders in China’s tourism industry. Findings include: 1) The central government’s strategy and rapid growth of the industry scale exert rising pressure on China’s tourism to reduce carbon emissions. 2) Carbon emissions of China's tourism account for 13%-14.6% of global tourism, and about 3% of China’s emissions overall. Chinese tourists’ per capita carbon emission is lower than half of the global level. 3) The Chinese government attaches great importance to energy-saving and carbon emission reduction. In the tourism industry, documents, standards and other regulative measures have been issued to ensure that business practitioners set up green operational and managerial systems. In the field of tourism transportation, China's high-speed rail, new energy vehicles, and urban shared bicycles, have developed very rapidly in recent years, and they have effectively reduced the carbon emissions in traveling. Furthermore, this paper finds that Chinese tourists already have awareness and willingness for low-carbon tourism.

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    Climatic Changes Dominant Interannual Trend in Net Primary Productivity of Alpine Vulnerable Ecosystems
    YANG Yihan,WANG Junbang,LIU Peng,LU Guangxin,LI Yingnian
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (4): 379-388.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.04.005
    Abstract501)   HTML17)    PDF (1323KB)(173)      

    The Three-River Headwaters (TRH), which is the source area of Yangtze River, Yellow River and Lancang River, is vulnerable and sensitive, and its alpine ecosystem is considered an important barrier for China’s ecological security. Understanding the impact of climate changes is essential for determining suitable measures for ecological environmental protection and restoration against the background of global climatic changes. However, different explanations of the interannual trends in complex alpine ecosystems have been proposed due to limited availability of reliable data and the uncertainty of the model itself. In this study, the remote sensing-process coupled model (GLOPEM-CEVSA) was used to estimate the net primary productivity (NPP) of vegetation in the TRH region from 2000 to 2012. The estimated NPP significantly and linearly correlated with the above-ground biomass sampled in the field (the multiple correlative coefficient R2 = 0.45, significant level P < 0.01) and showed better performance than the MODIS productivity product, i.e. MOD17A3, (R2 = 0.21). The climate of TRH became warmer and wetter during 1990-2012, and the years 2000 to 2012 were warmer and wetter than the years1990-2000. Responding to the warmer and wetter climate, the NPP had an increasing trend of 13.7 g m-2 (10 yr)-1 with a statistical confidence of 86% (P = 0.14). Among the three basins, the NPP of the Yellow River basin increased at the fastest rate of 17.44 g m-2 (10 yr)-1 (P = 0.158), followed by the Yangtze River basin, and the Lancang River, which was the slowest with a rate of 12.2 g m-2 (10 yr)-1 and a statistical confidence level of only 67%. A multivariate linear regression with temperature and precipitation as the independent variables and NPP as the dependent variable at the pixel level was used to analyze the impacts of climatic changes on the trend of NPP. Both temperature and precipitation can explain the interannual variability of 83% in grassland NPP in the whole region, and can explain high, medium and low coverage of 78%, 84% and 83%, respectively, for grassland in the whole region. The results indicate that climate changes play a dominant role in the interannual trend of vegetation productivity in the alpine ecosystems on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. This has important implications for the formulation of ecological protection and restoration policies for vulnerable ecosystems against the background of global climate changes.

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    Assessment of Desert Ecological Assets and Countermeasures for Ecological Compensation
    BAO Yingshuang,CHENG Leilei,LU Qi
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (1): 56-62.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.01.007
    Abstract436)   HTML0)    PDF (364KB)(167)      

    Can deserts be transformed into resources, into assets, and further into cash? It is necessary to scientifically assess desert ecological assets and incorporate them into the national economic accounting system and the current evaluation system for socio-economic development. This study will provide a scientific basis and robust data for establishing a target system that is compatible with both ecological civilization and an associated reward and punishment mechanism, as well as for designing and implementing effective compensation policies for desert ecosystems. This paper first defines desert ecological assets, and then develops a framework for assessing them based on the evaluation of desert ecological resources and desert ecosystem services. This framework paves the foundation for quantitatively assessing desert ecological assets and preparing balance sheets of desert ecological assets. Finally, this paper analyzes current policies relating to desert ecological compensation, discusses how to design compensation policies based on assessment of desert ecological assets, and puts forward suggestions for improving current policies.

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    Implications of Anthropogenic Disturbances for Species Diversity, Recruitment and Carbon Density in the Mid-hills Forests of Nepal
    Hari Prasad PANDEY
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2021, 12 (1): 1-10.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.01.001
    Abstract192)   HTML30)    PDF (878KB)(167)      

    Almost three-fourths of forests are experiencing anthropogenic disturbances globally, and more than two-thirds of the forests in Nepal receive different types of disturbances. In community forests (CFs), local communities are dependent on the ecosystem services provided by the forests for various aspects of their livelihoods, which disturb the forests’ natural conditions and ecosystem functioning in a variety of ways. This study tested the major disturbance factors that had influential roles on plant species diversity, recruitment (seedlings and saplings), biomass, soil organic carbon (SOC) and total carbon density in two community-managed forests in the Mid-hills of Nepal. The stump number, cut-off seedlings and saplings, lopping, dropping, and grazing/trampling were used as measures of the major anthropogenic disturbances. The necessary data were collected from 89 randomly selected sample plots, each with an area of 250 m2. The responses to anthropogenic disturbances were analyzed using Generalized Linear Models (GLM). The results showed that forest lopping was the most significant anthropogenic disturbance for biomass and total carbon density balance. A higher degree of lopping in the forests resulted in a lowering of the forests' carbon stock in the study area. SOC showed no significant response to any of the tested anthropogenic disturbances. Woody species richness and number of saplings increased with an increasing number of stumps, which signifies that intermediate disturbance was beneficial. However, a higher intensity of lopping reduced the sapling density. Grazing/trampling was the most significant disturbance for inhibiting seedling growth. Areas in the forests with a higher intensity of trampling showed lower numbers of seedlings and saplings. These results will be a guide for managing anthropogenic disturbances in multiple-use forests in Nepal, as well as those in similar socio-economic environments worldwide.

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    Predicting Potential Geographic Distribution of Tibetan Incarvillea younghusbandii Using the Maxent Model
    KAN Aike, YANG Xiao, LI Guoqing, WANG Yingjie, TESREN Luobu, ZENG Yelong, CHENG Zhenlong
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (6): 681-689.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.011
    Abstract215)   HTML1)    PDF (3393KB)(165)      
    Incarvillea younghusbandii is a well-known Tibetan medicinal plant with considerable development and research value distributed widely throughout the Tibetan plateau. It is important to study spatial distribution patterns of the plant in order to develop effective protection measures. Based on field survey work and environmental data, the potential geographic distribution of Incarvillea younghusbandii was delineated using a Maximum Entropy (Maxent) model with 28 environmental variables that screened for climate, topography, human activity and biological factors. Our results showed that the main geographic range of Incarvillea younghusbandii included the valley between the Yarlung Zangbo river and the Duoxiong Zangbo river, the valley in the middle section of the Himalaya Mountains, and the area between the north side of the east section of the Himalayas and the south bank of the middle reach of the Yarlung Zangbo river. Distribution may spread to parts of the eastern Himalayas. The Jackknife test indicated that soil types, ratio of precipitation to air temperature, extreme atmospheric pressure differences and annual precipitation were the most important predictive factors for the model, while other variables made relatively small contributions.
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    A National Key R&D Program: Technologies and Guidelines for Monitoring Ecological Quality of Terrestrial Ecosystems in China
    WANG Shaoqiang,WANG Junbang,ZHANG Leiming,XIAO Zhishu,WANG Feng,SUN Nan,LI Daiqing,CHEN Bin,CHEN Jinghua,LI Yue,WANG Xiaobo,WANG Miaomiao
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (2): 105-111.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.02.001
    Abstract469)   HTML1)    PDF (778KB)(160)      

    Ecological quality is defined as the stability, adaptability and resilience of an ecosystem. Monitoring and assessing ecological quality are important bases for China's ecological civilization construction. The national key research and development program “Technologies and guidelines for monitoring ecological quality of terrestrial ecosystems in China”, launched in July 2017, includes plans to study the observation technologies and provide guidelines on the ecological in-situ observation, the regional biodiversity and ecosystem function monitoring and its applications, all of which contribute to national ecological quality assessment. A year after its implementation, some important progress has been achieved, such as building the indicator system for comprehensive monitoring of ecological quality and improvement of the methods, mass data transmission, infrared camera-based monitoring of biodiversity, multi-angle automatic spectral observation systems, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based desert monitoring. We have organized this special issue and attempted to introduce the monitoring techniques and assessment methods on ecological quality from different perspectives in order to further promote the development of ecology and its observation methods.

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    Analysis on the Spatio-temporal Patterns of Water Conservation Services in Beijing
    XU Jie,XIAO Yu,XIE Gaodi
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (4): 362-372.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.04.003
    Abstract316)   HTML10)    PDF (1651KB)(158)      

    The shortage of water resources is a key factor limiting the sustainable development of the economy and society in Beijing. This study analysed the spatiotemporal patterns of Beijing’s water conservation services (WCS) based on the water balance equation at multiple scales, including city, main functional areas and key districts and counties, determined the differences in the water conservation amount among different land cover types and investigated the reasons for the spatiotemporal differences in the water conservation amount. The results indicated that: (1) compared to 2005, water conservation amount increased substantially in 2010. However, the overall water conservation capacity was low. (2) Among the various land cover types in Beijing, the average water conservation capacity decreased in the following order: wetland, forest, grassland, cropland, bare land and artificial surface. (3) The average water conservation amount in the main functional areas of Beijing varied substantially and was positive only in the ecological conservation area (ECA). (4) The water conservation capacity of each district and county varied substantially within ECA, among which the contribution of the forest in Miyun District, Huairou District and Pinggu District was the highest. The changes in the spatiotemporal patterns of Beijing’s WCS were the synthetic effects of changes in the land covers and meteorological conditions. This study is helpful in achieving the sustainable utilization of water resources in Beijing.

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    Remote Sensing Indices to Measure the Seasonal Dynamics of Photosynthesis in a Southern China Subtropical Evergreen Forest
    SUN Leigang,WANG Shaoqiang,Robert A. MICKLER,CHEN Jinghua,YU Quanzhou,QIAN Zhaohui,ZHOU Guoyi,MENG Ze
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (2): 112-126.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.02.002
    Abstract224)   HTML0)    PDF (1273KB)(157)      

    The accurate measurement of the dynamics of photosynthesis in China’s subtropical evergreen forest ecosystems is an important contribution to carbon (C) sink estimates in global terrestrial ecosystems and their responses to climate change. Eddy covariance has historically been the only direct method to assess C flux of whole ecosystems with high temporal resolution, but it suffers from limited spatial resolution. During the last decade, continuous global monitoring of plant primary productivity from spectroradiometer sensors on flux towers and satellites has extended the temporal and spatial coverage of C flux observations. In this study, we evaluated the performance of two physiological remote sensing indices, fluorescence reflectance index (FRI) and photochemical reflectance index (PRI), to measure the seasonal variations of photosynthesis in a subtropical evergreen forest ecosystem using continuous canopy spectral and flux measurements in the Dinghushan Nature Reserve in southern China. The more commonly used NDVI has been shown to be saturated and mainly affected by illumination (R2=0.88, p < 0.001), but FRI and PRI could better track the seasonal dynamics of plant photosynthetic functioning by comparison and are less affected by illumination (R2=0.13 and R2=0.51, respectively) at the seasonal scale. FRI correlated better with daily gross primary production (GPP) in the morning hours than in the afternoon hours, in contrast to PRI which correlated better with light-use efficiency (LUE) in the afternoon hours. Both FRI and PRI could show greater correlations with GPP and LUE respectively in the senescence season than in the recovery-growth season. When incident PAR was taken into account, the relationship between GPP and FRI was improved and the correlation coefficient increased from 0.22 to 0.69 (p < 0.001). The strength of the correlation increased significantly in the senescence season (R 2=0.79, p < 0.001). Our results demonstrate the application of FRI and PRI as physiological indices for the accurate measurement of the seasonal dynamics of plant community photosynthesis in a subtropical evergreen forest, and suggest these indices may be applied to carbon cycle models to improve the estimation of regional carbon budgets.

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    Relationship of Ecological Well-being Performance and Sustainable Economic Development in Liaoning Province
    ZHANG Hua,YU Miao,SUN Cuiyang,LIU Jiangang
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (1): 39-47.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.01.005
    Abstract277)   HTML1)    PDF (574KB)(157)      

    Liaoning Province is in a critical period of economic transformation. The rational utilization of ecological resources and the balance of the relationship between the resource environment and economic growth have become the key factors affecting its sustainable economic development. This paper uses data from the Human Development Index and an ecological footprint to construct the ecological well-being performance of Liaoning Province from 2006 to 2016. It then examines the relationship of ecological well-being performance with economic growth, considers the factors influencing the well-being level effect, and analyzes the trends for sustainable economic development from the perspective of ecological well-being. There is a horizontal comparison of the current situation of ecological well-being performance in Liaoning Province and with other coastal provinces in China and clarification of the stage and development gap. The conclusions show that: 1) The trend of ecological well-being performance in Liaoning Province during this period first decreased and then rose, with this movement mainly affected by changes in the ecological footprint; 2) There is a U-shaped relationship between ecological well-being performance and economic growth, and resource consumption contributes less to promote well-being; 3) There are three stages to the sustainable development trend: inferior, medium and advanced. When compared with others coastal provinces, Liaoning Province belongs to the high consumption and low well-being type.

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    Coupling Conservation and Livelihoods for Sustainable Management of Protected Areas in East Africa
    FU Chao, BAI Yunli, ZHANG Linxiu, WANG Shuai, YAN Xue
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (3): 266-272.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.03.006
    Abstract220)   HTML0)    PDF (976KB)(155)      
    Strengthening research efforts to understand the combined impacts of conservation and livelihoods in protected areas (PAs) will increase the collective contribution that PAs can make towards meeting global goals for sustainable development in the next decade. As an example of such efforts, in 2014 the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) jointly initiated the “Sustainable Management of Protected Areas in East Africa” project. This paper provides a brief overview of the project’s research background, goals and research tasks. The study is based on a look at the PA management system in East Africa and a review of the literature on the impact of PAs in the region. Results show that East African nations have expanded the coverage of PAs and established a complex set of PA management systems over the past century. The mandate for PAs in East African nations has changed recently from protecting biodiversity to alleviating poverty and supporting livelihoods. However, a combination of human activities and ecological processes inside and outside of PAs may not only impact biodiversity and ecosystem function over the long term, but also pose a threat to the capacity of PAs to maintain livelihoods and alleviate poverty in the local communities around them. The state of existing research in the field suggests there is an enormous need for additional research, the purpose of which is to help PA managers and policy-makers in East Africa understand how to achieve win-win outcomes for both ecosystems and human well-being. Against this background, the CAS-KWS-UN Environment joint research project aims to understand the dynamic interactions between ecosystems and human well-being around PAs in East Africa and identify good practices for PA management to reconcile conservation targets with the livelihood demands of local communities. It is intended that this research be shared with interested parties throughout the developing world. Significant progress has been made in the implementation of the project, in terms of data collection, exchanges of researchers, and the completion of case studies. In the coming year, success stories and examples of failures of PA management in the region will be systematically summarized and shared among scientists, managers and decision makers worldwide. Given its blueprint for building a “Beautiful China”, China can both supplement and benefit from East African knowledge and experience of PA management. This joint research effort promotes Sino-African cooperation on PA research and management.
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    Understanding Agriculture Production and Food Security in Ethiopia from the Perspective of China
    LI Fadong, LENG Peifang, ZHANG Qiuying, SONG Shuai, QIAO Yunfeng, GU Congke, ZHANG Qian, WU Liang, Mulubrhan Balehegn, Dagne Mojo, ZHU Nong, ZHAO Xin
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (3): 237-249.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.03.003
    Abstract321)   HTML2)    PDF (1192KB)(153)      
    Food security and sustainable agricultural development are the hot issues of scientific research, especially after the population affected by hunger surprisingly increased in 2016. Long-lasting and recurrent famines caused by natural disasters and wars have afflicted Ethiopia. Unlike Ethiopia, which is still struggling to achieve food self-sufficiency, China managed to quickly become food self-sufficient at a rapid speed, despite the fact that it also faced the same challenges of famine over the last century. In the backdrop of differing environmental and socio-political challenges the two countries face, comparing the similarities and differences between the two countries will yield important lessons and insights for Ethiopia to follow to achieve food self-sufficiency. Here, the progress towards food security in Ethiopia and China is presented to quantitatively compare the gap of agricultural production between both countries. We found that food production in Ethiopia is heavily constrained by drought, soil degradation, climate change, out-dated agricultural production technologies, and poverty. According to these challenges, we examined corresponding responses in China to propose solutions for achieving food self-sufficiency in Ethiopia, given the realities of its unique national situation.
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    Net Horizontal Payments for Ecosystem Services: An Application in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region of China
    LIN Yongsheng,GUO Zhixin,ZHENG Yaomin,ZHANG Lirong,HUANG Huabing
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (1): 63-68.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.01.008
    Abstract279)   HTML0)    PDF (1405KB)(151)      

    Payments for ecosystem services (PES) are one kind of important tool for environmental protection, and have been widely studied by international scholars and conservationists. Based various definitions of PES from recent articles, we have outlined four principles for PES: parity, measurability, additionality and conditionality, and then have used these principles to develop a formula to calculate a standard for PES. Finding a way to use PES to achieve a win-win relationship between economic growth and environmental protection in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region (BTHR) is a key task for Chinese government. Synergetic development of BTHR has become a national strategy, like The Belt and Road Initiative. This article employed the formula we developed to calculate the net horizontal PES amounts that each provincial government within BTHR should pay. Our findings show that Beijing should have paid 10.44×109 Yuan (0.4% of Beijing’s GRP) and Tianjin 16.56×109 Yuan (0.93% of Tianjin’s GRP) to Hebei in 2016.

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    Soil Priming Effect Mediated by Nitrogen Fertilization Gradients in a Semi-arid Grassland, China
    LI Yue,NIE Cheng,SHAO Rui,DU Wei,LIU Yinghui
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (2): 147-154.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.02.005
    Abstract241)   HTML3)    PDF (582KB)(147)      

    The priming effect is well acknowledged in soil systems but the effect of nitrogen (N) fertilization remains elusive. To explore how N modifies the priming effect in soil organic matter (SOM), one in situ experiment with 13C labeled glucose addition (0.4 mg C g-1 soil, 3.4 atom % 13C) was conducted on soil plots fertilized with three gradients of urea (0, 4 and 16 g N m-2 yr-1). After glucose addition, the soil CO2 concentration and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) were measured on day 3, 7, 21 and 35. The study found that N fertilization decreased soil CO2, PLFA and the fungi to bacteria ratio. Glucose triggered the strongest positive priming in soil at 0 g N m-2 yr-2, meanwhile N fertilization decreased SOM-derived CO2. Soil at 4 g N m-2 yr-2 released the largest amount of glucose-derived carbon (C), likely due to favorable nutrient stoichiometry between C and N. Stable microbial community biomass and composition during early sampling suggests “apparent priming” in this grassland. This study concludes that N fertilization inhibited soil priming in semi-arid grassland, and shifted microbial utilization of C substrate from SOM to added labile C. Diverse microbial functions might be playing a crucial role in soil priming and requires attention in future N fertilization studies.

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    A Study on the Spatial Distribution of China’s Potential Foreign Cooperation on Grain from Geographical View
    QIN Qi, CHENG Shengkui, WU Liang, LIU Xiaojie, LIU Aimin
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (6): 585-591.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.002
    Abstract326)   HTML2)    PDF (1120KB)(146)      
    Further utilization of global agricultural resources and the expansion of potential international cooperation space are necessary measures to promote a new level of China’s national food security and optimize the structure of domestic food consumption. This study measured the global potential cultivated land area and national grain self-sufficiency. Based on the two-above measures, the authors made a classification of China’s foreign agricultural cooperation countries and depicted the spatial pattern of cooperation based on the grain trades of those countries with China. The grain exporters include Australia, North America, South America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia; and the target countries for “going abroad” of Chinese grain enterprises are mainly located in Sub-Saharan Africa and northern Latin America. This study proposes that China’s policy of cooperation on grain should be shifted to non-traditional partners alongside the “Belt and Road Initiative” region. Specifically, China could expand grain imports from Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and other East European and Central Asian countries, and the direction for China’s agricultural enterprises “going abroad” should shift to Sub-Sahara Africa.
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    The Conceptual Model and Its Empirical Studies of Sustainable Carrying Capacity of Water Resources:A Case Study of China Mainland
    ZANG Zheng
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (1): 9-20.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.01.002
    Abstract337)   HTML4)    PDF (1322KB)(143)      

    Based on the interactive development of new industrialization, rapid urbanization and agricultural modernization (IUAM), and from the viewpoint of interactive responses and supply-demand relationships between regional water resources carrying capacity and economic-social development, this paper puts forward the concepts and characterization methods of water resources relative intensity (WRI), water resources carrying rate (WCR) and sustainable index of water resources system (WSI). Considering the catastrophic trait of water resources carrying capacity and its contradictory relationship with WRI, a modified Catastrophe Model, which combines Catastrophe Theory and Fuzzy Mathematic Theory, was introduced to perform a multi-objective and multi-criterion comprehensive assessment of the sustainability of water resources carrying capacity (WSCC) based on benchmarking. According to these concepts and models, land WSCC for the China mainland was set as an example for empirical analysis. The results showed that at the scale of first-grade water regions, Liaohe River, Yangtze River and Pearl River regions had high WRI of domestic water, while Northwestern Rivers, Southeastern Rivers regions and Yangtze River region in some years had high WRI of eco-environment water. However, they were all in a downtrend, while the other four northern regions had low WRI in an uptrend. The agricultural WRI in Songhua River, Yellow River and Northwestern Rivers regions were relatively high and industrial WRI in Songhua River, Yangtze River and Pearl River regions were also relatively high. At the provincial scale, WSCC of urban domestic water was relatively stable, WSCC of eco-environment was obviously fluctuating, and WSCC of agriculture and industry were constantly rising. Overall, WRI in the China mainland generally decreased. The convergence of provinces with high consumption intensity of water resources and spatial spillover of WUE in high WCR provinces promotes water resources development and utilization, progressing toward doubly sustainable development. In the future, China should try to find new ideas and methods of dynamic management of regional water resources and unified management of basin water resources, building on the foundation of traditional water resources planning. Meanwhile, water resources should be considered in regional PRED (population, resources, ecology and development) systems for integrated dispatching and optimizing configuration so that the improvements of WSCC and harmonious development of water resources and regional populations, eco-environment, economy and society can be achieved.

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    Factors Driving the Expansion of Construction Land: A Panel Data Study of Districts and Counties in Ningbo City, China
    MOU Chufu, WANG Limao, QU Qiushi, FANG Yebing, ZHANG Hong
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2018, 9 (4): 365-373.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.004
    Abstract255)   HTML1)    PDF (596KB)(143)      
    This paper analyzes panel data from 2003-2012 to identify the factors driving the expansion of construction land in Ningbo city; it uses panel data, regional-level, and year-by-year regression models. The results indicate the following: (1) For each 1% increase in the size of the economy, urban population, and industrial structure adjustment coefficient, the amount of construction land increased by 0.35%, 0.52% and -1%, respectively. (2) The factors driving the expansion of urban construction land differed across regions. In more highly developed areas such as Yuyao, Cixi, Fenghua and the downtown area, population growth was the most obvious driving factor with coefficients of 4.880, 1.383, 3.036 and 0.583, respectively, in those areas. Here, the impact of industrial structure adjustment was lower than that of population growth (with coefficients of 1.235, 0.307, 0.145 and -0.242), while economic development was an increasingly insignificant factor (with coefficients of -0.302, 0.071, 0.037 and 0.297). On the other hand, economic development was the most important factor for the expansion of construction land in relatively less developed areas such as Xiangshan and Ninghai counties with coefficients of 0.413 and 0.195, respectively. Here, population growth (with coefficients of -0.538 and 0.132) and industrial structure adjustment (with coefficients of -0.097 and 0.067) were comparatively weaker driving factors. (3) The results of the year-by-year regression indicate the increased impact of economic development as a driving factor (from -1.531 in 2005 to 1.459 in 2012). The influence of the population growth factor slowly declined (from 1.249 in 2005 to 0.044 in 2012) and from 2009 on was less influential than the economic development factor. The industrial structure coefficient remained negative and its influence diminished from year to year (from -5.312 in 2004 to -0.589 in 2012).
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    Ecological Carrying Capacity and Green Development in the “Belt and Road” Initiative Region
    ZHEN Lin, XU Zengrang, ZHAO Yuan, WANG Jijun, HU Yunfeng, WANG Juanle
    Journal of Resources and Ecology    2019, 10 (6): 569-573.   DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.06.001
    Abstract350)   HTML35)    PDF (359KB)(143)      

    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.

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