Table of Content

    30 December 2010, Volume 1 Issue 4 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    On the Historical Background, Scientific Intentions, Goal Orientation, and Policy Framework of Major Function-Oriented Zone Planning in China
    FAN Jie, TAO An-Jun, REN Qing
    2010, 1 (4):  289.  doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.04.001
    Abstract ( 136 )   PDF (808KB) ( 53 )   Save
    Major Function-Oriented Zone Planning (MFOZ Planning) is an important attempt in China in spatial planning since the beginning of the new century, and it has also been raised to the national strategic level in the field of territorial development. This paper expounds the origin and evolution of the strategy of MFOZ planning. Firstly, the paper points out that the unbalanced regional development is in urgent need for the implementing the strategy of MFOZ planning. In order to solve the problem of disorderly exploitation of territorial space in the process of regional development, a clear spatial pattern of territorial function should be established, and the orientation of the development of each region should be determined based on the function orientation thereof. After that, proceeding from the connotations and the formation mechanism of territorial functions the paper elaborates on the formation process of territorial functions, indicating that such a process is developed based on the integration of background functions of natural system and demand functions of human system. Next, in accordance with the work requirements of the planning, the paper introduces several key issues such as the selection of index system, spatial organization of function-oriented zones, and development orientation of major functions, and explains the orientation and framework of the policies related to MFOZ planning. Finally, it discusses the implementation, development and improvement of tthe strategy of MFOZ planning from three aspects, i.e. responsibility system, spatial planning system, and scientific support system.
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    Multifunctional Forest Management in Guyuan: Potentials, Challenges and Trade-offs
    Hannes Jochen KOENIG
    2010, 1 (4):  300.  doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.04.002
    Abstract ( 103 )   PDF (1023KB) ( 33 )   Save
    Soil erosion, population growth and water scarcity are considered critical to rural sustainable development in remote Guyuan, Western China. The Chinese government has responded to these threats by implementing the “Sloping Land Conversion Program” (SLCP) in late 1999 and has completed the first phase by 2003. Besides having the major goal of ecological restoration, the program intended as well to reduce rural poverty and to promote economic development. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of three alternative forest management types and to analyze potential contributions and drawbacks to sustainable development. For the impact assessment the “Framework for Participatory Impact Assessment” (FoPIA) was applied to (i) develop alternative land use scenarios, (ii) specify the regional sustainability context, and (iii) conduct the impact assessment. Scenarios were developed for “ecological restoration forests”, “fruit plantations (agroforestry)” and “bioenergy forests”. As a first result of local stakeholder consultation a set of nine forest functions were developed that should represent key sustainability issues in Guyuan, including “provision of work”, “quality of life”, “access to forests” (social); “income from timber production”, “income from non-timber forest products”, “income from forest related industry and services” (economic); and “provision of biotic resources”, “provision of abiotic resources”, “maintenance of ecosystem processes” (environmental). For the impact assessment, an interdisciplinary expert workshop was used to judge possible impacts of scenarios on forest functions and to explore possible trade-offs among regional sustainability targets. Ecological forests were expected to achieve the primary goal of ecological restoration while having less positive effects on social and economic functions. Fruit plantations were expected to largely contribute to socio-economic function with little positive effects on selected environmental aspects. Bioenergy forests were expected to equally contribute to social, economic and environmental functions. Nevertheless, it was stressed by some experts that regional experiences and good understanding of this management type is still missing. Based on expert judgments and arguments possible strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats were discussed for each forest scenario. It was concluded that the selection of tree species within ecological forest should be reconsidered and that more attention should be paid to native species, mainly for water saving purposes. Fruit plantations, if well managed, were considered to mainly contribute to socio-economic benefits. Bioenergy forests were seen to have high potentials to provide environmental friendly and market independed energy source, mainly at household or at village level.
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    Assessing the Multifunctionalities of Land Use in China
    XIE Gao-Di, ZHEN Lin, ZHANG Cai-Xia, DENG Xiang-Zheng, Hannes Jochen KOENIG, Karen TSCHERNING, Katharina HELMING
    2010, 1 (4):  311.  doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.04.003
    Abstract ( 95 )   PDF (1025KB) ( 63 )   Save
    Human activities drive spatio-temporal changes in land use that in turn lead to changes in land use functions. Land use in China is highly dynamic and particularly important for global sustainable development. However, the Chinese decision makers face significant difficulties anticipating the complex interlinkages that determine land use and the future impacts of development policies on sustainability. This paper aims to develop a conceptual framework for assessing the multifunctionalities of China’s land use and to simulate land use changes between 2010 and 2025 as a response to a new land conversion policy. Functional changes of land use are also examined. The SENSOR approach of scenario analysis and land use functions is adopted for the study. It is found that land conversion policy affects significantly land use patterns in China that is featured as decreases in arable land, grassland, and built-up areas, and increment in forest land area. Of all land use functions defined, economic and social functions increased significantly, while environmental purification and supporting functions decreased dramatically. Regulation function nonetheless increased. The integrated conceptual framework will help various levels of governments to develop land utilization policies that can contribute directly to sustainable development in China.
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    Payments for Grassland Ecosystem Services: A Comparison of Two Examples in China and Germany
    Sandra UTHES, LI Fen, ZHEN Lin, CAO Xiao-Chang
    2010, 1 (4):  319.  doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.04.004
    Abstract ( 168 )   PDF (879KB) ( 68 )   Save
    The degradation of grass-dominated ecosystems and grassland abandonment have become widely spread phenomena across the world. Payments for environmental services (PES) are seen as an innovative approach to stop these trends by making payments to land users in return for adopting practices that secure ecosystem conservation and restoration. Designing efficient PES requires that possible challenges are effectively managed, such as the lack in linearity and immediacy of environmental effects, unexpected monitoring and enforcement costs and possible socio-economic objectives (adequate compensation, equity). The aim of this article is to compare government-financed PES for grassland ecosystem services in two contrasting regions (Xilingol League, China and Brandenburg, Germany) in order to facilitate knowledge exchange on PES design and implementation and the transfer of best practices. Our particular interest is in how different PES mechanisms work, which actors are involved and what characterizes success and failure cases. The comparison shows that both PES programs are not very effective in providing environmental services due to lack of participation of affected farmers (both regions), insufficient monitoring and control (Xilingol) and inappropriate management prescriptions (Brandenburg), which should be improved in future programs.
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    A GIS-based Study on Sustainable Human Settlements Functional Division in China
    FENG Zhi-Ming, YANG Yan-Zhao, YOU Zhen, ZHAO Yan-De
    2010, 1 (4):  331.  doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.04.005
    Abstract ( 135 )   PDF (1562KB) ( 14 )   Save
    The suitability of natural environment for human settlements is assessed by human settlements environment index (HEI) at the grid scale in China. Population agglomeration and shrinking (PAS) is indicated by population density at the county level. Combining HEI and PAS, this paper established the sustainable human settlements functional division evaluation system and division model using GIS. Taking into consideration environmental carrying capacity and economic development levels and potentials, this work brings forward a feasible division scheme at the county level in China. The results show that: sustainable human settlements functions generally decrease from the southeast to the northwest, which reflects the most significant regional difference in China. Highly sustainable region, with a total area of 139.75×104 km2 and a population of 430.84 million, is mainly located in the southeastern coast of China, the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Sichuan Basin, Huanghe-Huaihe-Haihe Rivers Plain Region, and parts of the Northeast China Plain. Sanjiang Plain, Liaohe Plain, and Shandong Peninsula fall into moderately sustainable region, and the total area is 193.61×104 km2 and the population is 323.75 million. Generally sustainable region is mainly located in the Hulunbuir Plateau, Loess Plateau, and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, and sporadically distributed in valleys in southeast Tibet and Qaidam Basin, and it has an area of 210.19×104 km2 and a population of 369.25 million. Marginally sustainable region is scattered throughout the western part of China and mainly in the Loess Plateau, Sichuan-Yunnan Plateau, and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. It covers an area of 145.85×104 km2, and 144.62 million people live in this region. Most parts of the Tibetan Plateau, deserts in the northwest, and northern Sichuan-Yunnan Plateau fall into the unsustainable region, which has a land area of 263.86×104 km2 and only 39.10 million people.
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    A Graph-theoretic Analysis of Stressors Confronting Giant Panda Habitat across Minshan Mountain Region, China
    XIAO Yi, OUYANG-Zhi-Yuan, ZHAO Jing-Zhu, HUANG Bao-Rong, ZHU Chun-Quan
    2010, 1 (4):  339.  doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.04.006
    Abstract ( 152 )   PDF (701KB) ( 77 )   Save
    The Minshan mountain region of China is a focal point for giant panda conservation. Here, we use graph-theoretic methods and social-economic-natural complex ecosystem theory to analyze and assess giant panda habitat stressors and their interactions. We selected twelve stressors spanning tourism, agriculture, mining, hydropower and the collection of timber, fuel wood and Chinese medicinal plants for our analysis. We found that 47% of stressor combinations directly interacted with each other, and that 89% of interactions between stressors had aggravating effects. There was a strong linkage component K={ (TD); (RB); (MI); (HPL); (AP); (AD); (SR); (TH); (FC)}, suggesting that stressors from tourism and tourist site construction, hydropower engineering, transportation, road construction, agriculture and farming, and fuel wood collection are likely to create additional impacts on giant panda habitat through interactions with other stressors. Given these findings, these eight stressors are the most significant factors threatening giant panda habitat across the Minshan Mountains. Our study demonstrates that graph-theoretic methods are useful tools in simplifying reticular interactions amongst various giant panda habitat stressors, and identifying key stressors upon which management plans can be designed.
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    Seasonal Dynamics of Runoff-Sediment Relationship and Its Controlling Factors in Black Soil Region of Northeast China
    LI Run-Kui, ZHU A-Xing, SONG Xian-Feng, CUI Ming
    2010, 1 (4):  345.  doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.04.007
    Abstract ( 135 )   PDF (922KB) ( 33 )   Save
    Seasonal runoff-sediment dynamics and its controlling factors were studied in an agricultural watershed in the black soil region of Northeast China. Daily sediment and discharge data from 1957 to 1989 (except for 1961 and 1962) was used to investigate runoff-sediment dynamics, and the observed data shows that the discharge patterns are dominated by runoff from July to September, which accounted for about 64.7% of annual discharge; fluctuations in suspended sediment concentration (SSC) are markedly different from discharge fluctuations; and SSC in the snowmelt season (April) and late June to July is conspicuously higher than at other periods of the year. One concept was proposed to isolate the individual effect of each controlling factor on SSC from their joint effects and the preliminary analysis shows that: (1) high SSC in April is mainly dominated by freeze-thaw, and high SSC in July is dominated by intensive rainfall erosivity rather than volume of discharge; (2) an increase in rainfall erosivity increases SSC whether or not a field is covered by crops; (3) the effect of rainfall erosivity with increasing SSC in July is larger than the reduction effect from crop cover. The results reveal that the concept of isolating an individual effect from the joint effect played by multiple controlling factors on SSC provides potentially an efficient and effective way for evaluating land use and management practices in a new area with limited data.
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    Impact of Human Activities on Vegetation Diversity in Agricultural Ecosystems: Evidence from Fengqiu County, China
    LI Li
    2010, 1 (4):  353.  doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.04.008
    Abstract ( 232 )   PDF (811KB) ( 37 )   Save
    This study examines the effect of socio-economic factors on local vegetative diversity, and applies mathematical models to identify the main disturbances to vegetative diversity in agricultural landscapes in Fengqiu County, China. At the microscale, it is shown that there is no evidence supporting the proposition prevailing in the literature that vegetative diversity is closely related to landscape composition and configuration. In contrast, human disturbances show a more significant influence on vegetative diversity and are closely related to cultivation types and revenue sources. This is attributed mainly to the specific forms of rural economic practices in China which includes the agricultural household responsibility system and the situation of rural migrant workers. Future strategies are proposed for maintaining local biodiversity under the changing policy environment.
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    Scale-dependent Spatial Relationships between NDVI and Abiotic Factors
    LI Shuang-Cheng, YANG Zhuo-Xiang, GAO Yang
    2010, 1 (4):  361.  doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.04.009
    Abstract ( 158 )   PDF (1067KB) ( 57 )   Save
    Wavelet transform demonstrates that abiotic factors’ impact change with spatial scale, confirming a scale-dependent relationship between NDVI and factors that influence it. To elaborate these scale effects, NDVI transect data and abiotic variables—climatic and topographic—at the 32.5 degree north latitude on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China, were analyzed at different spatial scales by using wavelet transform. The results show that climatic variables such as precipitation and temperature are not dominant factors of NDVI patterns at the less than 80 km scale, while significant wavelet coherency is observed at the more than 80 km scale in some ecoregions. As a differentiating factor, elevation affects NDVI patterns only at the local level in longitudinal range-gorge region at certain specific scales. Wavelet transform is an alternative approach to examining multiscale relationships between NDVI and abiotic factors.
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    Variation of Soil Labile Organic Carbon Pools along an Elevational Gradient in the Wuyi Mountains, China
    XU Xia, CHENG Xiao-Li, ZHOU Yan, LUO Yi-Qi, RUAN Hong-Hua, WANG Jia-She
    2010, 1 (4):  368.  doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.04.010
    Abstract ( 103 )   PDF (913KB) ( 40 )   Save
    Soil labile organic carbon (LOC), a group of dynamic chemical compounds, is important in global carbon (C) cycling due to its short turnover time and sensitivity to environmental changes. However, variation of LOC along elevational gradients in subtropical forests is not fully understood. In this study, we investigated LOC groups, i.e. microbial available carbon (MAC), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), easily oxidation carbon (EOC), water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC), light fraction carbon (LFC) in three soil layers (0–10, 10–25 and 25–40 cm) in different communities along an elevation gradient in the Wuyi Mountains in southeastern China. We also examined plant litter mass (LM), soil temperature and moisture in three soil layers in all communities. We found that MAC, MBC, EOC and WSOC content increased along the elevation gradient across all soil depths, whereas LFC was higher in communities with low elevations compared to others across all soil depths. Soil temperature and moisture mainly regulated MAC, MBC, EOC and WSOC, and plant litter controlled LFC. Positive correlations were found among soil organic carbon (SOC) pools (MAC, MBC, EOC, WSOC, and SOC) (P<0.001) across communities, except for LFC.  LFC was positively correlated to other pools at low elevations and high elevations, respectively. Overall, LOC pools decreased with increasing soil depth across communities. Our results suggest that LOC content principally dependeds on the amount of SOC and LOC groups are good indicators for predicting minor changes of SOC in the C cycle.
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    Regionalization Methodology Systems of Aquatic Ecosystems in China and the Case Study of Huaihe River Basin
    ZUO Qi-Ting, LIANG Jing-Jing, DOU Ming
    2010, 1 (4):  375.  doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.04.011
    Abstract ( 116 )   PDF (795KB) ( 49 )   Save
    The regionalization methodology systems of aquatic ecosystems consist of guiding concepts, fundamental principles, regionalization approaches, nomenclature and code rules. The core of the guiding concepts is the scientific outlook on development and idea of harmonious coexistence between human beings and nature; the fundamental principles include region relativity principle, coordination principle, dominant function principle and graded regionalization principle; the regionalization approaches, nomenclature and code rules vary with the grade and scale of the study areas. In this paper, according to the thought of two-level regionalization, the scheme of regionalization of aquatic ecosystems which contains 6 regions and 34 subregions in China is presented. Based on the classification of aquatic ecosystem service functions, i.e., aquatic ecosystems conservation (water resource protection, soil and water conservation and species conservation), aquatic ecosystems regulation (flood regulation and habitat maintenance), and aquatic ecosystems service (product supply and landscape protection), the three-level regionalization approach is applied in the Huaihe River Basin. In this scheme, the whole basin covers 2 regions, 3 subregions and 21 sections in all.
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