Table of Content

    30 March 2018, Volume 9 Issue 2 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Resources Carrying Capacity
    Evaluation Methods and Research Trends for Ecological Carrying Capacity
    DU Wenpeng, YAN Huimin, YANG Yanzhao, LIU Fang
    2018, 9 (2):  115-124.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.001
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (476KB) ( )   Save
    With the intensive research into global coupling relationships, ecological carrying capacity (ECC), seen as the crucial link between natural ecosystems and human systems, has gradually become an important tool for interdisciplinary research in ecology, resources science and environmental science, as well as for research on regional sustainable development. However, ECC research remains immature and lacks a complete theoretical system, as a result of many limiting factors and different space-time conditions. At present, Chinese and foreign studies focus on methods to evaluate ECC while neglecting to identify the internal driving mechanisms of ECC. In this article, based on the development and conceptualization of ECC, we introduce three evaluation methods for ECC: ecological footprint (EF), human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) and ecosystem services consumption (ESC). Furthermore, we illuminate research focuses and developmental directions for ECC with respect to driving mechanisms, threshold, comprehensive evaluation systems and coupling dynamic model of multi ecological factors, in order to provide a reference for future ECC research.
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    The Progress of Resources and Environment Carrying Capacity: from Single-factor Carrying Capacity Research to Comprehensive Research
    FENG Zhiming, SUN Tong, YANG Yanzhao, YAN Huimin
    2018, 9 (2):  125-134.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.002
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    As a concept to describe development restrictions, resources and environment carrying capacity (RECC) research has developed over more than 100 years since it was first proposed at the beginning of the 20th century. It is now regarded as a significant factor in evaluating the level of cooperation between regional population, resources, and environment; and it is currently used as an effective and operational tool to guide regional sustainable development. This article first reviews the origin of RECC and its early headway. It then reviews the historical development of RECC from single factors, such as land resources carrying capacity, water resources carrying capacity and environmental carrying capacity (environmental capacity), to more comprehensive research, such as comprehensive evaluation, emergy analysis, and ecological footprint analysis. In general, it appears that comprehensive research will become increasingly important in RECC research. However, there are several deficiencies in the current state of comprehensive research. Firstly, comprehensive RECC research lacks a common measurement standard, though some scholars have attempted to create one. Secondly, the RECC evaluation of open systems and dynamic studies should be strengthened. Thirdly, more attention should be paid to standardization, digitalization, and systematization to promote the applicability of RECC research to national practical demands.
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    Regional Differentiation and Classification for Carrying Constraints on the Resources and Environment of China
    ZHANG Xuefei, XU Yong, LI Lijuan, DAI Erfu, XU Weihua
    2018, 9 (2):  135-145.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.003
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (607KB) ( )   Save
    Research on the relationship between national resource constraint-region types and environmental carrying capacity is essential for the continued development of Chinese industrialization and urbanization. Thus, utilizing a series of key indexes including the per-capita potential of available land resources, the per-capita potential of available water resources, the degree of environmental stress, and the degree of ecological restriction, a step-by-step, integrated measuring method is presented here to understand the constrained carrying elements of water and land resources as well as environment and ecology. Spatial differences are analyzed and area types classified at the county level across China. Results reveal that: (1) Almost 90% of China is strongly constrained by both resources and the environment, while nearly 50% of national territory is strongly constrained by two elements, especially in areas of intensive population and industry to the east of the Helan-Longmen Mountain line; (2) Densely populated areas of eastern and central China, as well as on the Tibetan Plateau, are strongly constrained by a shortage of land resources, while North China, the northwest, northeast, the Sichuan basin, and some southern cities are experiencing strong constraints because of water shortages. In contrast, the North China plain, the Yangtze River delta, northern Jiangsu, Sichuan province, Chongqing municipality, Guizhou and Guangxi provinces, the northeast plain, and the northern Loess Plateau are constrained by high levels of environmental stress. Areas of China that are strongly ecologically constrained tend to be concentrated to the southwest of the Tianshan-Dabie Mountain line, as well as in the northeast on the Loess Plateau, in the Alashan of Inner Mongolia, in northeast China, and in the northern Jiangsu coastal area; (3) Constraints on national resources and environmental carrying capacity are diverse and cross-cut China, meanwhile, multi-element spatial distribution does reveal a degree of relative centralization. With the exception of the Tibetan Plateau which is resources-ecological constraint , other areas subject to cross constraints are mainly concentrated to the east of the Helan-Longmen Mountain line.
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    Rural Household Survey and Livelihood
    Analysis of the Decisions of Farmers Working Different Sized Farms to Constantly Use Soil Testing Formula Fertilizer
    LI Shasha, ZHU Yiming, LI Xiande
    2018, 9 (2):  146-153.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.004
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    This paper researches the behavior of using soil testing formula fertilizer at farms of different sizes. The study develops a probit model based on peasant household survey data from 11 grain production areas. The results prove that: First, obvious differences exist in the distribution of formula fertilizer use ratio among farms of different sizes; large-scale farmers are the highest, small-scale farmers are the lowest. Second, from external factors, the increased yield of corn, soil testing services, and information dissemination, it is clear that training has a significant positive effect on farmers’ use behavior; the influence of soil testing services is the greatest. Third the higher the degree of organization, marketization and scale of a farm, the more likely the farmer is to use soil testing formula fertilizer. Policy recommendations are made on the basis of the empirical research presented in this paper.
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    Comprehensive Evaluation of Farm Household Livelihood Assets in a Western Mountainous Area of China: A Case Study in Zunyi City
    LIU Zhifei, CHEN Qianru, XIE Hualin
    2018, 9 (2):  154-163.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.005
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    As the foundation of farm household structure, livelihood asset status is the basis for farmers to gain opportunities, adopt livelihood strategies, resist livelihood risk, and engage in positive livelihood achievements. Quantifying farm household assets identifies future development trends that are fundamentally necessary to predict farm household vulnerability and strategy, as well as understanding farmers’ current living situations. Using Zunyi City in China’s western mountainous area as a case study, we conducted stratified sampling and participatory rural investigation appraisal to collect data on the attributes of farm households’ livelihood assets and livelihood strategies to establish an index evaluation system and enable evaluation and analysis of farm households with different livelihood strategies. Our research indicates that due to structural differences, total livelihood assets of farm households with different livelihood strategies are similar. Rural households have an abundance of natural and material assets and deficiencies in human, financial and social assets. Non-rural households and part- time households are abundant in human, financial and social assets and deficient in natural and material assets.
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    Relationship of Stakeholders in Protected Areas and Tourism Ecological Compensation: A Case Study of Sanya Coral Reef National Nature Reserve in China
    CHEN Haiying, HE Linsi, LI Peng, ZENG Xiaohong, YOU Changjiang
    2018, 9 (2):  164-173.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.006
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    The first step to defining the rights, responsibilities and interests of stakeholders and constructing a compensation mechanism is to identify the stakeholders and clarify their mutual relationships. Nature reserves are complex ecosystems involving nature, the economy and society. There exists a conflict between the public welfare benefits of ecological conservation and the private gains to be realized from social and economic development. There also exist in a nature reserve complex relationships among stakeholders, involving the utilization of ecological resources, ecological conservation and ecological-economic interests. The introduction of tourism brings substantial changes to the existing stakeholder benefit structure in a nature reserve. The implementation of tourism ecological compensation (tourism payment for ecological service) is a process for redefining the distribution of rights, responsibilities and profits among stakeholders and it is also an essential way to balance the interests of the stakeholders. This paper uses a case study of Sanya Coral Reef National Nature Reserve in China to examine the characteristics of stakeholders and analyze their interests. According to the method for defining basic attributes proposed by Mitchel and other scholars, in cases of tourism ecological compensation, stakeholders can be classified as definitive stakeholders, expectant stakeholders and latent stakeholders. This paper applies these classifications and then analyzes the relationships between the rights and responsibilities of these stakeholders and how these change after the implementation of compensation. Additionally, based on the impact compensation has on different stakeholders, changes in the relationships can be analyzed and the structure of the stakeholders can be modelled. This case study of the Sanya Coral Reef National Nature Reserve illustrates the operationalization of a new mechanism for tourism ecological compensation. The paper illustrates a method for coordinating the relationships among the stakeholders involved with this national-level nature reserve.
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    Tourist Willingness to Pay for Protected Area Ecotourism Resources and Influencing Factors at the Hulun Lake Protected Area
    WANG Pengwei, ZHONG Linsheng
    2018, 9 (2):  174-180.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.007
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    We examined the Hulun Lake protected area (HLPA) and tourist willingness to pay (WTP) for ecotourism resources using the contingent valuation method (CVM). Eight hundred questionnaires were distributed in the HLPA and 708 questionnaires were collected. To establish the relationship between variables and WTP, 11 variables were incorporated into the model. Social trust factors and awareness factor were for the first time applied to the models, and two bid equations were obtained by the first and second bid. We found that tourist WTP for ecotourism resources in the HLPA was CNY 14 710 389 in 2010, indicating that tourists have a large WTP for protected area ecotourism resources. Most tourists (79.9%) were willing to pay for ecotourism resources and 21.1% tourists were unwilling to pay. The most common explanation for unwillingness to pay was that it was the government’s responsibility, influenced by special social and economic characteristics in China and indicating that Chinese residents lack resource protection awareness and participation. Income and the awareness of being in a protected area most significantly affected WTP. Trusting protected area authorities significantly affected WTP. Tourists’ satisfaction affected WTP negatively in the first equation and WTP positively in the second equation. These results reveal that tourists had large WTP for ecotourism resources. To improve the WTP for ecotourism resources, the protected area management department could use third-party monitoring mechanisms and accounting systems to strengthen tourists’ trust, and increase ecological education and modify the “one site, several brands” management system.
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    Analysis of Spatial Mismatch of Tourism Development in Guangdong Province
    TAO Hui, WEN Jiemin, ZHU He, ZHANG Qi
    2018, 9 (2):  181-190.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.008
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    The spatial mismatch situation of tourism development in Guangdong Province is analyzed by gravity model and two-dimensional matrix based on the spatial mismatch hypothesis, and the results are visualized using ArcGIS software. This study finds that varying degrees of spatial mismatch exist between the level of tourism development, abundance of tourism resources and accessibility of tourism locations in the 21 cities in Guangdong Province. The gravity centers for tourism economy, tourism resources and tourism location are (113.55° E, 23.00° N), (113.69° E, 23.21° N) and (113.74° E, 22.86° N), respectively. According to the two-dimensional combinatorial matrices, synchronous development is shown in 10 prefecture-level cities for the tourism revenue-resource abundance combination, whereas it is shown in seven prefecture-level cities for the tourism revenue-tourism location combination. Guangzhou and Shenzhen are synchronous-double high zones for both combinations, while Foshan, Qingyuan, Yangjiang, Zhongshan and Jieyang are deviating-negative mismatch zones for both combinations. Furthermore, the vast majority of prefecture-level cities within the province currently present mismatching trends in tourism development. Based on the analysis results, corresponding countermeasures and suggestions are put forward taking into account the actual situation and opportunities for further tourism development in various prefecture-level cities.
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    Responses of Riverbed Particles to Geomorphologic Processes in Aeolian-Fluvial Action Area: A Case Study of the Heilaigou Basin in Inner Mongolia of China
    GU Zhenkui, SHI Changxing, YANG Hui
    2018, 9 (2):  191-202.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.009
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    The Heilaigou basin, located in the Inner Mongolia of China, is predominantly influenced by the aeolian-fluvial actions, with complicated sediment transport conditions on the mainstream riverbed. In order to identify the relationship between sedimentary particles and geomorphic processes, mechanisms for the formation of characteristics of grain size composition were investigated by analyzing grain size parameters and external dynamic geomorphologic features. Firstly, the grain size parameters of the riverbed, stream power, maximum grain size of the wind-blown particles and HI values of the mainstream channel were calculated and analyzed, and they were used to establish multiple regression functions of grain size parameters in order to determine the effects of wind and river actions on particles. The results show that sediments in different reaches are formed in different environments: the upper stream is controlled by fluvial and aeolian processes; the sorting properties of riverbed sediments in the middle stream are worse than those in the upper stream since they are affected mainly by fluvial processes as indicated by the larger stream power there; and the particles on the downstream riverbed are likely contributed by the Kubuqi Desert. The size of particles on the riverbed depends on the hydrodynamic conditions, but is not significantly associated with the evolution of landform. Sorting is significantly related to both the hydrodynamic conditions and wind actions. Riverbed deposits brought in by winds likely become finer from the lower to the upper reaches, which are not coarser than 0.88f. Generally speaking, the stream power has a major effect on sedimentation characteristics of the riverbed, followed by wind power.
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    Response of Plant Growth and Biomass Accumulation to Short-term Experimental Warming in a Highland Barley System of the Tibet
    FU Gang, SUN Wei, LI Shaowei, ZHONG Zhiming
    2018, 9 (2):  203-208.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.010
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    Highland barley is an important staple food in the Tibet, and the Tibetan Plateau is experiencing obvious climatic warming. However, few studies have examined the warming effects on highland barley growth and biomass allocation under conditions of controlled experimental warming. This limits our ability to predict how highland barley will change as the climate changes in the future. An experiment of field warming at two magnitudes was performed in a highland barley system of the Tibet beginning in late May, 2014. Infrared heaters were used to increase soil temperature. At the end of the warming experiment (September 14, 2014), plant growth parameters (plant height, basal diameter, shoot length and leaf number), biomass accumulation parameters (total biomass, root biomass, stem biomass, leaf biomass and spike biomass), and carbon and nitrogen concentration parameters (carbon concentration, nitrogen concentration, the ratio of carbon to nitrogen concentration in root, stem, leaf and spike) were sampled. The low- and high-level experimental warming significantly increased soil temperature by 1.52 and 1.98 °C, respectively. Average soil moisture was significantly decreased by 0.03 m3 m-3 under the high-level experimental warming, while soil moisture under the low-level experimental warming did not significantly change. The low- and high-level experimental warming did not significantly affect plant growth parameters, biomass accumulation parameters, and carbon and nitrogen concentration parameters. There were also no significant differences of plant growth parameters, biomass accumulation parameters, and carbon and nitrogen concentration parameters between the low- and high-level experimental warming. Our findings suggest that the response of highland barley growth, total and component biomass accumulation, and carbon and nitrogen concentration to warming did not linearly change with warming magnitude in the Tibet.
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    The Impact of Spatial Heterogeneity on Ecosystem Service Value in a Case Study in Liuyang River Basin, China
    WANG Mingkuan, MO Hongwei
    2018, 9 (2):  209-217.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.011
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    In previous studies the value of ecosystem services was evaluated microscopically by ecological indicators such as soil properties, biomass, carbon storage, oxygen release, water quality, and others. In this paper, the spatial heterogeneity of ecosystem services in Liuyang River basin was studied from the perspective of Geographic Information System (GIS) based spatial relationships by using a combination of geographic data and spatial analysis technologies. The Liuyang River basin was divided into grids with a resolution of 1km×1km. The weights of factors that affect the value of ecosystem services (such as topography, geological disasters, roads, scenic spots, vegetation coverage, and plant net primary productivity) were evaluated using the entropy method and analytic hierarchy process (AHP) in order to investigate the influence of natural and social factors on the value of ecosystem services in a quantitative manner. The results demonstrate that the value of ecosystem services is mainly affected by vegetation coverage, plant net primary productivity, and road network density. The value of ecosystem services grows with the increase in either vegetation coverage, plant net primary productivity, or road network density. Different types of land play different roles in ecosystem services. Cultivated land, grassland, and water each have significant supply and regulating functions while forest has significant regulating and supporting functions. The value of ecosystem services of cultivated land and water that are closely related to human activity is significantly influenced by spatial heterogeneity. In contrast, the effect of spatial heterogeneity on the value of ecosystem services of forest land and grassland that are located in mountains and hills, far away from the human accumulation zone, is insignificant.
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    Big Data and Knowledge Sharing
    The Research and Practice of Professional Knowledge Sharing and Service: A Case Study of the Geography, Resources,and Ecology Knowledge Service System
    CHEN Zugang, SUN Jiulin, YANG Yaping
    2018, 9 (2):  218-226.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.02.012
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    Knowledge Sharing and Service is one effective way to eliminate knowledge poverty and promote social development. Existing knowledge sharing and service is mainly provided in some organizations or specific social groups. Besides, a knowledge sharing and service system about geography, natural resources and ecology has not been reported. We proposed a public welfare professional knowledge-sharing and service platform for all members of society in geography, natural resources and ecology. The construction of a knowledge-sharing and service platform is based on five aspects of work: analysis of user requirements, setting standards and drafting policies, aggregating knowledge resources, the technical realization and the maintenance of service. Knowledge resources can be aggregated by using a “two-step” strategy. A knowledge-sharing and service system can be implemented by using “four-tier” structures that are comprised of resources, resource access, application and service, based on the Hadoop-distributed cluster architecture. It has been proven that adhering to the idea of co-building and co-sharing, and using the mechanism of “payment is equal to benefit” can effectively promote the gathering of knowledge resources, and arouse the enthusiasm of all members of society to participate in knowledge sharing and service, to achieve the objective of narrowing the knowledge gap between social groups.
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