Table of Content

    30 November 2017, Volume 8 Issue 6 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    The Rangeland Livestock Carrying Capacity and Stocking Rate in the Kailash Sacred Landscape in China
    DUAN Cheng, SHI Peili, ZHANG Xianzhou, ZONG Ning, CHAI Xi, GENG Shoubao, ZHU Wanrui
    2017, 8 (6):  551-558.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.001
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (1122KB) ( )   Save
    Maintaining the health and productivity of rangelands by controlling the livestock stocking rate to remain within carrying capacity is of significance to ensure sustainable management of rangeland ecosystems. But we know little about the safe carrying capacity in particular rangeland landscapes. This has hampered efforts to use rangelands in a risk-averse manner in fluctuating rainfall environments, and especially in arid and semiarid areas. To address this lack of information, we took Kailash Sacred Landscape in China (KSL-China) as our study site and used remote sensing data, meteorological data and statistical data from 2000 to 2015 to analyze rangeland carrying capacity, stocking rate, and major influencing factors. Rangeland carrying capacity presented an increasing trend, while stocking rate was gradually decreasing, resulting in an increase of carrying rate in the study area. The increased carrying capacity was closely related to increased rainfall. Stocking rate declined owing to government regulations, particularly implementation in 2004 of the national policy of Returning Grazing Land to Grassland. There was a sharp reduction of livestock number below 200 000 standard sheep units (SU) after 2005. The decrease of stocking rate had a stronger effect on rangeland carrying rate than did the increase of carrying capacity. Ecosystem restoration programs have provided subsidies to pastoralists to encourage them to reduce livestock numbers. Our findings suggest that a safe rangeland carrying capacity is ca. 170 000 SU in KSL-China. There is a carrying capacity surplus of ca. 50 000 SU for safe animal husbandry development in the study area. More importantly, future climate warming and increases in grazing may jointly play a key role in affecting rangeland carrying capacity.
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    Spatio-temporal Distribution of Drought in the Belt and Road Area During 1998-2015 Based on TRMM Precipitation Data
    BAI Yongqing, WANG Juanle, WANG Yujie, HAN Xuehua, Bair Z. Tsydypov, Altansukh Ochir, Davaadorj Davaasuren
    2017, 8 (6):  559-570.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.002
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    Drought is a worldwide natural disaster that has long affected agricultural production as well as social and economic activities. Frequent droughts have been observed in the Belt and Road area, in which much of the agricultural land is concentrated in fragile ecological environment. Based on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Satellite (TRMM) 3B43 precipitation data, we used the Precipitation Abnormity Percentage drought model to study the monthly spatio-temporal distribution of drought in south region of N50° of the Belt and Road area. It was observed that drought during winter was mainly distributed in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia, while it was mainly distributed in Central Asia and West Asia during summer. The occurrence of historical droughts indicates an obvious seasonal cycle. The regional variations in drought were analyzed using the Breaks for Additive Season and Trend tool (BFAST) in six sub-regions according to the spatial distribution of six economic corridors in the Belt and Road area. The average drought conditions over the 18 years show a slight decreasing trend in Northeast Asia, West Asia, North Africa, South Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and a slight increasing trend in Central Asia. However, it was a fluctuating pattern of first increasing and then decreasing in Southeast Asia. The results indicate that the total drought area in the Belt and Road region showed a general decreasing trend at a rate of 40,260 km2 per year from 1998 to 2015.
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    Synergy between Virtual Local Air Pollutants and Greenhouse Gases Emissions Embodied in China’s International Trade
    CHEN Yiying, LEE Harry. F., WANG Ke, PEI Qing, ZOU Ji
    2017, 8 (6):  571-583.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.003
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (1165KB) ( )   Save
    Increasing pressure from the international community to reduce carbon emissions, coupled with the need to reduce domestic air pollutants, is forcing China to deal with both sources of emissions. Air pollutants and greenhouse gases are closely linked via their common source, fossil fuels. As a result of globalization, large portions of these emissions are associated with trade. This study uses data from the World Input-Output Database (WIOD), including 27 EU countries and 13 major countries, covering the period from 2000 to 2009, and applies MRIO (Multiregional input-output) to estimate emissions embodied in China’s international trade. We focus on the synergy between LAPs (local air pollutants) and GHG consumption-based emissions, and the relationship between virtual LAPs and virtual GHGs associated with China’s international trade from 2000 to 2009. The results indicate that a strong synergistic relationship exists and that air pollutant control can serve as an endogenous mechanism to mitigating greenhouse gases. Thanks to domestic actions to control air pollutants, every ton reduction of LAP emissions related to export can save 27.1 tons of GHG emissions in 2005 over emissions efficiency levels, and can save 32.4 tons of GHG emissions in 2009 over 2005. Mitigation actions taken to reduce air pollutants could also reduce GHG emissions.
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    Assessment of Urban Air Pollution and Spatial Spillover Effects in China: Cases of 113 Key Environmental Protection Cities
    GONG Zezhou, ZHANG Xiaoping
    2017, 8 (6):  584-594.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.004
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    With rapid urbanization and energy consumption, environmental pollution and degradation have become increasingly serious problems in China. At the beginning of 2013, China implemented new ambient air quality standards (GB 3095-2012) in which the concentration of six pollutants including PM2.5, ozone, carbon monoxide, PM10, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide were monitored. This study gathered annual air pollutant concentration data for the six pollutants in 113 key environmental protection cites throughout China in 2014 and 2015 to explain spatial patterns of urban air pollution. Based on the Kernel density estimation method, spatial hotspots of air pollution were illustrated through which spatial cluster of each pollutants could be plotted. By employing an entropy evaluation system, urban air quality was assessed in terms of the six atmospheric pollutants. We conclude that, in general, CO and SO2 were two important pollutants in most Chinese cities, but this varied greatly among cities. The assessment results indicate that cities with the worst air quality were mainly located in northern and central provinces, dominantly in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei metropolitan area. Regression modeling showed that a combination of meteorological factors and human-related determinants, to say specifically, industrialization and urbanization factors, greatly influenced urban air quality variation in China. Results from spatial lag regression modeling confirmed that air pollution existed obvious spatial spillover effects among key cities. The spatial interdependence effects of urban air quality means that Chinese municipal governments should strengthen regional cooperation and deepen bilateral collaboration in terms of air regulation and pollution prevention.
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    Impacts of Non-farm Employment of Rural Laborers on Agricultural Land Use: Theoretical Analysis and Its Policy Implications
    HAO Haiguang, LI Xiubin, XIN Liangjie
    2017, 8 (6):  595-604.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.005
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    During rapid urbanization and industrialization process, non-farm employment of rural laborers has emerged as a prevalent phenomenon in rural areas of China and become an important driving factor for changes in agricultural land use. This article attempts to theoretically analyze the impacts of non-farm employment of rural laborers on agricultural land use based on economic frameworks. As rational agents, farmers aim to maximize their income and follow equilibrium principles when they decide how to allocate their labor forces (or working time) in two departments (farm and non-farm) and how to use their agricultural land with different quality and location. The income earned by non-farm employment is higher, and there exists a comparative advantage between labors, as a result the quantity and quality of labor input in agricultural land use decreases. With the limitation of labor input during agricultural land use decision-making of farm households, on the one hand, land with higher quality is still utilized by farmers. On the other hand, poor quality land will be less well managed and is more likely to be abandoned. Non-farm employment of rural laborers and the rising of opportunity costs will result in abandonment of poor quality land, and great importance should be attached to this by policy makers.
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    Enhancing Households’ Economic Benefits through Wetlands Friendly Investment Model: A Case of Ndembera River Valley, Tanzania
    Norbert John Ngowi, Agnes Godfrey Mwakaje
    2017, 8 (6):  605-612.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.006
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    The Wetlands Friendly Investments model has been used to conserve wetland resources and improve rural livelihoods in Tanzania since 2003. Nevertheless, studies’ linking this model to households’ economy is lacking. This paper attempts to examine the households’ economic benefits from the implementation of the activities which are part of the model. A total of 174 intervention households in Ndembera Valley were surveyed using questionnaire. The interviews and transect walk complemented households data. Template, descriptive statistics, t tests and regressions in SPSS ver.20 software were used in the analysis. Results show the difference of annual gross income because of the wetland investment model is about USD 732.0. This study demonstrates that wetland resources could be conserved and utilized using local incentive models. Similar techniques could be applied for related studies elsewhere. Socio-economic factors should be considered for holistic impact of the model on household poverty reduction.
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    Study of Ecological Compensation for Paddy Fields: Oriented towards Eco-environmental Restoration
    XIONG Ying, LIU Moucheng, PANG Shiming, SUN Yehong
    2017, 8 (6):  613-619.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.007
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (421KB) ( )   Save
    Agricultural land provides not only food and fiber (an important element of food security), but also serves as a non-market commodity with characteristic externalities and public services. However, there are also many negative impacts on environment of the paddy production. Thus, Payments for paddy ecosystem services encourage farmers to engage in ecological or organic agricultural practices and agro-ecological/environmental supply. However, compared with forest, wetland, and pasture, the eco-function and ecosystem services of paddy fields have gotten insufficient attention. It is necessary to establish an eco-compensation mechanism for paddy fields that boosts behavior that protects farms to benefit the ecosystem. Based on a review of eco-compensation for paddy fields, this paper proposes the policy game framework of eco-compensation for paddy fields, which is oriented to ecological restoration. Secondly, this paper introduces methods for determination of compensation standards, including the cost the farmers’ willingness to accept, and the ecological benefits of adopting environmental friendly farming practices. And finally, this paper puts forward policy recommendations for eco-compensation for paddy ecosystems.
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    Evaluation of Agricultural Ecological Security in Hubei Province
    LI Pingheng, YAN Lidong, PAN Shilei, MA Yifei
    2017, 8 (6):  620-627.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.008
    Abstract ( )   HTML ( )   PDF (451KB) ( )   Save
    With the promotion of agricultural ecological civilization construction in China, agricultural ecological security has received increasing attention. How to ensure agricultural ecological security has become a great concern for many scholars. As an important agricultural province in China, Hubei is of great significance to Chinese food security and agricultural sustainable development. This paper aims to establish an index system of agricultural ecological security and security classification of Hubei via Analytic Hierarchy Process and Pressure-State-Response methods. An evaluation of agricultural ecological security in Hubei, with a base of the national average value in 2015, reveals that the security degree has increased by 0.07566 from 0.90150 in 2005 to 0.97716 in 2015. Results show that agricultural ecological security in Hubei has improved but failed to reach the national average and there is still large space for improvement of the security level, considering a trend of deterioration in some indexes, such as per capita water resources, population density, per unit area pesticide load of farmland, forest coverage, grassland degradation rate and average annual precipitation. Influencing factors, especially population spatial distribution, misconduct in agricultural production, insufficient ability in agricultural natural disaster prevention, deficiency of agro-ecological technology of agricultural ecological security in Hubei are analyzed. For improvement of the degree of agricultural ecological security in Hubei, some countermeasures and suggestions are discussed.
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    A View on the Limiting City Expansion: Inner-City Attraction Issues through Linear Correlation
    Carlos Alberto Tello
    2017, 8 (6):  628-634.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.009
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    Current inner-city1 depopulation coupled with significant peripheral expansions disrupting nature, are the rule in many of the world’s large cities such as Montreal. Expansion needs to be balanced from the inner-city attraction perspective. To deal with that objective and following an inductive process in the scientific method, two field surveys were implemented in one of Montreal’s inner-city most popular neighbourhoods (Sainte-Marie) for measuring its current attraction power. Results expose that current local residential housing/services improvement in terms of their medium to high needs/impedances2 linear correlations to achieve it discourage people to continue living in Sainte-Marie on a “free will” basis. This report concludes that limiting city expansion at least through this inner-city neighbourhood’s attraction level is still very much a myth.
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    Planning Method of Non-Development Zone in Southern Jiangyin
    QIN Xianhong, GONG Zhidong, SUN Haohao
    2017, 8 (6):  635-640.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.010
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    Jiangyin was the earliest to conduct Non-development zone planning and has attracted the attention of people all over China because it is regarded as the Chinese version of Smart Growth. The planning process is as follows. Based on SPOT and TM satellite remote sensing images develop a regional land use map with high precision using artificial interpretation methods. Then, according to the relationship between anti-development suitability and disasters, agriculture, ecology, built-up area distribution and other geographical factors, generate a comprehensive evaluation chart of anti-development suitability using GIS analysis, such as buffer analysis and overlay analysis. Later, with a regional land use map and anti-development suitability evaluation chart, using the principle of ecological security network and learning from the management experience of nature reserves, draw the scope of Non-development zone and core area. Last, put forward a series of protective measures for the above Non-development zone, that is only allowed to develop agriculture and tourism, strictly restricted industrial projects and urban real estate activities, and all existing industrial factories must be moved to planned industrial parks. This is good practice whereby local governments keep land resources for future generations and more advanced than an urban expansion strategy. This method is very useful for promoting land use layout optimization in Southern Jiangsu Developed Areas.
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    Temporal Variations in Growth and Aboveground Biomass of Phragmites australis and EVI Analysis in Jiaozhou Bay Coastal Salt Marshes, China
    XI Min, KONG Fanlong, LI Yue
    2017, 8 (6):  641-647.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.011
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    To better ascertain leaf, stem and flower traits, and analyze aboveground allocation during the vegetation period, three sampling vegetation transects were settled and reed samples were collected at intervals to determine morphological parameters and dry and wet weights in Jiaozhou Bay wetland. Remote sensing data were also combined to evaluate regional biomass through EVI regression models. Results show that growth dynamics of leaves and stems changed during the vegetation period. Stem length increased rapidly and peaked in September (194.40 ± 23.89 cm), whereas leaf width peaked in July. There was a significantly negative correlation between stem length and stem diameter with a value of -0.785. Stem biomass was higher than that of leaves, and the maximum value of aboveground biomass was 27.17 ± 3.56 g. F/C exhibited a tendency to increase and values ranged from 0.37-0.76. The aboveground biomass of sample plots reached a peak of 2356 ± 457 g/m2 in September. EVI was 0.05-0.5; EVI and biomass had a better fitting effect using the power-exponent model compared with other models and its function was y = 4219.30 x0.88 (R2 = 0.7810). R2 of the other three models ranked as linear function > polynomial function > exponent function, with the values being 0.7769, 0.7623 and 0.6963, respectively. EVI can be used to estimate vegetation biomass, and effectively solved the problems of the destructive effect to sample plots resulting from traditional harvest methods.
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    Ecotourism Resources Assessment and Development Strategy for Guizhou Province, China
    WANG Jing, ZHONG Linsheng, CHEN Tian
    2017, 8 (6):  648-654.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.012
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    The aim of this study is to understand ecotourism resources, taking into considering their quality and the comparative advantages of districts in order to develop effective strategy. Ecotourism is an important developmental model for those undeveloped regions that have superior landscape resources in ecologically fragile environments. This article has identified 181 ecotourism sites in Guizhou province, based on field work in the province. A quantitative assessment using 18 indicators was performed and, based on the results, these resources were divided into five levels. The paper also analyzed the comparative advantage of districts to reflect the developmental potential of different districts. Results show that ecotourism resources in Guihzhou province are numerous, varied in type and high quality; among them, six sites ranked level 5 represented the essence of Guizhou province. Moreover, there are four districts that are high superiority — Anshun, Qiannan and Qianxinan and Zunyi - one that is average and four that are low. According to our analysis, ecotourism development models for Guizhou province can be classified into four types; effective strategies were proposed for each.
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    Seasonal Variations of Hydrochemical Characteristics of Groundwater in Changping Plain, Beijing
    JIANG Tisheng, QI Junyu, WANG Mingyu, LIU Qingzhe, QU Cixiao, CHU Junyao
    2017, 8 (6):  655-663.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2017.06.013
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    Changping Plain, located in the northwest of Beijing, has become an important groundwater recharge area for the Beijing Plain and an important source for the urban water supply. In this study, groundwater samples were collected during the dry and wet seasons in 2015 from 24 monitoring wells distributed in Changping Plain. A Piper-Tri-linear diagram, a Schoeller diagram, a Gibbs diagram, and the isotope technique were used to investigate the temporal and spatial variations in the concentrations of groundwater hydrochemicals and the sources of groundwater recharge. The results indicated: 1) seasonal variations in the concentrations of HCO3-, Ca2+, and Na+ were significant; the spatial variations of these ions were more dramatic in the dry season than in the wet season due to the dilution effect of precipitation; 2) Most groundwater samples had a HCO3-Ca-Mg based hydrochemical type and a few had a HCO3-Na-K based hydrochemical type; the hydrochemical type tended to evolve from HCO3-Ca-Mg based to HCO3-Na-K based in some monitoring wells that showed distinct seasonal variation; 3) the groundwater in the study area originated mainly from atmospheric precipitation, and it is affected by evaporation and concentration processes.
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    Introducing of Editorial Board Member
    SHI Peili, Associate Editor-in-Chief
    2017, 8 (6):  664-664. 
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