Table of Content

    30 November 2018, Volume 9 Issue 6 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Agriculture and Food Security in China
    Increasing China’s Agricultural Labor Productivity: Comparison and Policy Implications from Major Agrarian Countries
    CHEN Yangfen, LI Xiande, LIU Yu
    2018, 9 (6):  575-584.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.001
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    China’s low agricultural labor productivity has become the key weakness of its agricultural competitiveness and sustainable development, and strategies for improving China’s agricultural labor productivity lack clear and consistent theory and empirical support. To address this issue, the current study uses the methods of convergence index, correlation coefficient, and nonparametric test, to analyze the characteristics and influencing factors of agricultural labor productivity among 32 major agrarian countries during 1961-2013. This analysis shows that the development gap among countries has been narrowing. The USA takes the leading position among all the countries, while some countries with scarce land like Japan have succeeded in achieving transcendence, and other countries like India have experienced relatively slow speed. The agricultural labor productivity is significantly driven by agricultural labor surplus, agricultural product processing, and agricultural industrial structure. The effects of land resource endowment, agricultural mechanization, and biochemical inputs have been declining and in some cases are no longer even significant. It is therefore necessary to shift attention to marketization, diversification, and high quality, instead of the former focus on agricultural intensification, concentration and large-scale operations, and this shift is probably more closely aligned with current practices. There are more people and less land in China, and the agricultural labor force in China still accounts for nearly 30% of the total population. Considering these national conditions, it is very important to simultaneously improve the efficiency of agricultural production of small farmers and promote the successful urbanization of the agricultural labor force. In the medium and long term, it is imperative to improve the competitiveness of Chinese agriculture by adopting related policy arrangements such as induced agricultural technological innovation, production factor substitution, and multifunctional agriculture development.
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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
    2018, 9 (6):  585-591.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.002
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    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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    Where Are Potential Regions for the Reallocation of Wheat in the Context of Chinese Land Fallow and Food Security Policies? Findings from Spatio-temporal Changes in Area and Production Between 1990 and 2014
    WANG Xue, LI Xiubin
    2018, 9 (6):  592-608.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.003
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    One of the aims of the recently initiated land fallow policy is to encourage winter wheat abandonment in order to recover the groundwater environment of the North China Plain (NCP); although this also threatens a national secure supply of this crop, as the NCP is the major wheat producing area in China. It is therefore necessary to consider regional wheat reallocation in order to meet the twin challenges of production and water conservation. An evaluation of spatiotemporal changes in wheat area and production across China in recent years may shed light on the regions that have the potential for reallocation; such trends are analyzed in this study using agricultural statistical data. Three over-arching principles are proposed that reallocation must be naturally suitable, economically feasible, and socially acceptable, and together with the result of the spatiotemporal analysis, two continuous areas are recommended as potentially suitable for wheat reallocation—alongside the Huai River and the cold region of northeastern China. We also present strategies to improve wheat yields as well as policies for farmers, aiming to encourage the reallocation of wheat to the regions highlighted in this study.
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    Ecosystem Assessment
    Comprehensive Evaluation of the Suitability of Agricultural Land in Myanmar
    GU Changjun, ZHANG Yili, LIU Linshan, LI Lanhui, ZHANG Binghua
    2018, 9 (6):  609-621.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.004
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    Myanmar is a country with an economy based on agriculture. It has rich agricultural resources and great potential for development. The development of agriculture in Myanmar is becoming increasingly important to international food security. Assessments of agricultural land resources in Myanmar are the basis for the country’s agricultural development and for food security evaluations. In this paper we used the MaxEnt model to analyze the relationship between the suitability of land for agricultural reclamation and the main environmental variables in Myanmar, and then constructed a model to comprehensively evaluate the suitability of land for agriculture in Myanmar. The results show that: 1) the overall accuracy of the MaxEnt model is high (AUC>0.8), which means there is a high correlation between the database of selected environmental indicators and the true distribution of cultivated land in Myanmar. 2) Soil depth is the most important factor affecting the suitability of land for agriculture in Myanmar. When the thickness of soil layer is less than 100 cm, the suitability of land for agriculture is low. With respect to topographic conditions, slope is the main factor affecting suitability. When the slope is greater than 20 degrees, the suitability of land for agriculture is low. With respect to climate conditions, precipitation is the main influencing factor. There is a positive correlation between river network density and land suitability. 3) Currently, 400 000 km² of the land resources in Myanmar are suitable for agriculture, and of this amount 290 000 km² are highly suitable, accounting for nearly 40% of the country's land area. The highly suitable land is distributed mainly in Magway, Sagaing, Ayeyarwady and Yangon provinces. The provinces are also important grain production areas in Myanmar, and this serves to validate the effectiveness of the method used in this paper.
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    Use a Spatial Analysis Model to Assess Habitat Quality in Lashihai Watershed
    LI Haiping, QI Yanan, QU Yunying
    2018, 9 (6):  622-631.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.005
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    Habitat quality assessments are of great significance for protecting biodiversity. This study analyzes the changing habitat quality of Lashihai watershed based on SPOT satellite images. We extracted the land use data for Lashihai watershed in Yunnan province for the years 2000 and 2015, and then used an InVEST model to evaluate habitat degradation, habitat quality and habitat scarcity in the study area from 2000 to 2015. Spatial statistical methods were used to determine changes to spatial dynamics. Results indicate that the number of areas with habitat degradation was generally small, and that both the number of areas with habitat degradation and the degree of degradation had fallen noticeably during the fifteen-year study period. In general, the quality of habitats was maintained or improved, while the quality of habitats decreased in only a few areas. The scarcity of habitats for cultivated land had increased, the tension between people and land use was relatively prominent. The reason habitat quality in Lashihai watershed has improved can be attributed to three factors: 1) The policy of returning farmland to forests since 2000 has been well implemented and has achieved remarkable results. Loss of forests from logging and deforestation has basically been eliminated, and great progress has been made restoring the ecological environment. 2) High background value of quality habitat suitability benefits from the research area’s high vegetation coverage. 3) The development of the local tourism economy has transformed the area’s ecological advantages into an economic bonus, greatly increasing the income level and living standards of residents. At the same time, the ecological resource bonus has increased the enthusiasm of residents for ecological protection and has helped to promote the protection of local eco-systems, both reducing ecological degradation and improving habitat quality. At the same time, increasing conflicts between land and people should be addressed. Support is needed to promote development of the ecological economy while continuously reducing ecological degradation and further increasing residents’ income. There must be less reliance on industry and less pressure on both land and people, all the while ensuring that the local economy and ecology can more forward together in a sustainable way.
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    Identification of Key Ecosystem Services That Can Be Delivered by Water or Wind from Zhangjiakou-Chengde Region to Beijing
    LI Qingxu, ZHANG Biao, XIE Gaodi, WANG Shuang
    2018, 9 (6):  632-641.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.006
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    Rapid urbanization causing serious air pollution and ecological risks in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in North China has attracted worldwide attention. This study estimates the key ecosystem services of land covers in Zhangjiakou and Chengde, and analyzes their main contributions and the effects of ecosystem service flows to Beijing. Results indicated that the total economic value of key ecosystem services in the Zhangjiakou-Chengde region was CNY 189.5 billion in 2013, and that these services were generated mainly from the forestlands, grasslands, and farmlands of Chengde and the eastern region of Zhangjiakou. However, nearly half of land covers provided low ecosystem service values and thus should be enhanced. In addition, approximately 21% of key ecosystem services were delivered from the Zhangjiakou-Chengde region into Beijing, and the flow feasibilities of ecosystem services delivered by water and wind reached 34% and 12%, respectively. Chicheng, Zhuolu, Chongli, Huailai, Xuanhua and Guyuan counties contributed 61% of the ecosystem services flowing into Beijing, and each service showed high regional relationships with Beijing (flow index ≥ 40%). Thus, these services should be prioritized in terms of ecological compensation funds and policies from Beijing.
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    Ecosystem Carbon Allocation of a Temperate Mixed Forest and a Subtropical Evergreen Forest in China
    LUO Yiwei, ZHANG Leiming, GUO Xuebing, DAI Guanhua, WANG Anzhi, ZHOU Guoyi, YU Guirui
    2018, 9 (6):  642-653.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.007
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    Ecosystem carbon allocation can indicate ecosystem carbon cycling visually through its quantification within different carbon pools and carbon exchange. Using the ecological inventory and eddy covariance measurement applied to both a mature temperate mixed forest in Changbai Mountain (CBM) and a mature subtropical evergreen forest in Dinghu Mountain (DHM), we partitioned the ecosystem carbon pool and carbon exchange into different components, determined the allocation and analyzed relationships within those components. Generally, the total carbon stock of CBM was slightly higher than that of DHM due to a higher carbon stock in the arbor layer at CBM. It was interesting that the proportions of carbon stock in vegetation, soil and litter were similar for the two mature forests. The ratio of vegetation carbon pool to soil carbon stock was 1.5 at CBM and 1.3 at DHM. However, more carbon was allocated to the trunk and root from the vegetation carbon pool at CBM, while more carbon was allocated to foliage and branches at DHM. Moreover, 77% of soil carbon storage was limited to the surface soil layer (0-20 cm), while there was still plentiful carbon stored in the deeper soil layers at DHM. The root/shoot ratios were 0.30 and 0.25 for CBM and DHM, respectively. The rates of net ecosystem productivity (NPP) to gross ecosystem productivity (GPP) were 0.76 and 0.58, and the ratios of ecosystem respiration (Re) to GPP were 0.98 and 0.87 for CBM and DHM, respectively. The net ecosystem carbon exchange/productivity (NEP) was 0.24 t C ha-1 yr-1 for CBM and 3.38 t C ha-1 yr-1 for DHM. Due to the common seasonal and inter-annual variations of ecosystem carbon exchange resulting from the influence of environmental factors, it was necessary to use the long record dataset to evaluate the ecosystem sink capacity.
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    A Study of the Qianyanzhou Mode in a Subtropical Red Soil Hilly Region of China
    ZOU Jingdong, LIU Wenjing, WANG Jingsheng, WANG Tong, LI Chao, DING Lubin, BAO Xiaoting
    2018, 9 (6):  654-662.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.008
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    Qianyanzhou is located in the heart of Jitai Basin in Guanxi town, the county seat of Taihe county in Jiangxi province. Qianyanzhou has a subtropical humid climate and exemplifies the geographic and geomorphologic characteristics of red soil hilly regions in southern China. In the early 1980s, to control soil and water loss and problems with grain yields, Qianyanzhou’s researchers proposed an innovative, comprehensive stereoscopic agriculture development mode known as the “Qianyanzhou mode”. This mode included a forest-livestock-food ecosystem, a forest-fruit-economy ecosystem, and a land-water compound stereoscopic system, all located within a watershed. In the Qianyanzhou mode, soil and water loss were completely controlled, thereby promoting environmental conservation and economic development. The state and the society as a whole supported this mode thanks to its far-reaching social impact. In the 21st century, given new societal concerns and continuing economic development, Qianyanzhou mode has been restructured as two ecosystems of forest-fowl and planting-raising circular economies at landscape level, based on an increase in vegetation coverage from 4.3% to more than 80%. These improved modes can significantly enhance the ecosystem, reduce poverty, and to promote the construction of local ecological civilization. This study introduces the Qianyanzhou mode and summarizes its characteristics in different phases. We hope that the information in this study supports improvements to and promotion of the Qianyanzhou mode. We believe the Qianyanzhou mode can play an important role in efforts to modify the agriculture industrial structure, alleviate poverty, and construct ecological civilization.
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    Climate and Ecosystems
    Relationships between Genetic Diversity of Vascular Plant Species and Climate Factors
    TAN Jingfang, WAN Jizhong, LUO Fangli, YU Feihai
    2018, 9 (6):  663-672.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.009
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    Genetic diversity is crucial for plants to respond to global climate change, and exploring relationships between genetic diversity and climatic factors may help predict how global climate change will shape the genetic diversity of plants in the future. So far, however, the extent and magnitude of the impact of climatic factors on the genetic diversity of plants has not been clarified. We collected data from 68 published papers on two widely used measures of genetic diversity of populations (average expected heterozygosity (He) and average observed heterozygosity (Ho)) and on localities of populations of 79 vascular plants, and extracted data on 19 climatic factors from WorldClim. We then explored the relationships between measures of genetic diversity and climatic factors using linear regressions. He of plant populations was significantly correlated with climatic factors in 58.7% (44) of the 75 species that used He as a measure of genetic diversity, and Ho was correlated with climatic factors in 65.1% (41) of the 63 species that used this genetic diversity measure. In general, Mean Temperature of Wettest Quarter, Precipitation Seasonality, Precipitation of Driest Quarter and Temperature Seasonality played a vital role in shaping He, and Ho was mostly correlated with Precipitation of Warmest Quarter, Mean Temperature of Wettest Quarter, Precipitation of Driest Quarter and Precipitation of Driest Month. Also, the proportion of the significant correlations between genetic diversity of populations and climatic factors was higher for woody than for herbaceous species, and different climatic factors played different roles in shaping genetic diversity of these two growth forms. Our results suggest that climate may play an important role in shaping genetic diversity of plant populations, that climatic change in the future may alter genetic diversity of plants, and that genetic diversity of different plant forms may respond to climatic change differently.
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    Response Differences of MODIS-NDVI and MODIS-EVI to Climate Factors
    PAN Xia, GAO Yong, WANG Ji
    2018, 9 (6):  673-680.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.010
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    To evaluate and provide an appropriate theoretical direction for research into climate-vegetation interactions using meteorological station data at different time scales, we examined differences between the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) and their responses to climate factors. We looked for correlations between data extracted from MOD13Q1 remote sensing images and meteorological station data for the two indexes. The results showed that even though NDVI and EVI are derived from the same remote sensing image, their response to climate factors was significantly different. In the same meteorological station, the correlation coefficients for NDVI, EVI and climate factors were different; correlation coefficients between NDVI, EVI and climate factors varied with meteorological station. In addition, there was a lag effect for responses of NDVI to average minimum temperature, average temperature, average vapor pressure, minimum relative humidity, extreme wind speed, maximum wind speed, average wind speed and average station air-pressure. EVI had a lag only for average minimum temperature, average vapor pressure, extreme wind speed, maximum wind speed and average station air-pressure. The lag period was variable, but most were in the -3 period. Different vegetation types had different sensitivities to climate. The correlation between meteorological stations and vegetation requires more attention in future research.
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    Resources and Ecology in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
    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
    2018, 9 (6):  681-689.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.011
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    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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    Analysis of the Water Environmental Capacity of Zhongba-Nyingchi Section of the Yarlung Tsangpo River
    ZHAO Xiang, LIU Zhaofei, WANG Rui, YAO Zhijun
    2018, 9 (6):  690-699.  doi: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.06.012
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    The Yarlung Tsangpo River, the longest river in Tibet, houses most of the population and economy in Tibet Autonomous province. Under the rapid development of economy and society in Tibet, the pollution in the Yarlung Tsangpo River basin has rapidly increased. Evaluating water quality and water environmental capacity is needed for water resource management in Tibet. This study used a single factor evaluation method to evaluate water quality of the Zhongba-Nyingchi section of the Yarlung Tsangpo River based on measured data of CODCr, NH3-N and TP in the study area. Based on these data, determinations of ideal water environmental capacity, emissions of pollutants and remaining water environmental capacity of the study area were made by a one-dimensional steady water quality model under either section-head control or cross-section control. The data indicate that most of the monitoring sections in the study area experienced good water quality. The three pollutants all had large remaining water environmental capacity generally, but TP exceeded state levels in the two upstream functional areas, and levels above state standards of CODCr and TP were found in several calculation cells of the two downstream functional areas. Therefore, emissions of pollutants need to be reduced to protect the water environment quality of the Yarlung Tsangpo River.
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    Introducing of Editorial Board Member
    LI Wenhua, Editor-in-Chief, Won the Outstanding Contribution Award
    LI Wenhua
    2018, 9 (6):  700-700. 
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