Land Resources and Land Use

Research on Land Resource Carrying Capacity: Progress and Prospects

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. College of resources and environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. National Academy of Innovation Strategy, Beijing 100863, China

Received date: 2017-08-10

  Revised date: 2018-01-20

  Online published: 2018-07-24

Supported by

National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0503500); National Science and Technology Major Project (Z2016C01G01); National Natural Science Foundation of China (41471453).


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.

Cite this article

SUN Tong, FENG Zhiming, YANG Yanzhao, LIN Yumei, WU Yanjuan . Research on Land Resource Carrying Capacity: Progress and Prospects[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2018 , 9(4) : 331 -340 . DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2018.04.001


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