Ecosystem Assessment in Altay Region

Evaluating the Ecological Security of Land Resources based on Multi-source Data in the Altay Region of China

  • YE Hui , 1, 2, 3 ,
  • BAI Die 4 ,
  • TAN Shucheng 4 ,
  • SHAO Dajiang 1, 2, 3 ,
  • WANG Jinliang , 1, 2, 3, *
  • 1. Faculty of Tourism and Geographic Sciences, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500, China
  • 2. Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Remote Sensing for Universities in Yunnan, Kunming 650500, China
  • 3. Center for Geospatial Information Engineering and Technology of Yunnan Province, Kunming 650500, China
  • 4. School of Earth Sciences, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China
*WANG Jinliang, E-mail:

YE Hui, E-mail:

Received date: 2021-04-15

  Accepted date: 2021-06-11

  Online published: 2021-11-26

Supported by

The Key Program of Basic Research of Yunnan Province, China(2019FA017)

The Multi-Government International Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Key Project of National Key Research and Development Program of China(2018YFE0184300)

The Postgraduate Scientific Research Fund Project of Yunnan Provincial Department of Education(2021Y501)


As a material carrier contributing to human survival and social sustainable development, the ecological environment is declining in its integrity and overall health. With the rapid development of society and economy, it is currently very necessary to carry out ecological security evaluation research to provide scientific guidance and suggestions for the construction of ecological civilization and the harmonious co-existence between man and nature. Taking Altay region as the research area, this paper collected and integrated regional geological, geographical, cultural, socio-economic, and statistical data, as well as previous research results. Combined with DPSIR and EES framework model, the evaluation index system of land resource ecological security in Altay region was constructed by using the analytic hierarchy process, entropy method and linear weighted summation function method. Using this index system, the evaluation research work was carried out to determine the current state of the security situation and the major threats which should be addressed. (1) The overall ecological security situation of Altay region was relatively safe, while the local ecological security situation was relatively fragile. Among them, the areas with safe and safer ecological environment accounted for 38.72%, while the areas with critically safe status accounted for 30.83%, and the areas with a less safe and unsafe environment accounted for 30.45%. In terms of spatial characteristics, the areas with unsafe ecological environment were mainly distributed in the west and east of the study area, while the areas with good ecological environment were distributed in the north of the study area. (2) Large-scale mining activities, frequent geological disasters, large-scale reclamation and long-term cultivation of arable land, and long-term large-scale grazing activities resulting in the destruction of grassland and vegetation were the main factors leading to the prominent ecological security problems of land resources in the Altay region. Therefore, in the process of the continuous development of the urban economy, we should pay more attention to the harmony between man and nature, and also actively and effectively advocate and implement certain policies and measures, such as returning farmland to forest, returning grazing land to grassland and integrating the mining of mineral resources.

Cite this article

YE Hui , BAI Die , TAN Shucheng , SHAO Dajiang , WANG Jinliang . Evaluating the Ecological Security of Land Resources based on Multi-source Data in the Altay Region of China[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2021 , 12(6) : 757 -765 . DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2021.06.004

1 Introduction

The ecological environment is the material carrier for meeting human survival and social sustainable development needs, usually including the water resource environment, land resource environment, biological resource environment and climate resource environment. With the accelerating process of social industrialization, people’s daily life and production activities have caused varying degrees of impact on the ecological environment, some of which are irreversible. For example, the irrational exploitation of resources has caused the phenomena of soil erosion and land desertification, and the global warming caused by industrial wastes and automobile exhaust emissions. In recent years, the national government has attached great importance to the restoration and protection of the ecological environment. It has repeatedly proposed the development of the concept of harmonious coexistence between humans and nature, with the approach that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets and building an ecological civilization is the key to development. Therefore, for the construction and development of ecological civilization, the regional ecological environment needs to be immediately and comprehensively restored and protected, and the ecological security assessment of land resources and the environment is an essential part of that whole ecological restoration and protection system.
At present, research on the ecological security evaluation of land resources mainly focuses on two aspects. One is the ecological security level and health degree of the land resources themselves, and the other is the degree of support for the land resources for human development and utilization (Lu et al., 2016). Foreign scholars Karr et al. conducted relevant research on land ecological environmental quality from the perspective of the sensitivity of ecological environmental system, and finally concluded that although the sensitivity of the ecological environment system can reflect the damage and impact of human production activities and natural disasters on land resources and the environment, it cannot accurately measure the magnitude of the damage or the bearing limit of the environment (Karr, 1981). The Pressure-State-Response (PSR) (Atici, 2010; Ye et al., 2011) developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has solved precisely this problem. The PSR can intuitively express the causes, results and countermeasures regarding the degradation of ecological environmental quality, and can accurately reflect the internal relations of the land ecosystem. At the same time, the Driving force-State-Response (DSR) (Pang et al., 2014) that the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) published was widely used at that time. On the basis of PSR and DSR, the European Environment Agency, European Statistical Office and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) put forward the Driving force-Pressure- State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) (Singh et al., 2012) and Driving force-Pressure-State-Exposure-Response (DPSER) (FAO, 1997), respectively. These two sets of framework models can not only reflect the internal relationships between multiple elements and the land ecosystem from multiple fields, but they can also reflect the internal relationships among various factors. They are also very intuitive for the display of evaluation results, and so they are the two sets of evaluation models most widely adopted thus far. The commonly used land resources ecological security assessment methods in China mainly include the comprehensive index method (Fu et al., 2020), principal component analysis method (Chen et al., 2021), grey correlation method, matter element model method (Guo et al., 2020), ecological footprint method and several others. Although many scholars have carried out a lot of research work based on the above evaluation models and methods, there are still several problems. 1) The evaluation index factor data mainly come from social and economic development status and statistical data, which are too simplistic. 2) The evaluation models rarely take into account the influence of native land resources and natural geographical factors on land ecological security, and so they fail to fully reflect the relationships and influences between various factors and the land resource ecosystem. 3) The calculation method of index weights is too simplistic, and there are many subjective factors affecting the weight results, which further affect the accuracy of the evaluation results. With the continuous development of 3S (RS, GIS, GPS) Technology, choosing the multi-source data fusion with the combination of RS (Remote Sensing) and GIS (Geographic Information System) technologies, using the raster data structure for storage, and selecting a specific research area of the land resource ecological security to evaluate, can not only comprehensively reflect the effects of multiple factors on land resource ecological security condition (Gao et al., 2019), but also has the advantages of simple superposition operation, easy data acquisition, wide coverage area, strong timeliness and easy visual expression (Li et al., 2012).
As the region with the most abundant water resources in Xinjiang, Altay has always been honored as the “water tower” in northern Xinjiang. Altay is also one of the country’s six forest areas, and the quality of its woodland resources and water resources is high, but the arable land area is relatively limited (Sun et al., 2020). The contradiction between humans and land caused by the continuous growth of the population has become a major barrier to the development of the social economy and industry in the Altay region. Therefore, in order to evaluate the ecological security of land resources in Altay region quickly and effectively, it is particularly necessary to choose scientific and reasonable methods. This paper combined DPSIR (Driving force- Pressure-State-Impact-Response) and EES (Environment- Economic-Society), based on an RS and GIS technology platform, selected multi-source data, and used the analytic hierarchy process, entropy value method, and linear weighted sum function method to build the Altay regional land resource ecological security evaluation index system. It then used this system to evaluate and grade the ecological security of regional land resources, in order to diagnose the current situation due to the unreasonable development and utilization of various land constraints and the existing land resource ecological security problems, and to determine the land restriction factors and existing ecological security problems of land resources caused by unreasonable exploitation and utilization (Zhang et al., 2017). Based on the powerful spatial analysis function of GIS, this paper analyzed the spatial differentiation of the characteristics of the ecological security of land resources in Altay region, and put forward reasonable countermeasures and suggestions for protection and restoration. These assessments were carried out in order to solve the contradiction between man and land in Altay region, to accelerate the pace of sustainable development of the regional economy, to provide decision-making basis and support, and to better achieve the harmonious coexistence of man and nature coordinated and unified development.

2 Study area and data sources

2.1 Study area

Altay is a part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which has jurisdiction over one county-level city and six counties, which are Altay, Burjin, Habahe, Jimunai, Fuhai, Fuyun and Qinghe counties. It is located in the northernmost part of Xinjiang, bordering on Russia in the north, Mongolia in the east and Kazakhstan in the west. Its geographical coordinates are between 85°31°36-91°04°23E and 45°00°00- 49°10°45N. The total area is 1.18×105 km2, accounting for about 7.1% of the total area of Xinjiang. It has a typical temperate continental climate with cold winters and hot dry summers. It is rich in grassland resources and has well- developed animal husbandry, and it is one of the key grazing areas in China (Sun et al., 2020).
Fig. 1 Map of the location of Altay

2.2 Data sources

The main data used in this evaluation of ecological security in the Altay area include remote sensing data, geographical data, geological data and social and economic statistical data. Table 1 provides details on the data sources. Because the data used in this study were compiled in a variety of ways, the geological data and statistical data were transformed using the spatial analysis and the interpolation analysis function of ArcGIS software platform to rasterize the raw data, and then assigned to a unified coordinate system and sampled with a spatial resolution of 30-meter raster data, with the goal of facilitating subsequent overlay analysis and evaluation.
Table 1 Basic data for the study area
Serial number Category Source name Specifications Data source
1 Geological Geological map of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 1:500000 National Geological Data Center
2 Geological structure distribution map of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 1:500000
3 Regional geomorphologic map of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 1:500000
4 Regional geology of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 1:500000
5 Remote sensing data Landsat 8 remote sensing data Spatial resolution 30 m Geospatial data cloud
6 NDVI (Vegetation coverage) Spatial resolution 30 m
7 Geographic data DEM (Digital elevation) Spatial resolution 30 m
8 Slope Spatial resolution 30 m
9 Types of land use Spatial resolution 30 m
10 Basic geography of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Vector data
11 Statistical data Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region statistical yearbook Released in 2019 Bureau of Statistics, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (

3 Research method

3.1 DPSIR-EES evaluation index system construction

The state of ecological security includes many factors, such as the condition of native natural environment, social and economic development and human engineering activities, etc. It is an open system with complex and diverse changes (Cui et al., 2021). When a single model and method are used to evaluate the ecological security, the result has a large error, and it cannot truly reflect the details of the ecological security situation. Therefore, the DPSIR (Driving force- Pressure-State-Impact-Response) model and EES (Environment-Economic-Society) framework model were combined, supported by 3S Technology, and the target layer, criterion layer and index factors were selected, which scientifically and objectively reflect the interactive relationships between social and economic development, natural conditions, human engineering activities and other factors and the ecological environmental conditions. Firstly, the ecological security status in Altay region was taken as the overall target layer, which was divided into five criterion layers (driving force, pressure, state, influence and response), and then twenty-seven index factors were selected from three main elements, namely environment, economy and society, in the five criterion layers. This paper combined the ecological environmental status with the social and economic development level in Altay region, and based on the analysis of previous research results, fully considered the availability of data, selected the county-level administrative region as the evaluation unit grid, constructed the evaluation index system of ecological security status in Altay region and carried out the relevant analyses (Table 2).
Table 2 Evaluation index system for ecological security in Altay area
Target layer Criterion layer Element layer Index layer Index orientation Entropy method weight AHP weight Comprehensive weight
Evaluation index system
of ecological
Driving force (D) Environmental
driving force (D1)
Proportion of construction land area (D11) 0.0362 0.0318 0.034
Density of road network (D12) 0.0336 0.0335 0.03355
Economic driving force (D2) Per capital GDP (D21) + 0.0335 0.0336 0.03355
Per capita disposable income (D22) + 0.0385 0.0326 0.03555
Social driving force (D3) Population density (D31) 0.0357 0.0335 0.0346
Pressure (P) Environmental
pressure (P1)
Geological hazard density (P11) 0.0358 0.0312 0.0335
Cultivated land area above slope of 25 (P12) 0.036 0.0401 0.03805
Economic pressure (P2) Growth rate of investment in fixed assets (P21) 0.0368 0.0297 0.03325
Environmental capacity (P22) + 0.0389 0.0395 0.0392
Social pressure (P3) Residential density (P31) 0.0458 0.0365 0.04115
State (S) Environmental state (S1) Geological structure (S11) 0.0377 0.0365 0.0371
Rock character (S12) 0.0385 0.0379 0.0382
Topographic slope (S13) 0.0431 0.0368 0.03995
Economic state (S2) Amount of land resources (S21) 0.0362 0.0313 0.03375
Social state (S3) Vegetation coverage index (S31) + 0.0379 0.0357 0.0368
Green coverage rate (S32) + 0.0438 0.0317 0.03775
Impact (I) Environmental
influence (I1)
Distance from water system (I11) + 0.0515 0.0253 0.0384
Distance from road (I12) + 0.0392 0.0316 0.0354
Economic influence (I2) Year-end deposits of residents (I21) + 0.0357 0.0426 0.03915
Electric energy production (I22) - 0.0399 0.0338 0.03685
Social influence (I3) Forest and grassland area (I31) + 0.0395 0.0446 0.04205
Per capita cultivated land area (I32) + 0.0385 0.0377 0.0381
Response (R) Environmental
response (R1)
Annual rainfall (R11) + 0.0395 0.0376 0.03855
Annual average temperature (R12) + 0.0402 0.0341 0.03715
Land use type (R13) + 0.0395 0.0401 0.0398
Economic response (R2) Public budget expenditure (R21) + 0.0416 0.0308 0.0362
Social response (R3) Available water resources (R31) + 0.0357 0.0411 0.0384

3.2 Evaluation index weight calculation

The evaluation of ecological security involves a comprehensive system engineering. In the process of calculating the weights of index factors, we should not only avoid the influences of subjective factors but also conform to the objective law of object development. Among them, the entropy weight method is a relatively common and objective weighting method, which mainly determines the weights according to the information values of the original evaluation index factors themselves, and it can objectively reflect the importance of each factor for the ecological security situation. The subjective weighting method uses the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to construct the judgment matrix elements, one by one, by comparing the indexes in the same factor layer to calculate the weight value of each index factor. Since the weights calculated by the entropy weight method and the analytic hierarchy process are of equal importance, the average weight method was finally used to combine the results of these two methods to get the final weights. See Table 2 for details on the layers and weights.

3.3 Standardization of the evaluation index

Because the selected data include remote sensing data, geological data, geographical data and statistical data from multiple sources, the geological data and statistical data needed to be rasterized. The statistical data were rasterized with administrative areas as units, while the geological data could be directly converted from vector data to raster data. Because the data came from multiple sources, their statistical calibers and dimensions were inconsistent, so these data needed to be standardized before evaluation. For all the indicators, the positive indicators and negative indicators were first divided, and then the range standardization method was adopted for unification treatment.
For positive indicators, the following formula was used for standardization:
For negative indicators, the following formula was used for standardization:
where Xij is the dimensionless value converted by index i; Xi is the original value of index i before standardization; Xmax is the maximum value of index i in the region; and Xmin is the minimum value of index i in the region.

3.4 Construction of the evaluation model

Due to the complexity and diversity of the factors affecting the ecological security, a layer of the ecological security situation in Altay region was obtained by using the weighted overlay tool of ArcGIS and the linear weighted summation function method was used to multiply each index factor by its own weight ratio and carry out the comprehensive overlay. The evaluation results of ecological security were classified and symbolized by the natural discontinuous point method in ArcGIS. The higher the score, the worse the ecological environment, otherwise, the better it is. The results obtained by this process are scientific and objective, and the evaluation process is effective and easy to operate, which can fully reflect the close relationships between various indicators and ecological security, and is conducive to the analysis and discussion of the evaluation results. The calculation formula is as follows:
$W=\underset{i=1}{\overset{n}{\mathop \sum }}\,{{X}_{i}}\times {{Y}_{i}}~~~~~~~~~\left( i=1,2,3,\cdots,n \right)$
where W represents the index value of the target layer, Xi represents the weight of each index layer, Yi represents the evaluation index factor of the index layer, and n represents the number of factor items.

4 Results and analysis

4.1 Comprehensive analysis of the ecological security

According to the comprehensive weighted superposition of the 27 index evaluation factors in the ecological security evaluation index system for Altay region, the ecological security evaluation results of the whole region were obtained. Then, by combining the previous research results and ecological security evaluation norms, the ecological security evaluation results were classified and symbolized using the natural discontinuous point method in ArcGIS. The assessment results were divided into five levels, namely, safer, safe, critically safe, less safe and unsafe, to reflect the fragile degree of ecological security in the Altay area. By sorting out the number and area of the grid pixels in each of the five levels, the area proportion of each security level was obtained. The order from largest to smallest is: safer > critically safe > less safe > unsafe > safe. Among them, the number of grid pixels (each about 30 m×30 m) in the critically safe state area was 39829734, with an area of 35846.76 km2, and accounting for 30.83% of the total area. The largest area was represented by the safer state area, with a cumulative number of 40434435 grid pixels, covering an area of 36390.99 km2, and accounting for 31.30% of the total area. The smallest area was the safe state area, which includes 9562133 grid pixels and covers an area of 8605.92 km2, accounting for only 7.40% of the total area. Figure 2 provides the statistical status of the specific ecological security levels.
Fig. 2 Statistical status of land ecological security levels of counties in Altay region
The unsafe areas were mainly distributed in the west and east of Altay region, mainly in Qinghe County and Jimunai County. Among them, Qinghe County had the highest area of unsafe areas, accounting for 51% of the total area of the county and 56.98% of the total area of unsafe areas. The main reason is that with the acceleration of urbanization in recent years, the social economy developed rapidly, the population grew rapidly, and the cities and towns were constantly being constructed and developed. The size of the city continued to expand, while highway construction, mineral resource development, and regional development and construction accelerated. In addition, problems such as soil and water loss, geological disasters and rocky desertification were caused by the unreasonable development activities of human beings and inevitable natural factors, such as unreasonable cultivation, large-scale deforestation for land reclamation, and reclamation on steep slopes. As a result, the ecological land gradually decreased, the vegetation coverage rate decreased, the environment gradually deteriorated, and there were many ecological security problems, which finally led to the unsafe areas in the ecological security evaluation. In the subsequent protection and restoration efforts, the protection and restoration of these areas should be emphasized. The safe area was mainly distributed in Burjin County in the north of Altay, accounting for 51.74% of the total area of the county and 61.82% of the total area of the safe area. This county had a high vegetation coverage rate, abundant rainfall, abundant land resources and available water resources, and few ecological security problems. However, it is necessary to continue to reduce the impact of human factors on this region, such as dealing with the ecological environmental problems of abandoned mines in the region and strengthening the construction of green mines, so as to reduce the damage from humans to the land resource area. In accordance with the principle of “prevention first, prevention and control combined with comprehensive treatment”, the prevention and protection of geological disasters, soil erosion and other ecological problems in the region shall be carried out. We will strengthen the protection of forest vegetation and species diversity. The spatial distribution of land ecological security levels in Altay is shown in Fig. 3.
Fig. 3 Spatial distribution map of ecological security levels in Altay region

4.2 The impact of mining activities on ecological security

The mining sites in Altay area were widespread, the production mode was extensive, the geological environment problems of the mines had been accumulated for a long time, the problems left over from the history had seriously accumulated, and the control project was large-scale. Therefore, it is difficult to carry out the policy of “developing in protection, protecting in development”. In this region, the deterioration of the ecological and geological environment caused by mining activities was common, and this was also an important factor leading to landslides, collapses, ground subsidence, debris flow and other geological disasters. Because of the mining activities and the problems left by history, soil erosion, debris flow and other geological disasters happened in this area from time to time. Farmland collapse and cultivated land damage were common phenomena. Thus, the ecological environment was destroyed, which threatens the ecological security of Altay region to a certain extent.

4.3 Spatial relationships between geological hazards and ecological security

The Altay area geomorphic type is complex and diverse, with mountains, hills, plains and desert; the terrain is high in the northeast, and low in the southwest. It can be roughly divided into three geomorphic units: northern mountainous area, central hilly valley plain area and southern desert (gobi) area; and the mountainous area is relatively large. There are three major river systems in the area: Irtysh River, Ulungur River and Jimunaishan Stream. The terrain in the region from the northern Altay ridge line to the southern hilly plains layer by layer has obvious step-like terrain characteristics, resulting in a steep river bed, and a large drop. The rainy season often causes landslides, mudslides and other geological disasters. The frequent occurrence of geological disasters in the region has become an important factor affecting social and economic development. With the development of the social economy, the breadth and intensity of human activities are increasing day by day. Engineering activities, such as highway construction, mining, hydropower development and all kinds of housing construction, not only destroyed a large area of ecological vegetation, but also induced the formation of a large number of geological hazards (hidden dangers) accompanied by a large number of high and steep slopes, engineering waste, underground mined-out areas and other remaining construction factors. There were 673 geological disasters in the area. The spatial superposition analysis of the geological disaster points in the region and the ecological security evaluation results (Fig. 4) showed firstly that the geological disaster points in the region were mainly distributed in the less safe and unsafe evaluation areas, with a total number of 428, accounting for 63.60% of the total number of geological disasters in the region. Secondly, there were 127 geological hazards in the critically safe zone and 91 in the safe zone, accounting for 18.87% and 13.52%, respectively. The number of geological disasters in the ecological environment safe area was the least at only 27, accounting for 4.01% of the total number. Thus, the geological disasters also have a strong destructive effect and influence on the ecological security environment.
Fig. 4 Distribution map of the spatial relationship between the spatial distribution of geological disasters and ecological security in Altay region

4.4 Analysis of land use type and ecological security characteristics

Altay area has a complex terrain with a wide range of relative elevations. The land use types in the region are mainly cultivated land, woodland, grassland, water area, urban and rural industrial and mining residential land, and unused land, among which the largest area was unused land (Fig. 5). Grassland and forest were mainly distributed in the northeast of the region with higher terrain, and there were less flat land and more sloping land in the northeast. The potential of land reserve resources was limited, and the cultivated land resources were even less, which were mainly distributed along the banks of Irtysh River and Ulungur River. The southern part is mainly desert, accounting for more than half of the area in the region, which leads to great constraints on industrial and agricultural production and urban and traffic infrastructure construction. With the continuous growth of the rural and urban economy, Altay region will usher in a new round of demand for land for infrastructure and energy construction, which will further weaken the space for the security of land resources, significantly increase the difficulty of land management, and exert greater pressure on land security. Based on this, by superimposing the land use types in the region and the above-mentioned ecological security evaluation results, it can be concluded that the land types located in the unsafe evaluation region were mainly grassland and unused land. Their area was 12721.14 km2, accounting for 90.97% of the total unsafe evaluation area. The main reasons for this phenomenon are the long-term unreasonable grazing activities and unreasonable farming, large-scale deforestation for land reclamation, steep slope reclamation and other problems, such as soil erosion, geological disasters, rocky desertification and so on, occur frequently. These human activities have destroyed the surface vegetation and indirectly caused the degradation of soil function, which further affected the ecological environment in the region. The land type located in the safe evaluation area was mainly grassland, with an area of 5287.01 km2, accounting for 61.53% of the total safe evaluation area. The grassland area in the study area was relatively large and the vegetation coverage rate there is relatively high. Measures such as improving the quality of grassland, woodland and forest, returning farmland to forest and grassland had a good effect on wind stabilization and sand prevention. These ecological and environmental protection benefits were relatively good.
Fig. 5 Areas of the ecological security status categories for the different land use types

5 Discussion

On the basis of collecting and studying the achievements of previous studies, this paper systematically analyzed the geological, geographical, human, social and economic data and statistics of Altay area. Combining the DPSIR framework model and EES framework model, and supported by 3S Technology, the target layer, criterion layer, element layer and indicator layer of the research were determined. Twenty-seven index factors were selected from the three aspects of environment, economy and society, and used to carry out ecological security evaluation. The ecological security of land resources in the whole region was evaluated and classified, and the impact of ecological security on the three representative elements of mining activities, geological hazards and land use types were separately considered. The main index factors influencing regional ecological security were obtained, which better reflected the close relationship between the subsystems of the ecological environment. This study selected multi-source data, and then used the analytic hierarchy process, the entropy value method, and the linear weighted summation function method to construct the land resources ecological security evaluation index system for the Altay region. The errors caused by subjective and objective factors were effectively reduced, so this method greatly improved the accuracy of the evaluation results. In addition, the evaluation index data were easy to obtain, the index factor selection was more comprehensive, and it had a strong operability and a certain reference.
According to the above research methods, the status of ecological security in Altay region was finally obtained. The results clearly reflected the spatial distribution characteristics of the fragile degree of ecological security in Altay region, and indicated the fragile and strong regions of ecological security. The evaluation results were further analyzed, the reasons for the fragility of ecological security were discussed in detail, and several reasonable protection and restoration countermeasures and suggestions were put forward. This analysis can provide a decision basis and support for solving the contradictions between man and land in the Altay area, for accelerating the pace of sustainable development of the regional economy and for better realizing the harmonious coexistence and coordinated development of man and nature. At the same time, the research results of this article are compared with those of previous studies (Ye et al., 2019; Yang et al., 2020; Li et al., 2021), and each has its own advantages and disadvantages in the evaluation methods. The previous studies mostly used remote sensing ecological indexes to construct an evaluation index system for the ecological safety evaluation research. However, the constructed evaluation index system better reflects the relationship between the environment, economy, society and human engineering activities; so, the research results have a higher consistency with other scholars’ research, but the presentation and analysis of the results in this article are still incomplete. There is a certain amount of room for expansion to facilitate more in-depth research in the future.

6 Conclusions

(1) The overall ecological security status in Altay region was safe, while the partial ecological security status was relatively fragile. Among them, the areas with safe and safer ecological environment accounted for 38.72%, while the areas with critically safe status accounted for 30.83%, and the areas with a less safe and unsafe environment accounted for 30.45%. In terms of spatial characteristics, the areas with unsafe ecological environment were mainly distributed in the west and east of the study area, while the areas with good ecological environment were distributed in the north of the study area.
(2) According to the evaluation results of land ecological security in Altay region, the main factors affecting the ecological environment security included large-scale mining activities, frequent geological disasters, large-scale reclamation and long-term cultivation of cultivated land, long-term and large-scale grazing activities resulting in the destruction of grassland and vegetation, and others. Therefore, in the process of the continuous development of the urban economy, we should pay attention to the harmony between man and nature, actively and effectively advocate and implement appropriate policies and measures such as returning farmland to forest, returning grazing land to grassland and integrating the mining of mineral resources. For areas with frequent geological disasters, prevention should be given top priority, treatment should be supplemented, and prevention and control should be combined. These efforts will reduce the damage from geological disasters to human life, property safety and the ecological environment.
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