Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2016, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (7): 771-790.doi: 10.1007/s11442-016-1298-8

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

Integrated studies of physical geography in China: Review and prospects

Bojie FU1,2(), Naiqing PAN1,2,3   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, CAS, Beijing 100085, China
    2. Joint Centre for Global Change Studies, Beijing 100875, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2016-03-25 Accepted:2016-04-02 Online:2016-07-25 Published:2016-07-25
  • About author:

    Author: Fu Bojie, Professor and CAS Academician, specialized in physical geography and landscape ecology. E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41230745


Modern physical geography in China grew from Chinese traditional geography and has been profoundly influenced by the geographical disciplines of Euro-America and Russia. Since the 1950s, integrated studies of physical geography in China have made remarkable progress in the fields of comprehensive physical geographical regionalization, land studies, landscape ecology, and land surface geographical processes. During the past few decades, under the background of global change and rapid socio-economic transformation, a series of environmental and resources problems have boomed in China. To solve these problems and promote the development of integrated studies of physical geography, the following issues were proposed as research priorities: (1) coupling of land surface patterns and processes; (2) integrated research on regional responses and adaptation to global change; (3) analysis of human dimensions of the earth system; (4) ecosystem service research from a geographical perspective; (5) integration of multi-source data and model development; (6) integrated studies on unique geographical units; and (7) important global issues and relevant international programs.

Key words: China, physical geography, integrated study, progress, prospect