Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (6): 867-880.doi: 10.1007/s11442-020-1759-y

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Progress in watershed geography in the Yangtze River Basin and the affiliated ecological security perspective in the past 20 years, China

GAO Yang1,2, JIA Junjie1,2, LU Yao1,2, SUN Xiaomin1,2, WEN Xuefa1,2, HE Nianpeng1,2, YANG Tiantian3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, United States
  • Received:2019-09-20 Accepted:2020-03-05 Online:2020-06-25 Published:2020-08-25
  • About author:Gao Yang (1981–), PhD, specialized in ecohydrology and biogeochemistry. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment(No.2017ZX07101-001);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41922003);National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.41871080)


Bibliometrics was used to statistically analyze key zones within the Yangtze River Basin (YRB) funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and national ministries over the past 20 years. This study determined that funds that derived from national ministries have mainly focused on issues related to environmental pollution, ecological security, technological water regulations, and river basin ecosystems, which offer a better understanding of the national requirements and the scientific knowledge of the YRB in combination with data from the NSFC. Under a background of bolstering the construction of green ecological corridors in the economic belt of the YRB, this study proposes future conceptual watershed research initiatives in this region as a study objective by reinforcing the implementation of the Chinese Ecosystem Research Network (CERN) and by emphasizing the use of new technologies, new methods, and new concepts for the prospective design of frontier research under the perspective of geoscience and earth system science. This study promotes large-scale scientific field and research objectives based on big science and big data.

Key words: watershed physiography, ecological security, earth system science, critical zone, C-N-H2O coupling, Yangtze River Basin