Table of Content

    15 October 2010, Volume 20 Issue 5 Previous Issue    Next Issue
    Climate and Environmental Change
    Northward-shift of temperature zones in China’s eco-geographical study under future climate scenario
    WU Shaohong, ZHENG Du, YIN Yunhe, LIN Erda, XU Yinlong
    2010, 20 (5):  643-651. 
    Abstract ( 375 )   PDF (603KB) ( 5 )   Save

    Despite the well-documented effects of global climate change on terrestrial species’ ranges, eco-geographical regions as the regional scale of ecosystems have been poorly studied especially in China with diverse climate and ecosystems. Here we analyse the shift of temperature zones in eco-geographical study over China using projected future climate scenario. Projected climate data with high resolution during 1961–2080 were simulated using regional climate model of PRECIS. The number of days with mean daily temperature above 10℃ and the mean temperature of January are usually regarded as the principal criteria to indicate temperature zones, which are sensitive to climate change. Shifts due to future climate change were calculated by comparing the latitude of grid cells for the future borderline of one temperature zone with that for baseline period (1961–1990). Results indicated that the ranges of Tropical, Subtropical, Warm Temperate and Plateau Temperate Zones would be enlarged and the ranges of Cold Temperate, Temperate and Plateau Sub-cold Zones would be reduced. Cold Temperate Zone would probably disappear at late this century. North borderlines of temperature zones would shift northward under projected future climate change, especially in East China. Farthest shifts of the north boundaries of Plateau Temperate, Subtropical and Warm Temperate Zones would be 3.1°, 5.3° and 6.6° latitude respectively. Moreover, northward shift would be more notably in northern China as future temperature increased.

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    Variation and abrupt change of climate in Ili River Basin, Xinjiang
    SUN Huilan, CHEN Yaning, LI Weihong, LI Feng, CHEN Yapeng, HAO Xingming, YANG Yuhui
    2010, 20 (5):  652-666.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0802-9
    Abstract ( 786 )   PDF (1013KB) ( 11 )   Save

    In this paper, the monthly precipitation and temperature data collected at 7 stations in the Ili River Basin from 1961 to 2007 were analyzed by means of simple regression analysis, running mean, db6 wavelet function and Mann-Kendall test. This study revealed the characteristics of climate change and abrupt change points of precipitation and temperature during different time scales in the Ili River Basin within the past 50 years. The results showed that the precipitation increased from the mid-1980s until 2000 and has continued to increase at a smaller magnitude since 2000. Over the studied period, the precipitation increased significantly during the summer and winter months. The temperature increased greatly in the late 1980s, and has continued to show an increasing trend from the year 2000 to present. The temperature increases were most significant during the summer, autumn and winter months. In terms of different geographies, the temperature increase was significant during the winter in the plains and hilly regions; the increase was also significant during autumn in the intermontane basins. The climate change trends in the Ili River Basin were consistent with the changing trends of the North Atlantic Oscillation and the plateau monsoon.

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    Glacial change in the vicinity of Mt. Qomolangma (Everest), central high Himalayas since 1976
    NIE Yong, ZHANG Yili, LIU Linshan, ZHANG Jiping
    2010, 20 (5):  667-686.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0803-8
    Abstract ( 926 )   PDF (764KB) ( 8 )   Save

    Glaciers are one of the most important land covers in alpine regions and especially sensitive to global climate change. Remote sensing has proved to be the best method of investigating the extent of glacial variations in remote mountainous areas. Using Landsat thematic mapping (TM) and multi-spectral-scanner (MSS) images from Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) National Nature Preserve (QNNP), central high Himalayas for 1976, 1988 and 2006, we derived glacial extent for these three periods. A combination of object-oriented image interpretation methods, expert knowledge rules and field surveys were employed. Results showed that (1) the glacial area in 2006 was 2710.17 ± 0.011 km2 (about 7.41% of the whole study area), and located mainly to the south and between 4700 m to 6800 m above sea level; (2) from 1976 to 2006, glaciers reduced by 501.91 ± 0.035 km2 and glacial lakes expanded by 36.88 ± 0.035 km2; the rate of glacier retreat was higher in sub-basins on the southern slopes (16.79%) of the Himalayas than on the northern slopes (14.40%); most glaciers retreated, and mainly occurred at an elevation of 4700–6400 m, and the estimated upper limit of the retreat zone is between 6600 m and 6700 m; (3) increase in temperature and decrease in precipitation over the study period are the key factors driving retreat.

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    Transmutation of ancient settlements and environmental changes between 6000?2000 aBP in the Chaohu Lake Basin, East China
    WU Li, WANG Xinyuan, ZHOU Kunshu, MO Duowen, ZHU Cheng, GAO Chao, ZHANG Guangsheng, LI Lan, LIU Li, HAN Weiguang
    2010, 20 (5):  687-700.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0804-7
    Abstract ( 685 )   PDF (596KB) ( 8 )   Save

    Based on the temporal-spatial distribution features of ancient settlement sites from the middle and late Neolithic Age to the Han dynasty in the Chaohu Lake Basin of Anhui Province, East China, using the methods of GIS combined with the reconstructed paleoenvironment by the records of lake sediment since Holocene, the transmutation of ancient settlements with response to environmental changes in this area has been discussed. Studies show that the main feature of transmutation of ancient settlements from the middle and late Neolithic Age to the Han Dynasty was that the distribution of settlements in this area changed from high altitudes to low ones and kept approaching the Chaohu Lake with the passage of time. These could be the response to the climate change from warm-moist to a relatively warm-dry condition during the middle Holocene, leading to the lake level fluctuations. The large area of exposed land provided enough space for human activities. These indicate that the above changes in geomorphologic evolution and hydrology influenced by climate conditions affected the transmutation of ancient settlements greatly. The distribution pattern of settlement sites was that the number of sites in the west was more than in the east. This pattern may be related to the geomorphologic conditions such as frequent channel shifting of the Yangtze River as well as flood disasters during the Holocene optimum. Therefore, climate change was the inducement of the transmutation of ancient settlements in the Chaohu Lake Basin, which exerted great influence on the distribution, expansion and development of the ancient settlements.

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    Studies on Arid Lands
    The influence of water regulation on vegetation in the lower Heihe River
    JIANG Xiaohui, LIU Changming
    2010, 20 (5):  701-711.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0805-6
    Abstract ( 463 )   PDF (522KB) ( 16 )   Save

    Water regulation has been carried out by the Heihe River Bureau since 2000, which aims to address the existing eco-environmental problems in the lower Heihe River. In the past nine years, great changes in spatial-temporal distribution of water resources took place in the lower Heihe River. In order to objectively evaluate the influence of water regulation on the eco-environment, the changes of groundwater table, typical vegetation, landscape types as well as East Juyan Lake have been analyzed in the lower Heihe River, by means of field surveys and remote sensing. These results indicate that there are obvious effects of water regulation on the eco-environment, which has been improved toward sustainability in the lower Heihe River.

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    The progress and prospects of nebkhas in arid areas
    DU Jianhui, YAN Ping, DONG Yuxiang
    2010, 20 (5):  712-728.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0806-5
    Abstract ( 776 )   PDF (447KB) ( 12 )   Save

    Nebkhas are often extensively distributed in arid and semi-arid areas, and play an important role in the stabilization of ecological environment in these areas. This paper reviews the following aspects, including formation and succession, spatial distribution, shape and surface airflow characteristics, balance between erosion and deposition, ecological and physiological characteristics of vegetation, response to precipitation and groundwater, soil properties as well as the protection measures. We found that nebkhas were studied without differentiation of succession periods, and shape characteristics, surface airflow, soil properties as well as vegetation dynamics in different succession periods were not fully understood, which made it difficult to explain the succession dynamics of nebkhas and its affecting factors. Previous studies of nebkhas were over-emphasized for its role as an indicator of land degradation, while its ecological functions in degraded ecosystems were neglected, which was unfavorable for the ecological restorations in arid and semi-arid areas. Future studies should pay more attention to the variation of vegetation, soil as well as hydrological process in the succession of nebkhas and its interaction between different influencing factors. In addition, positive role of nebkhas in degraded ecosystems in arid and semi-arid areas should be fully discussed. According to the data got from the above, effective protection measures of nebkhas should be explored.

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    Distribution of soil organic carbon under different vegetation zones in the Ili River Valley, Xinjiang
    YANG Yuhai, CHEN Yaning, LI Weihong, CHEN Yapeng
    2010, 20 (5):  729-740.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0807-4
    Abstract ( 669 )   PDF (409KB) ( 13 )   Save

    We analyzed and estimated the distribution and reserves of soil organic carbon under nine different vegetation conditions including alpine meadow, meadow steppe, typical steppe, desert steppe, and temperate coniferous forest and so on, in the Ili River valley, Xinjiang according to data from field investigations and laboratory analyses in 2008 and 2009. The study results show that the soil organic carbon content in the Ili River valley varies with the type of vegetation. In the 0–50 cm soil horizon, the soil organic carbon content is the highest under the vegetation types of alpine meadow and meadow steppe, slightly lower under temperate coniferous forest and typical steppe, and the lowest under the intrazonal vegetation and desert vegetation types. The soil organic carbon content shows basically a tendency to decrease as soil depth increases under various vegetation types except in the case of the intrazonal vegetation. Similarly, the soil organic carbon density is the highest and varies little under the vegetation types of alpine meadow, meadow steppe and temperate coniferous forest, and is the lowest under the desert vegetation type. Both the soil organic carbon content and density in the topsoil of meadows in the Ili River valley are high, so protecting meadows in the Ili River valley, and especially their topsoil, should be a priority so that the potential of change in soil organic carbon in the shallow soil horizon is reduced, and this means maintenance of the stability of the soil carbon pool.

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    Man-Land Relationship
    Factors of spatial distribution of recreation areas in peri-urban Beijing
    LIU Jiaming, WANG Run, CHEN Tian
    2010, 20 (5):  741-756.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0808-3
    Abstract ( 964 )   PDF (650KB) ( 12 )   Save

    Based on the case study of peripheral urban areas in Beijing, this paper aims to identify the factors which will influence the spatial distribution of peri-urban recreation areas, by analyzing the collected data from questionnaires, online survey, documentation and field investigations (2007). In order to achieve sound information, relevant data from different management departments, owners and land-use types involved in the case study area are collected. A sampling database for peri-urban recreation areas in Beijing is established, and GIS spatial analyses as well as statistic analyses are applied. The result indicates that spatial distribution of recreation areas is majorly influenced by four factors, e.g. tourism attractions and environmental conditions, policy and spatial governance, consumption demand and preference, land price and availability. Tourism attractions and environmental conditions are dominant factors for public recreation areas. Commercial recreation areas are highly related with accessibility. Agricultural recreation areas are usually attached to special farmlands near large-scaled scenic areas. Meanwhile, recreational business clusters have appeared in suburbs influenced by mass recreation market growth. Controlled by the land price, commercial recreation areas are differentiated on their scales and developing intensity. Policy and spatial governance have made arrangements of recreation areas more balancing and more human- oriented. A peri-urban recreation area model is therefore established on the basis of this analysis, which can guide urban planning and designing, land-use planning and recreation resource development.

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    Livelihood diversification of farmers and nomads of eastern transect in Tibetan Plateau
    YAN Jianzhong, WU Yingying, ZHANG Yili, ZHOU Shaobin
    2010, 20 (5):  757-770.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0809-2
    Abstract ( 853 )   PDF (405KB) ( 15 )   Save

    Livelihoods of farmers and nomads in Tibetan Plateau are severely affected by grassland and herbal resources degeneration. How to help them achieve livelihood diversification is a key sustainable development issue. This paper examines livelihood assets, livelihood diversification level and livelihood strategies of farmers and nomads in 3 regions of eastern transect in Tibetan Plateau. The results show that livelihood diversification is a popular strategy. From high mountain gorge region to mountain plateau region and plateau region, livelihood diversification level is reduced, and livelihood activities and proportion of extended livelihood also decrease. Livelihood assets and livelihood diversification level decrease with the increase of elevation, mainly shown in human assets and natural assets. Livelihood diversification level is highly correlative with livelihood assets, mainly shown in natural assets, human assets and social assets. Livelihood improvement strategies of farmers and nomads are still based on existing livelihood assets, mainly raising livestock and digging herbs, and less farmers and nomads consider off-farm employment or doing business. Nomads in plateau region should learn much from experiences of extended livelihoods of people in high mountain gorge region and mountain plateau region. Therefore, aids of governments should focus on relieving restricted factors of livelihood diversification and help them improve their abilities to build up extended type livelihoods.

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    The hydrological effect between Jingjiang River and Dongting Lake during the initial period of Three Gorges Project operation
    CHANG Jiang, LI Jingbao, LU Dianqing, ZHU Xiang, LU Chengzhi, ZHOU Yueyun, DENG Chuxiong
    2010, 20 (5):  771-786.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0810-9
    Abstract ( 844 )   PDF (433KB) ( 10 )   Save

    Based on the measured hydrological data from 1951 to 2008, the chain hydrological effect between Jingjiang River and Dongting Lake is analyzed by comparative method after the Three Gorges Project operation. The result indicates that 1) the scouring amount in Jingjiang River made up 78.9% of the total from Yichang to Chenglingji, and its average scouring intensity was higher than the latter; 2) the water and sand diversion rates at the three outlets of the Jingjiang River were reduced by 2.33% and 2.78% separately; 3) the proportion of multi-year average runoff and sediment through the three outlets in the total into the Dongting Lake decreased by 7.7% and 24.4% respectively; 4) in Dongting Lake, the speed of sediment accumulation was lowered by 26.7%, in flood season, the runoff amount was 20.2% less than the multi-year average value, leading to seasonal scarcity of water year by year. The former prolonged the lake life, while the latter induced droughts in summer and fall in successive years, shortage of drinking and industrial water, shipping insecurity, as well as ecological problems such as decrease of birds and quick increase of Microtus fortis; 5) The multi-year average values of sediment and flood transporting capacity at the lake outlet were respectively increased by 26.6% and 3.7%, the embankments were protected effectively. Then, to adapt to the new change of the river-lake relation, some suggestions were put forward, such as optimizing further operation program of the Three Gorges Reservoir, reexamining the idea of river and lake regulation, and maintaining connection of the river and the lake.

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    General multidimensional cloud model and its application on spatial clustering in Zhanjiang, Guangdong
    DENG Yu, LIU Shenghe, ZHANG Wenting, WANG Li, WANG Jianghao
    2010, 20 (5):  787-798.  doi: 10.1007/s11442-010-0811-8
    Abstract ( 1107 )   PDF (605KB) ( 11 )   Save

    Traditional spatial clustering methods have the disadvantage of “hardware division”, and can not describe the physical characteristics of spatial entity effectively. In view of the above, this paper sets forth a general multi-dimensional cloud model, which describes the characteristics of spatial objects more reasonably according to the idea of non-homogeneous and non-symmetry. Based on infrastructures’ classification and demarcation in Zhanjiang, a detailed interpretation of clustering results is made from the spatial distribution of membership degree of clustering, the comparative study of Fuzzy C-means and a coupled analysis of residential land prices. General multi-dimensional cloud model reflects the integrated characteristics of spatial objects better, reveals the spatial distribution of potential information, and realizes spatial division more accurately in complex circumstances. However, due to the complexity of spatial interactions between geographical entities, the generation of cloud model is a specific and challenging task.

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