Earth is always changing. Knowledge about where changes happened is the first step for us to understand how these changes affect our lives. In this paper, we use a long-term leaf area index data (LAI) to identify where changes happened and where has experienced the strongest change around the globe during 1981–2006. Results show that, over the past 26 years, LAI has generally increased at a rate of 0.0013 per year around the globe. The strongest increasing trend is around 0.0032 per year in the middle and northern high latitudes (north of 30°N). LAI has prominently increased in Europe, Siberia, Indian Peninsula, America and south Canada, South region of Sahara, southwest corner of Australia and Kgalagadi Basin; while noticeably decreased in Southeast Asia, southeastern China, central Africa, central and southern South America and arctic areas in North America.
This review summarizes main research findings in soil fauna eco-geography in China in the past 30 years. The subject areas and main results were overviewed including biodiversity and eco-geological distribution of soil fauna communities. Studies of ecological distributions of soil fauna and dynamic ranges in space from tropical, subtropical to temperate regions, and in categories from forest, grassland, desert, wetland, farmland to urban ecosystems, the responses and indications of soil fauna to soil environments. Effects of intensive disturbance such as fire, grazing, farming, fertilization on soil fauna include sensitive (e.g. nematode) and rare groups and community indexes. The functions of soil fauna were discussed including environmental construction, environmental purification, litter decomposition and elements cycling. Interactions between soil fauna and other biota in soil ecosystems and linking between aboveground and belowground diversity and the effects of global change on soil fauna community in China were also included. Finally, the authors pointed out common interests in soil fauna eco-geographical studies, which include application of molecule biology into soil fauna taxa; function and mechanism of soil fauna community diversity; interaction between aboveground and belowground ecosystems; effects of disturbance, pollution, biological invasion, and global change on soil fauna community and function. The review is to provide a scientific basis for promoting soil fauna eco-geographical studies in China.
The issue of China’s energy supply security is not only the key problem which affects China’s rapid and sustainable development in the 21st century, but also the one which international attention focuses on. Based on the notable characteristic of spatial imbalance between energy production and consumption in China, this paper takes the evolution of China’s primary energy resources development(excluding hydropower) from 1949 to 2007 as the study object, with the aim to sum up the evolutive characteristics and laws of China’s energy resources development in the past nearly 60 years. Then, based on comprehensive considerations of coal’s, oil’s and natural gas’s basic reserves, qualities, geological conditions, production status, and ecological service function of every province, this paper adopts development potential index (DP)to evaluate the development potential of every province’s energy resources, and divide them into different ranks. Conclusions are drawn as follows: (1) Generally speaking, China’s gross energy production was increasing in waves from 1949 to 2007. From the viewpoint of spatial patterns, China’s energy resources development has shown a characteristic of “concentrating to the north and central areas, and evolving from linear-shaped to “T-shaped” pattern gradually since 1949. (2) The structure evolution of China’s energy resources development in general has shown a trend of “coal proportion is dominant but decreasing, while oil and gas proportions are increasing” since 1949. (3) At the provincial scale, China’s energy resources development potential could be divided into large, sub-large, general and small ranks, four in all. In the future, the spatial pattern of China’s energy production will evolve from “T-shaped” to “Π-shaped pattern”. These conclusions will help to clarify the temporal and spatial characteristics and laws of China’s energy resources development, and will be beneficial for China to design scientific and rational energy development strategies and plans, coordinate spatial imbalance of energy production and consumption, ensure national energy supply, avoid energy resources waste and disorderly development, and promote regional sustainable development under the globalization background with changeful international energy market.
The geological heritage protection and its development at home and abroad reflect the progress in the aspect from the single protection to the coordination between protection and exploitation. The geopark established by UNESCO has closely combined the protection of geological heritages with the promotion of sustainable development of local economy, which has become the best way to protect geological heritages. The geological heritages in Xinjiang, China, are characterized by their large quantity, rich variety and high grade. The complicated geologic-geomorphic environment in Xinjiang contributes to the creation of various geological heritage types and their spatial distribution, and at the same time makes them under control. The main types of the geological heritages in Xinjiang are the geologic- geomorphic landscapes and the water landscapes. The spatial distribution can be divided into five geological heritage districts: Altay, Junggar, Tianshan, Tarim and Kunlun-Altun, among which Tianshan and Kunlun-Altun are most important. Based on the first systematic investigation of the geological heritages in Xinjiang, it is confirmed that the insufficient coordination between protection and exploitation is the primary cause for the backward situation in the geological heritage protection. To solve the problem, this paper proposes 6 major protection steps—from determining the protection types, the protection forms, the protection modes, the protection grades, the protection sequences to determining the protection zones, brings forward the idea of optimal-selection which integrates geoparks with geological heritage protection areas and other protection areas as well as 5 corresponding modes, and makes a protection and exploitation reserve list for 209 important geological heritages in Xinjiang.
The Lhasa River Basin is one of the typical distribution regions of alpine wetlands on the Tibetan Plateau. It is very important to get a better understanding of the background and characteristics of alpine wetland for monitoring, protection and utilization. Wetland construction and distribution in the basin were analyzed based on multi-source data including field investigation data, CBERS remote sensing data and other thematic data provided by 3S technology. The results are (1) the total area of wetlands is 209,322.26 hm2, accounting for 6.37% of the total land area of the basin. The wetlands are mainly dominated by natural wetland, with artificial wetland occupying only 1.09% of the wetland area; marsh wetland is the principal part of natural wetland, dominated by Kobresia littledalei swampy meadow which is distributed in the river source area and upstream of Chali, Damshung and Medro Gongkar counties. The ratio and type of wetlands in different counties differ significantly, which are widely distributed in Chali and Damshung counties (accounting for 62% of the total wetland area). (2) The concentrated vertical distribution of wetlands is at an elevation of 3600–5100 m. The wetlands are widely distributed throughout the Yarlung Zangbo River Valley from river source to river mouth into the Yarlung Zangbo River. Marsh wetland is dominant in the source area and upstream of the river, with the mosaic distribution of lakes, Kobresia littledalei and Carex moorcroftii swampy meadow, shrubby swamp and river; as for the middle-down streams, the primary types are river wetland and flooded wetland. The distribution is in a mosaic pattern of river, Kobresia humilis and Carex moorcroftii swampy meadow, Phragmites australis and subordinate grass marsh, flooded wetland and artificial wetland.
Eco-compensation is an environmental economic instrument for internalization of external cost. Returning farmland to lake is one of the important parts of restoring wetland ecosystem function in the Yangtze River Valley of China. Whether the project of lake recovery can be successful depends on the compensation to the farmers who have lost their original benefits and contributed to the wetland ecosystem recovery by returning farmland to lake. Aiming at the wetland recovery of the Dongting Lake, the practical implementation of programs of the lake recovery and flood control in this area has been challenged by the heavy task of population resettlement, so it is an ideal area for case studies to reach the academic objectives proposed as the above. Based on field survey and experimentation, this research evaluated the benefit losses of the resettled farmers and the increased values of ecosystem service functions caused by wetland recovery, and furthermore, the value of eco-compensation for relocated farmers was calculated by considering the combination of the farmers’ compensation appeal. The value of eco-compensation for relocated farmers in the Dongting Lake area was 6084.5 yuan per household by synthetic analysis of the effects on wetland ecosystem restoration. Moreover, this article took Dongting Lake area as a case to study and explore the basic issues of the eco-compensation by returning farmland to lake, that was who should pay, who should be paid, how much the payment was and what the payment means was, which sought the mechanisms of wetland restoration eco-compensation and prompted the people’s enthusiasms for ecological restoration.
Based on Landsat TM images in 2005 and urban planning data of 2005–2020 in Hangzhou Bay Industrial Belt, this paper studied the potential risk of the planned urban construction land extension to the wetlands by employing a GIS spatial analysis method. The results show that: (1) The wetland resources are widely distributed and diverse, with a proximal distribution to present urban construction lands spatially. (2) From 2005 to 2020, the urban construction lands will expand vastly and rapidly, and will take over large areas of wetlands that are mostly the ponds and the aquiculture water areas in the reclamation areas of Hangzhou Bay south coast. Moreover, this change will be spatially uneven obviously, e.g., the most serious recessions of the wetlands are concentrated in Ningbo city, Hangzhou city and Cixi city. (3) Overall, the potential risk to wetlands is very high, and will keep increasing with the trend of urbanization. (4) The quantity and spatial pattern of the planning urban construction land have substantial impacts on the wetland loss. Therefore, some policies and regulations are suggested to coordinate the relationship between urban economic development and wetland resource protection such as adjusting the construction land planning, compensating for wetland occupation as well as constructing wetland parks.
The Holocene Megathermal is divided into early, middle and late periods, each having different impacts on the Neolithic cultures due to their different climate changing trends. This study is based on a comparative analysis of the environmental evolution information recorded in the Qinghai Lake, the western edge of the Loess Plateau and Zoige and the spatial distribution of Neolithic sites of the Gansu-Qinghai region. Results show that the early and middle periods towards warm and humid promoted the development of Neolithic cultures with agriculture as the main sector in the Gansu-Qinghai region, furthermore a heyday of Yangshao Culture prosperity emerged. The Holocene entered the late period after the cold climate event at 5.9 ka BP in the Gansu-Qinghai region. Later the climate began to turn cold. However, at the 5.8–4.2 ka BP a relatively stable warm and humid climate created the conditions for the development of Majiayao Culture of the Neolithic Age in this region, thus the distribution of its cultural heritage sites expanded towards high altitudes and high latitudes. From 4.2 ka BP onwards, the climate became cold and dry, which had a significant influence on the Neolithic cultures of the Gansu-Qinghai region, leading to a dramatic change in the cultural characters and spatial distribution of Qijia Culture around 4.2 ka BP. After a nearly 300 years of cold and dry period, the unified Neolithic farming culture completely collapsed. Afterwards an industrial division of animal husbandry and farming and regional multiple cultures formed, and ultimately led to the end of primitive society and the starting of a civilized society.
The stratigraphical cross-sections of the Yangtze River incised-valley near the No.1, No.3 and No.4 Nanjing Yangtze River bridges were established with respective bore date and documents. By 14C age analysis of the samples of four drilling cores near the No.4 Bridge (to be built), we can find that the time range of paleo-valley is dated in the LGM at a depth of –60 m to –90 m near Nanjing. It is also indicated that the deep incised-valley channel was narrow and the river flowed swiftly. The ancient Yangtze River deep channel presented partially and deeply incised features near the No.1 Bridge. According to previous publications, much research has been done on the main paleo-channel of the Yangtze River, but few results have been achieved on discharge estimation. In this paper, the incipient velocity and average velocity of the LGM was calculated with Vc = 4.60d1/3h1/ 6, 95 Vc 1.28lg 13.15. h . gd , d ? ? = ? ? ? ? 1 6 * 90 V 6.5u h d ≈ , etc., in terms of the river shape, sedimentary grain size and sequences near the No.3 and No.1 bridges. Moreover, the discharge in Nanjing reach of the Yangtze River during the LGM has been estimated to be around 12,000–16,000 m3/s according to the relationship of discharge, velocity of flow and cross-section.
Paleosalinity records of the Tianluoshan site are derived from measurations data of clay mineral, boron, strontium, barium, after field sampling in three profiles of the Tianluoshan site. The relative sea level changes are discussed according to the lab results. The record indicates that the region where the Tianluoshan site located has witnessed at least three times of relative sea level high-stand before, during and after the Hemudu period. Based on previous researches, this paper also focuses on discussing several environmental elements, the inter-relationships between environmental condition, human activities and development of the Hemudu culture comprehensively.
Based on the samples collected from the west wall of the ABYT2004 at Yuhuicun Site in Bengbu, Anhui Province, the multi-environmental substitute indexes such as the grain-size, Rb/Sr, zircon crystal morphology and magnetic susceptibility were analyzed. The age of archaeological strata was determined by AMS14C dating. According to the results, combined with the information of the ancient human activities and the cultural heritage data obtained from the Longshan cultural archaeological strata, it can be concluded that (1) Before 4500 aBP, the climate was humid and water level was high in the Huaihe River and its tributaries, the drainage basin and its surrounding areas were even flooded, so the site area was submerged and there were no human activities around the site. (2) About 4500 aBP, the climate began to become drier and water level of the Huaihe River and its tributaries began to decline, thus floodplain gradually appeared, Yuhuicun Site and Longshan Culture began to appear. (3) Around 4100 aBP, the climate was humid and rainfall was abundant, which resulted in frequent flood disasters in the whole Huaihe River Basin. (4) After 4100 aBP, the climate gradually transited to be cold and dry, agricultural production was constrained to reduce the food source, Yuhuicun Site was almost abandoned. (5) The environmental information in sedimentary strata and historical records based on ancient books agree with each other. In addition, Yuhuicun Site was related to Dayu Zhishui (Yu the Great in taming the floods) in ancient books.
Coastal dune rocks in China are eolian sands cemented by calcium carbonate under subaerial conditions, widely distributing on the tropical and subtropical coasts of South China. Particular temperature and precipitation as well as local wave and landform conditions are required for the formation of the dune rocks. A correspondence was found between Holocene environmental changes and coastal dune rock development by comparing the features of the sea-level and climate changes in the Holocene period with the ages, scales, and cementation of the dune rocks on the South China coasts. The findings provide well grounded explanation for some problems unresolved in the past researches on the coastal dune rock in South China: (1) There were no dune rocks with ages older than 6000 years in South China because the dune rocks formed before 6000 a BP were covered by the sea water that rose in the later period; (2) the dune rocks with ages of around 3000 a BP were widely found in South China today because the coastal dunes were cumulated on a large scale at that time as a result of temperature falling after the end of Megathermal; (3) Medieval Warm Period was the main period for the eolian dunes to be cemented into the coastal dune rocks in South China; (4) lack of dune rocks of younger than 1000 a BP was accounted for by that the climate conditions in recent one thousand years were not suitable for the cementation.