Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2022, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (10): 1867-1885.doi: 10.1007/s11442-022-2027-0

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

An influencing mechanism for ecological asset gains and losses and its optimization and promotion pathways in China

LI Jiahui1,2(), HUANG Lin1,*(), CAO Wei1   

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2022-05-16 Accepted:2022-06-27 Online:2022-10-25 Published:2022-12-25
  • Contact: HUANG Lin;
  • About author:Li Jiahui (1997-), Master Candidate, specialized in remote sensing of ecology and GIS. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA23020202)


Accounting for the gains and losses of ecological assets holds scientific significance in sustaining human well-being. Based on related research on ecological assets, we established a county-scale ecological asset accounting technology system by analyzing the temporal and spatial variations of county-level ecological assets in China from 1990 to 2018 and clarified the factors which caused the gains and losses of ecological assets. On these bases, optimization and promotion pathways were proposed. The results show that the number of counties dominated by farmland and forest ecological resources accounted for about 45% and 37% of the total counties, respectively. From 1990 to 2018, the quality of county-level ecological stock assets showed an increasing trend, while the water conservation volume decreased in nearly 70% of the counties. The number of counties with the gains (47%) and losses (37%) of ecological flow assets demonstrated spatial patterns which showed the same segmentation characteristics as the “Hu Huanyong Line”, that is, the counties in the vastness of northwest China experienced significant gains, while decreases were widespread in eastern and southern China. The change of ecological assets in more than 70% of the counties was driven by climate change and human activities. The average degree of impact of human activities driving the ecological asset gains in counties was about 80%, while that of climate change causing the ecological asset losses was about 60%. According to various ecological resource types, gain and loss status, and its driving factors, counties in China can be classified into five types: climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, ecological resources restoration, ecological resources protection, and ecological resources management. Our results indicate that differentiated optimization and promotion pathways can be adopted to achieve desired ecological asset gains.

Key words: ecological assets, gains and losses, climate change, human activities, optimization and promotion pathways