Climate and Environmental Change

Soil indicators for eco-geographic regionalization: A case study in mid-temperate zone of eastern China

  • 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China|
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China

Received date: 2008-03-22

  Revised date: 2008-05-24

  Online published: 2009-04-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40771016


Eco-geographic regional system is formed by division or combination of natural features based on geographic relativity and comparison of major ecosystem factors (including biological and non-biological) and geographic zonality. In previous studies, soil types were often taken as a basis for soil regionalization. However, the quantitative characteristics of soil indicators are fitter than the qualitative ones of soil types for modern regionalization researches. Based on the second China’s national soil survey data and the provincial soil resource information, by principal analysis and discriminant analysis, this paper discusses the appropriate soil indicators as the complement of eco-geographic region indicator systems and the relationships between these soil indicators and soil types in regionalization. The results show that five indicators are used in eco-geographic zonality in mid-temperate zone of eastern China which are organic matter content, cation exchange capacity, pH, clay content and bulk density in topsoils. With a regression-kriging approach, the maps of soil indicators in mid-temperate zone of eastern China are compiled with a resolution of 1 km in every grid and the indicative meanings of these soil indicators are discussed. By cluster analysis it is proved that these soil indicators are better than the soil types and soil regionalization in delineating eco-geographic regions.

Cite this article

LIU Ye, WU Shaohong, ZHENG Du, DAI Erfu . Soil indicators for eco-geographic regionalization: A case study in mid-temperate zone of eastern China[J]. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 2009 , 19(2) : 200 -212 . DOI: 10.1007/s11442-009-0200-3