Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Chinese Version)


desert; ecosystem; ecosystem service; function assessment; valuation; enhancement

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Desert is the typical original ecosystem in arid and semi-arid zones of China and is characterized by its unique structure, functions and services. This study, based on the national forestry standard Assessment Criteria of Desert Ecosystem Services in China and the fifth National Desertification and Sandification Monitoring data, first estimated the total value of China's desert ecosystem services in 2014 to be 4227.9 billion CNY (in 2014 prices), of which, wind break and sand fixation, hydrological regulation, soil conservation, and carbon sequestration consisted of 40.1%, 24.2%, 18.1% and 17.0%, respectively, and biodiversity conservation and landscape recreation together accounted for less than 1%. By eliminating the impacts of price change, the real value of China's desert ecosystem services was increased by 120.2 billion CNY (in 2014 prices) from 2009 to 2014, of which improvement in wind break and sand fixation service contributed the most (by 47.5%). We tried to measure the equilibrium degree of ecological protection and economic growth by the ratio of ecosystem service value to GDP. The ratios of the provincial regions wholly or partly covered by desert ecosystem all decreased during 2009 and 2014, with a decrease range between 19.4% and 38.8%, which indicates that the speed of desert ecosystem function raising and service enhancement was slower than regional economic growth. The protection and rehabilitation of desert ecosystem needs to be accelerated along with economic growth, thus a higher equilibrium degree of economic growth and function raising and service enhancement of desert ecosystem can be achieved in the northwestern arid and semi-arid regions in China.

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Bulletin of Chinese Academy of Sciences


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