Water and carbon dynamics in selected ecosystems in China
Global climate change and unprecedented socioeconomic evelopment have resulted in tremendous environmental, ecological and resource stress on China’s continued growth.
Among the numerous challenges, nothing is more pressing than ecosystem degradation as evidenced by the regional-scale air and water pollution, groundwater depletion, soil erosion and
rapid loss of biodiversity in some areas. In the past decade, large-scale vegetation-based ecosystem restoration activities including banning forest harvesting and promoting cropland
conversion to forests have been initiated by the government with a goal to reduce further eco-environmental degradation and cope with ‘ecological security’. Unfortunately, there is little guidance on the ecosystem restoration practices and the ecological effects of land management policies on ecosystem health and services are largely unknown. Research on water and carbon cycles and their interactions with climate and management has been given high priority by the Chinese government and various funding agencies in recent years. Clearly, China’s success in ecological restoration will have great impact beyond its own geographic territory.