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Proceedings Paper

Spatial distribution and temporal variation of ecological capital and their relation to climate change and the changes of land use and land cover on the northern slope of the Tianshan Mountain, China
Author(s): Qing Zhang; Xiuwan Chen; Wei Gao; Xianfeng Zhang; Kefa Zhou; Xinli Wang
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Paper Abstract

Ecological capital of an ecosystem is the total value of the direct biological products in the system and the value of ecological service. The assessment of ecological capital is a new research area emerged from the challenge in the interdisciplinary research of ecology and social development. It is fundamental to establish a green national economy accounting system. Scientific evaluation of ecological capital is helpful for considering ecological cost in making the decision for economic development, and it is demanded for sustainable development. In this study, a quantitative assessment model of ecological property has been developed based on the analysis of per unit yield in the conventional ecology together with the utilization of remote sensing data from the Landsat TM, CBERS, MODIS, and NOAA database, land use and land cover data, and field measurements. The study area covers Changji Autonomous District, Xinjiang, China on the northern slope of Tianshan Mountain that is located in a typical arid area. Dynamic monitoring of ecological capital was performed using remote sensing techniques. Spatial distribution and temporal variation of ecological properties were characterized. The effects of land cover and land use as well as climate change on those variation and distribution were analyzed. The results show a significant increase in the ecological capital during 1990-2003. The spatial distribution of ecological properties is characterized by a negative gradient from higher altitudes to lower altitudes (plains) and from oases to deserts, which is consistent with the zonal distribution of vegetation in arid areas. Due to global warming, the climate in Xinjiang has been changed into a warmer and wetter environment during the last 50 years, which improves the plant growing conditions in the alpine regions, piedmont hilly regions, and the oases. On the other hand, the natural environment in the arid and semiarid regions in northwest China becomes more severe, and the stress to the natural ecosystems becomes more and more serious. Human activities affect the quality and the area of ecosystems and change the service functions of ecosystems. Consequently the fluctuation of ecological capital occurs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 October 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6679, Remote Sensing and Modeling of Ecosystems for Sustainability IV, 66790J (22 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.726022
Show Author Affiliations
Qing Zhang, Peking Univ. (China)
Xiuwan Chen, Peking Univ. (China)
Wei Gao, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Xianfeng Zhang, Colorado State Univ. (United States)
Kefa Zhou, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (China)
Xinli Wang, Colorado State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6679:
Remote Sensing and Modeling of Ecosystems for Sustainability IV
Wei Gao; Susan L. Ustin, Editor(s)

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