Assessment of Ecosystem Services and Ecological Regionalization of Grasslands Support Establishment of Ecological Security Barriers in Northern China

BAI Yongfei1,2,3 ZHAO Yujin1,2 WANG Yang1,2 ZHOU Kailing1,3

(1.State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 100093)
(2.Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 100093)
(3.College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China 100049)

【Abstract】Grassland ecosystems of Northern China, the headwaters region and water resource conservation areas for the Yellow River, the Yangzi River, the Lancang River, and the Luanhe River, are important ecological security barriers in China. They play extremely important roles in maintaining multiple ecosystem functions and services and sustaining multinational cultural diversity. However, the grassland ecosystems of Northern China have experienced widespread deterioration in functions and services since the last several decades due to the overexploitation of production functions at the cost of their ecological functions. Therefore, assessment of ecosystem services and ecological regionalization of grasslands in Northern China are needed for optimizing their production functions and ecological functions, establishing ecological security barriers, and achieving ecological civilization. Based on the spatial patterns of key ecosystem services and environmental conditions, we propose seven ecoregions and twenty-five sub-ecoregions across grassland ecosystems in Northern China. The ecological regionalization of grasslands can be used to guide sustainable grassland management, restoration of degraded grasslands, and biodiversity conservation in Northern China.

【Keywords】 grasslands of Northern China; ecosystem services; value of ecosystem services; ecological regionalization; optimizing production functions and ecological functions; ecological security barrier;


【Funds】 CERN Alliance Project of Chinese Academy of Sciences (KFJ-SW-YW037) National Key Research and Development Program (2016YFC0500804)

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This Article



Vol 35, No. 06, Pages 675-689

June 2020


Article Outline


  • 1 Ecosystem services and value assessment
  • 2 Principles and methods of ecological regionalization
  • 3 Overview and implementation measures of ecological regionalization
  • 4 Supporting measures for ecological regionalization of grasslands in Northern China
  • References