Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2011, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (3): 345-352.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.00345

• Review • Previous Articles    

A review on the research progress of desertification assessment

YIN He1, LI Zheng-Guo1,2*,  WANG Yang-Lin1   

  1. 1College of Urban & Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China;

    2Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2010-10-25 Revised:2010-12-16 Online:2011-03-01 Published:2011-03-02
  • Contact: LI Zheng-Guo1


Desertification is widely recognized as one of the most serious global environmental threats occurring in ecological fragile areas. To assess desertification at a regional scale is of practical significance in understanding environmental change and strengthening ecosystem management. We critically reviewed the development of desertification concepts, as well as common assessment methodologies. We emphasized desertification assessment objects and indicators, as well as scales. We showed that, compared to other indicators, indicators derived from vegetation information are more reliable and effective in desertification assessment. We proposed future research prospects on desertification assessment.