Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2022, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (10): 1219-1233.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2022.0259

Special Issue: 全球变化与生态系统 生态遥感及应用

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Construction and application of the indicator system for ecosystem monitoring network in the protected areas on a national scale

XU Meng1, TIAN Da-Shuan1,*(), WANG Yi-Heng1, HE Yi-Cheng1, CUI Qing-Guo2, LI Yue-Lin3, SHEN Xiao-Li2, YUAN Zuo-Qiang4,5, WANG Yang2   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modelling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    3Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of Degraded Ecosystems, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
    4Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Management, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang 110016, China
    5Key Laboratory of Terrestrial Ecosystem Carbon Neutrality, Liaoning Province, Shenyang 110016, China
  • Received:2022-06-21 Accepted:2022-10-10 Online:2022-10-20 Published:2022-10-25
  • Contact: TIAN Da-Shuan
  • Supported by:
    Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA23080302);Youth Innovation Promotion Association CAS(2021050)


The protected areas are crucial to the maintenance of national ecological security and improvement of biodiversity conservation. Application of real-time, high-frequency and multi-scale ecological monitoring in the protected areas serves an effective means for identifying the dynamics of ecosystem, which is key to the implement of ecosystem health management in the protected areas. However, due to the lack of a unified ecosystem monitoring and research network and the corresponding indicator system of the protected areas in China, the composition and dynamics of ecosystem in many protected areas remains unclear, which can dimmish the ability to cope with emerging issues of biodiversity conservation. Lack of the data obtained from the ecological monitoring network can also hamper the evaluation of ecosystem health status and conservation effectiveness of the protected areas on a national scale. As such, it is necessary to construct a national scale monitoring and research network for the composition and dynamics of ecosystem in the protected areas, as well as a scientific, systematic and normative indicator system for this monitoring network. By addressing the aims and objectives of biodiversity and ecosystem monitoring in the protected areas and with reference to the indicator systems of existing ecological monitoring networks both in China and abroad, this study summarized the basic principles of establishing the indicator system and the selection of indicators. Accordingly, an indicator system for the ecosystem monitoring network of the protected areas was established and applied to 6 national nature reserves for demonstration. The established indicator system consists of 30 indicators to comprehensively monitor changes in the 6 key elements that compose an ecosystem, which is habitat, biota, meteorology, soil, atmospheric and water environment, and landscape. The indicator system was effectively applied to monitor the long-term and dynamic changes in the status and evolution of ecosystem components and structures in different ecosystem types of protected areas including forest, grassland, wetland and desert. The normalized and standardized data achieved from the established monitoring network can further be used for the evaluation of conservation effectiveness and healthy management of the protected areas.

Key words: protected area, ecosystem monitoring and research network, indicator system, ecosystem component