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Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 329; doi:10.3390/su8040329

Dynamic Changes of the Ecological Footprint and Its Component Analysis Response to Land Use in Wuhan, China

School of Public Administration, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 9 January 2016 / Revised: 20 March 2016 / Accepted: 30 March 2016 / Published: 5 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

Humans’ demands for biological resources and energies have always been increasing, whereas evidence has shown that this demand is outpacing the regenerative and absorptive capacity of the planet. Since China is experiencing unprecedented urbanization and industrialization processes, how much impact this has imposed on the earth during economic development worldwide is conspicuous. Therefore, this paper tries to examine the environmental impact in detail and track its changes in a typical city of Central China, Wuhan, based on ecological footprint analysis. By calculating the ecological footprint and its components in terms of biologically productive land areas during the period of 1995–2008, it is found that the ecological footprint increased in fluctuations from 1.48 gha per capita to 2.10 gha per capita, with the carbon footprint contributing most within the whole time period. Compared to the tiny declining biocapacity of the region, a gradually aggravated ecological deficit in the city was observed, which increased from 1.12 gha per capita in 1995 to 1.79 gha per capita in 2008. Component analysis on the trends of the ecological footprint and ecological deficit reveals that the impact on the ecosystem induced by humans’ demands for resource production and energy consumption became greater than before, and cutting down the consumption of fossil fuels could reduce the carbon footprint and the overall ecological deficit of the city. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological footprint; ecological deficit; biocapacity; energy consumption; carbon footprint; biological resource; Wuhan ecological footprint; ecological deficit; biocapacity; energy consumption; carbon footprint; biological resource; Wuhan
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Yao, X.; Wang, Z.; Zhang, H. Dynamic Changes of the Ecological Footprint and Its Component Analysis Response to Land Use in Wuhan, China. Sustainability 2016, 8, 329.

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