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Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 975;

Quantitative Evaluation of Ecosystem Health in a Karst Area of South China

1,2,* , 1,3
School of Karst Science, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550001, China
The State Key Laboratory Incubation Base for Karst Mountain Ecology Environment of Guizhou Province, Guiyang 550001, China
State Engineering Technology Institute for Karst Desertification Control, Guiyang 550001, China
School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
Remote Sensing Center of Guizhou Province, Guiyang 550001, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael A. Fullen
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 16 September 2016 / Accepted: 20 September 2016 / Published: 10 October 2016
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The purpose of this study is to propose a GIS-based mechanism for diagnosing karst rocky desertification (KRD) ecosystem health. Using the Huajiang Demonstration Area in Guizhou Province as a case study, this research offers a multi-factor indicator system for diagnosing KRD ecosystem health. A set of geologic, environmental, and socio-economic health indicators were developed based on remote sensing images from field-investigation, hydrological, and meteorological monitoring data. With the use of grid GIS technology, this study gives an indicator for diagnosing the spatial expression of desertification at a 5 m × 5 m grid scale. Using spatial overlaying technology based on grid data, the temporal and spatial dynamics of ecosystem health in the Huajiang Demonstration Area were tracked over a 10 year time span. The results of the analysis indicate that ecosystem health in the Huajiang Demonstration Area varies regionally, and has overall improved over time. The proportion of healthy area increased from 3.7% in 2000 to 8.2% in 2010. However, unhealthy and middle-health areas still accounted for 78.7% of the total area by 2010. The most obvious improvement of ecosystem health was in an area where comprehensive control measures for curbing KRD were implemented. These results suggest that comprehensive control of KRD can effectively mitigate ecosystem deterioration and improve ecosystem health in karst regions of South China. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem health; karst rocky desertification (KRD); diagnosis; grid GIS ecosystem health; karst rocky desertification (KRD); diagnosis; grid GIS

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Chen, S.; Zhou, Z.; Yan, L.; Li, B. Quantitative Evaluation of Ecosystem Health in a Karst Area of South China. Sustainability 2016, 8, 975.

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