The regional drought caused by global warming makes water resources in arid areas increasingly scarce, while the rapid growth of population and socio-economic development aggravate water resources crisis, limited water resources become the bottleneck of global desertification control, and it has also affected the sustainable and coordinated development of China's socio-economy.
Traditional desertification control measures focus on the increase of vegetation cover, and neglect interaction of the other elements of ecosystem, such as soil moisture, nutrients and vegetation, which lead to some relatively simple control measures, and the ecosystem cannot develop harmoniously.
Some other measures of desertification control have also been questioned by scientists because of the neglect of social and economic benefits.
The recently approved National Key R&D Program, “Key Techniques and Demonstration of Desertification Control in Semiarid Area in North China” (2016YFC0500900), aims to promote the study of stable and sustainable recovery of desertification land.
With deeply studies of the evolution mechanism of positive/negative processes in semiarid area and the stability of the desert ecosystems, we try to figure out the ecological thresholds in restoration of desertification land.
According to the different regional desertification characteristics in Maowusu sandy land, eastern Kubuqi Desert, western Horqin sandy land and Hulunbeier sandy land, we develop crucial technologies and optimize these technologies to support desertification control in target areas.
On the basis of comprehensive evaluation of desertification control model and its ecological-social-economic benefits, this project will provide integrated theoretical basis and technical support for China’s desertification control in semiarid area.
This research achievement has been published in Acta Ecologica Sinica under the title of Study on the coordinated development of ecosystem and socio-economic system in desertification control: a case study of desertification control in semiarid area in North China.