Forestry Studies in China

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 70–79 | Cite as

An overview of the “Three-North” Shelterbelt project in China

  • Miao-miao Li
  • An-tian Liu
  • Chun-jing ZouEmail author
  • Wen-duo Xu
  • Hideyuki Shimizu
  • Kai-yun Wang


The “Three-North” Shelterbelt is the largest and most distinctive artificial ecological engineering project in China. It has been conducted since November 25, 1978 in the “Three-North” (i.e., Northeast China, North China and Northwest China) regions. In this study, the background and the essential benefits of the “Three-North” Shelterbelt project are summarized. The basic status and future development of the “Three-North” Shelterbelt project are also studied. As well, we tried to discuss the problems existing in the current shelterbelt system and the strategies to conduct this ecological project rationally.

Key words

“Three-North” Shelterbelt project essential benefits species adaptability 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bates C G. 1934. The Plains shelterbelt project. J Forest, 32: 978–991Google Scholar
  2. Chen L H, Li F X, Di X M, Zhang J X. 1998. Aeolian Sandy Soils in China. Beijing: Science Press (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  3. Dahl J. 1940. Progress and development of the Prairie States Forestry Project. J Forest, 38: 301–306Google Scholar
  4. Dirmeyer P A, Shukla J. 1996. The effect on regional and global climate of expansion of the world’s deserts. Q J R Meteorol Soc, 122: 451–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Duan Z H, Xiao H L, Li X R, Dong Z B, Wang G. 2004. Evolution of soil properties on stabilized sands in the Tengger Desert, China. Geomorphology, 59: 237–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gash J H C, Nobre C A. 1997. Climatic effects of Amazonian deforestation: some results from ABRACOS. Bull Am Meteorol Soc, 78(5): 823–830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Jiang H. 1999. The Ordos Plateau of China: An Endangered Environment. Tokyo: United Nations University PressGoogle Scholar
  8. Jiang H. 2004. Cooperation, land use, and the environment in Uxin Ju: The changing landscape of a Mongolian-Chinese borderland in China. Ann Assoc Am Geogr, 94(1): 117–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lee R, Leyshon A, Smith A. 2008. Rethinking economies/economic geographies. Geoforum, 39: 1111–1115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Li S G, Harazono Y, Oikawa T, Zhao H L, He Z Y, Chang X L. 2000. Grassland desertification by grazing and the resulting micrometeorological changes in Inner Mongolia. Agric Forest Meteorol, 102: 125–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Li X R, Ma F Y, Xiao H L, Wang X P, Kim K C. 2004. Longterm effects of revegetation on soil water content of sand dunes in arid region of Northern China. J Arid Environ, 57: 1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Munns E N, Stoeckeler J H. 1946. How are the great plains shelterbelts? J Forest, 44: 237–257Google Scholar
  13. Nicholson S E, Tucker C J, Ba M B. 1998. Desertification, drought, and surface vegetation: an example from the west African Sahel. Bull Am Meteorol Soc, 79: 815–829CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Su Y Z, Zhao H L. 2003. Soil properties and plant species in an age sequence of Caragana microphylla plantations in the Horqin Sandy Land, north China. Ecol Eng, 20: 223–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Su Y Z, Zhao H L, Zhao W Z, Zhang T H. 2004. Fractal features of soil particle size distribution and the implication for indicating desertification. Geoderma, 122: 43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Tinker E N. 1938. What happened to the shelterbelt? Am Forest, 44: 7–8, 48Google Scholar
  17. Xi J B, Zhang F S, Chen Y, Mao D R, Yin C H, Tian C Y. 2004. A preliminary study on salt contents of soil in root-canopy area of halophytes. Chin J Appl Ecol, 15(1): 53–58 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  18. Xiong L M, Zhong Z C, Li X G, Wang L. 1992. A preliminary study on the soil seed banks of different successional stages of subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest. Acta Phytoecol Geobot Sin, 16: 249–257 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  19. Xu W D, Liu G T, Duan P S, Zou C J. 1998. Study on Picea mongolica Forest Ecosystem in Baiyinaobao Natural Reserve, Inner Mongolia. Beijing: China Forestry Publishing House (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  20. Xu W D, Zou C J. 1998. Sandy Forest Ecosystems of China. Beijing: China Forestry Publishing House (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  21. Xue Y K. 1997. Biosphere feedback on regional climate in tropical North Africa. Q J R Meteorol Soc, 123: 1483–1515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Zha Y, Gao J. 1997. Characteristics of desertification and its rehabilitation in China. J Arid Environ, 37: 419–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Zhang C, Zhao J B. 2008. Relationships between the changes of sandstorm activities in spring and climatic factors in the Northwest China in recent 50 years. J Arid Land Res Environ, 22(8): 129–132 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  24. Zhang H, Wu J W, Zheng Q H, Yu Y J. 2003. A preliminary study of oasis evolution in the Tarim Basin, Xinjing, China. J Arid Environ, 55: 545–553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Zhao H L, Nemoto M, Ohkuro T, Li S G. 1997. Study on desertification mechanism of grazing grassland in Kerqin sandy land in Inner Mongolia, China. Grassland China, 3: 15–23 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  26. Zhao H L, Zhao X Y, Zhang T H. 2002. Study on bioprocesses in desertification in northern agro-pasture inter zone. J Desert Res, 22: 309–315 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  27. Zhong D C, Qu J J. 2003. Recent developmental trend and prediction of sand deserts in China. J Arid Environ, 53: 317–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zhu Z D, Cheng G T. 1994. China Land Desertification. Beijing: Science Press (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  29. Zhu Z D, Guo H W, Wu G C. 1964. Study on sand dune movement near the oasis in southwest Taklimakan Desert. Acta Geogr Sin, 30: 35–50 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  30. Zhu Z, Liu S, Di X. 1989. Desertification and its Control in China. Beijing: Science Press (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  31. Zon R. 1935. Shelterbelts—futile dream or workable plan. Science, 81: 391–394PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Beijing Forestry University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miao-miao Li
    • 1
  • An-tian Liu
    • 1
  • Chun-jing Zou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wen-duo Xu
    • 2
  • Hideyuki Shimizu
    • 3
  • Kai-yun Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Shanghai Key Laboratory of Urbanization & Ecological Restoration, School of Life ScienceEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiP. R. China
  2. 2.Institute of Applied EcologyChinese Academy of SciencesShenyangP. R. China
  3. 3.National Institute for Environmental StudiesIbarakiJapan

Personalised recommendations