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Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 67, Issue 6, pp 1639–1649 | Cite as

Evolution of tidal flats in China and ecological exploitation of tidal flat resources

  • Li-Hua FengEmail author
  • Yuan-Jun Ma
Original Article

Abstract

Tidal flats play a tremendous role for solving the problem of land use because of the crisis of population increments. Many coastal countries have carried out reclamation projects near seas in various degrees for a long time. China currently has about 2.13 million hm2 of tidal flats that are mainly scattered in the delta plains and coastal regions near medium- to large-sized rivers. The tidal flats in China are reserves featuring dynamic growth and a capacity for continuous expansion; the tidal flat area undergoes an annual increase of over 20,000 hm2. In recent years, countries around the world have paid much attention to the marine ecological environment and have taken measures to restrict the scale and range of sea reclamation. Although widespread reclamation of tidal flats in China has taken place, such activities have also brought some negative effect: (1) water overdraft, seawater intrusion, (2) tidal gates and channel silting, (3) environment pollution, unbalanced ecosystem, and (4) loss of wetlands and threats to the survival of species. This paper examines the mechanisms associated with tidal flat dynamic growth, and points out that artificial siltation can greatly increase the growth speed of tidal flats, and the actual measured annual siltation thickness may reach 0.5–2.7 m. At present, this paper proposes a theory relating to the ecological exploitation of this ecosystem as follows: (1) the principle of adjustment to local conditions; (2) the principle of three-dimensional distribution; (3) the principle of ecological balance; (4) the principle of green and environmental protection. In practical terms, this dynamic growth may play a significant role in mitigating conflicts relating to land use demands in coastal areas.

Keywords

Tidal flat resource Dynamic growth Mechanism Artificial siltation Ecological exploitation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author is grateful to National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41171430) for supporting this work.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyZhejiang Normal UniversityJinhuaChina

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