Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 51, Supplement 2, pp 121–128 | Cite as

Coastal wetland in South China: Degradation trends, causes and protection countermeasures

  • Han Qiuying Email author
  • Huang Xiaoping 
  • Shi Ping 
  • Zhang Qiaomin 


There are abundant coastal wetlands in South China and their main characters are the tidal flats, mangroves and coral reefs. In this paper, the status quo of coastal wetlands in South China is introduced and their degradation trends in the last decades are analyzed based on the existing literatures and information. Their degradation trends are characterized by reduction of coastal wetlands’ area, pollution of seawater environment, degeneration of ecological environment, sharp decrease of biodiversity in the wetlands and so on. At the same time, the causes resulting in the above-mentioned degradations are discussed, mainly concluding imperfect systems of management and legislation, deficient property and assessment systems of the wetlands, weak consciousness of protecting coastal wetlands, shortage of basic study and backward management level and so on. Some countermeasures are put forward for the sake of a sustainable use of the coastal wetlands of South China, mainly including establishing and perfecting administrative and legal systems for the coastal wetlands, developing the study on assessment of coastal wetland, heightening the consciousness of public participation, and strengthening scientific research and establishment of wetland nature reserves.


coastal wetlands degradation trends causes countermeasures South China 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Yun C X, Jiang X W. Sustainable Development and Integrative Management of Coastal Wetland (in Chinese). Beijing: China Ocean Press, 2002. 58–66Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wetland Resources Monitoring Center, State Forestry Administration of People’s Republic of China. Technology and method used in wetland investigation (in Chinese).
  3. 3.
    State Forestry Administration of People’s Republic of China. Protection and action plan of Chinese wetlands (in Chinese).
  4. 4.
    Xiao D N, Li X Z, Hu Y M, et al. Protection of the littoral wetland in northern China: Ecological and environmental characteristics. AMBIO, 1996, 25(1): 2–5Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wang S G, Chen X G. Status quo of coastal wetlands and their protection in Guangdong Province. Chongqing Environ Sci (in Chinese), 1998, 20(1): 4–8Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zou F S, Song X J, Jiang H S, et al. Types and characteristics of the wetland of Hainan Island. Trop Geog (in Chinese), 1999, 19(3): 204–207Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chen G Z, Lan Z H, Deng P Y. The Project Reversing Environmental Degradation trends in the South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand—Special Report of Wetlands in China (in Chinese). Guangzhou: Zhongshan University Press, 2005. 6–9Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Tao S M. Wetland Ecology and Protection (in Chinese). Beijing: China Environmental Science Press, 2003. 266–308Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wan X J, Liu Z G, Huang S, et al. Current status and recommendation for sea reclamation and development and utilization of tidal flat of Guangdong. Aquicult Techn (in Chinese), 2000, 3: 1–3Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cui W Z. Study on protection of mudflat wetland in the Pearl River Estuary. Wetland Sci (in Chinese), 2004, 2(1): 26–30Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hong X A. Brief introduction on exploitation of tidal flat resources of Guangxi. Mar Info (in Chinese), 1992, 2: 34–36Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Liang W P, Huang Z P. Resource status and protection strategies of mangrove forests in Guangxi. Forest Invent Plan (in Chinese), 2003, 28(4): 59–62Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Liang S C. Mangrove resources of Guangxi and their sustainable utilization. Mar Sci Bull (in Chinese), 1998, 18(6): 77–83Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Zou F S, Song X J. Study on avian diversity in the mangrove wetland of Dongzhaigang of Hainan Province. Biono J (in Chinese), 2001, 20(3): 21–23Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    State Oceanic Administration of China. Report on the status of the marine environmental quality in China by the end of 20th century (in Chinese).
  16. 16.
    Lu H S, He X L, Chen C L, et al. Species distribution of corals from western littoral sea area of Xuwen, Guangdong. Taiwan Strait (in Chinese), 2003, 22(4): 445–448Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Liang W, Li G Z. Preliminary study on characteristics of coral reef distribution and environmental protection in Weizhou Island. Res Environ Sci (in Chinese), 2002, 15(6): 5–8Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zhang Q M. Status of trpical biological coasts of China: Implications on ecosystem restoration and reconstruction. Oceanol et Limnol Sin (in Chinese), 2001, 3(4): 454–464Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zhang X L, Li P Y, Li P. Present conditions and prospects of study on coastal wetlands in China. Ad Mar Sci (in Chinese), 2005, 23(1): 87–95Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Robert P B, Denice H W, Charles A C. Are we purveyors of wetland homogeneity? A model of degradation and restoration to improve wetland mitigation performance. Ecol Eng, 2005, 24: 331–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hong Z A, Jia H. Development and utilization, management and protection of coastal wetland resources in China. Mar Sci Bull (in Chinese), 1998, 15(1): 77–83Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Guan L J. Remote sensing study on tidal flat resources and environmental changes of Lingding Bay in Pearl River Estuary. In: Wu C Y, ed. Proceeding of the Paper Anthology about Marine and Environment Workshop in 1999. Hong Kong: Coastal and Atmospheric Study Center of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2000. 157–165Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Zhang Q M, Sui S Z. The mangrove wetland resources and their conservation in China. J Nat Resour (in Chinese), 2001, 16(1): 28–36Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lin Z L. Current status and protection of mangroves in Guangdong. Mar Info (in Chinese), 1999, 6: 25–27Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sun H L. Ecosystem of China, Vol 5 (in Chinese). Beijing: Science Press, 2005. 928–939Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    State Oceanic Administration of China. Report on the status of the marine environmental quality in China in 2004 (in Chinese).
  27. 27.
    Xie S H. A study on resources and environment and sustainable development strategy of the Pearl River Delta. Territory Nat Resour (in Chinese), 2003, 4: 41–43Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Yu X J, Li P. Study on fragile zone of ocean and land environment and its sustainable development in the Pearl River Estuary. In: Yu D J, ed. Protection and Sustainable Development of Offshore Resources (in Chinese). Beijing: China Ocean Press, 2001. 162–166Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Cui G Q, Huang G F, Zhang Y B, et al. The present situation, challenge and countermeasure for ecological environment of Guangdong Province. Ecol Environ (in Chinese), 2003, 12(3): 313–316Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Shu T F, Luo L, Wen Y M. Effects of mariculture on coastal econological environment. Mar Environ Sci (in Chinese), 2002, 21(2): 74–80.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lu C X. Several considerations on sustainable utilization of coastal wetland resources. Mar Expl Manag (in Chinese), 1997, 3: 33–35Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Zhou Z G. Mangrove system and its development strategies of Hainan. Mar Expl Manag (in Chinese), 2004, 4: 51–53Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    State Oceanic Administration of China. 21st Century Agenda, Action Plan of Marine in China (in Chinese). Beijing: China Ocean Press, 1996. 30–35Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Chen S P, Liang Z X, Deng Y. Mangroves in the seacoast of South China Sea in China. Guangxi Plant (in Chinese), 1988, 8(3): 215–224Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Mai S Z, Xu S J. Mangrove resources protection and its exploitation of Guangdong. Mar Expl Manag (in Chinese), 2005, 1: 44–48Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Fan H Q. Mangroves status and factitious disturbance in the coast of Guangxi. In: Fan H Q, Liang S C, eds. Mangroves Study and Management in China (in Chinese). Beijing: Science Press, 1995. 189–202Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Yu D P, Zou R L. Current status and trends of community structure of the hermatypic corals on Luhuitou fringing reef in Sanya, Hainan. In: Ma K P, ed. Ecosystem Diversity of Key Regions and Types in China (in Chinese). Hangzhou: Zhejiang Science and Technology Press, 1999. 225–268Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Yu K F, Jiang M X, Cheng Z Q, et al. Latest forty two years’ sea surface temperature change of Weizhou Island and its effect on coral reefs. Chin J Appl Ecol (in Chinese), 2004, 15(3): 506–510Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Yu D P, Zou R L. Study on species diversity of reef-building coral in Peninsula, Hainan. Acta Ecol Sin (in Chinese), 1996, 16(5): 469–475Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Huang D Y, Shi Q, Yu K F, et al. Advances in the study on coral reef in region of Luhuitou in Hainan. Mar Sci Bull (in Chinese), 2004, 23(2): 56–64Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Zhou X Y, Zan Q J, Wang Y J, et al. The investigation on transmission and harmful effect of Mikania micrantha in Guangdong Province of China. Ecol Sci (in Chinese), 2003, 22(4): 332–336Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Liao B W, Zheng S F, Chen Y J, et al. Analysis on biological characteristics and ecological adaptability for non-indigenous mangrove species Sonneratia apetala. Chin J Ecol (in Chinese), 2004, 23(1): 10–15Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Han Y W, Gao J X, Li Z H, et al. Major ecologic and environmental problems and protection countermeasures of the coastal zone in the Pearl River Delta. Mar Expl Manag (in Chinese), 2005, 3: 84–87Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Han Qiuying 
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Huang Xiaoping 
    • 1
  • Shi Ping 
    • 1
  • Zhang Qiaomin 
    • 1
  1. 1.LED, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations