Desertification, soil salinization and grassland degradation are the major environmental hazards faced by the Gannan Plateau, northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Ecological risk assessment plays an important role in formulating environmental management strategies yet little attention to this region. In this study, we established an ecological risk assessment index system based on 30 evaluation indices in the categories of hydrometeorology, ecological environment, ground surface disturbance, and society and economy for the Gannan Plateau. An entropy method was used to calculate an index weight, and subsequently the matter-element method was used together with extension theory to establish a matter-element extension model of ecological risk. We assessed the ecological risk in this region by calculating the degree of association between index layer, system layer and target layer, and the cumulative ecological risk index. The degrees of ecological risk for the counties of the region were determined by using ArcGIS which would represent a spatial heterogeneity of the risk grade in production. Our results showed that the areas of high ecological risk were in Zhouqu County and Zhuoni County, and others were of low risk (Hezuo City, Diebu County, Xiahe County and Lintan County) or intermediate risk (Maqu County). The results of the assessment were in accord with the actual observed situation. Thus, our ecological risk assessment index system is appropriate for this region and suggests that high risk counties need a priori ecological protection. Such research could provide a technological support which would potentially prevent or reduce disasters by establishing an ecological barrier to promote the sustainable development of Gannan Plateau.
Matter-element Extension theory Ecological risk assessment Ecosystem Gannan Plateau
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
This research was supported by the Soft Science Project of Gansu province (1504ZKCA090-1), the National Natural Science Foundation of china (grant nos. 41671516, 41701623, 51369003), the Foundation for Excellent Youth Scholars of NIEER, CAS, National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41661144046), a project supported by the Special Foundation for Gansu Province International Scientific Cooperation (1604WKCA002), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (lzujbky-2015-K10, lzujbky-2016-862516, lzujbky-2017-it90).
Landis WG, Ayre KK, Johns AF, et al. (2017) The multiple stressor ecological risk assessment for the mercurycontaminated South River and upper Shenandoah River using the Bayesian network-relative risk model. Integrated environmental assessment and management 13(1): 85–99. https://doi.org/10.1002/ieam.1758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shi KF, Diao CT, Sun XF (2013) Evaluation of soil-water resources carrying capacity based on entropy weight extension decision model in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region of Chongqing. Acta Scientiae Circumstantiae 02:609-616. (In Chinese) https://doi.org/10.13671/j.hjkxxb.2013.02.030Google Scholar
Yang F, Zhao QY, Zhang W (2012) Climate change and its influence on water resources in Gannan Plateau. Journal of Arid Meteorology 30(03):404–409. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
Yao YB, Deng ZY, Yin D et al. (2007) Climatic changes and ecoenvironmental effects in the Yellow River important water source supply area of Gannan Plateau. Geographical Research (04): 844–852. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
Zeng JJ, Shi ZT, Liu XY, et al. (2014) Vulnerability assessment of urban water sources area in plateau basin based on matterelement and extension sets. Water Saving Irrigation (1): 36–39, 44. (In Chinese)Google Scholar