JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2016, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (5): 743-754.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.20150557

• Resource Ecology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Water Costs of Afforestation and Natural-restoration in China

LU Chen-xi1, ZHANG Jun-ze2, ZHAO Ting-yang3, CAO Shi-xiong3   

  1. 1. Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China;
    2. College of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China;
    3. College of Economic Management, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2015-05-20 Revised:2015-10-09 Online:2016-05-20 Published:2016-05-19
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Foundation of China, No.11&ZD042

Abstract: It’s well known that a healthy ecosystem has potentials in conservation of water and soil, prevention of wind erosion, refining regional water environment, regulating climatic, reducing pollution, increasing recreation and cultural protection, and other ecosystem services. However, ecological environment restoration and construction not only demands a huge amount of investment, but also takes up large quantities of water and soil resource. In order to properly figure out the costs of afforestation programs, for the first time, in this paper we used seven evapotranspiration models to calculate the water consumption of afforestation and natural vegetation and the water cost of afforestation since 1949. We found that the water consumption of afforestation was more than that of natural vegetation by 767×108 m3, and the accumulative opportunity cost of water was 536×108 yuan. To maintain the ecological balance, any ecological restoration, especially artificial restoration, and socio-economic activities should spare no efforts to pay attention on water cost. It is an essential issue encountered by restoration ecology to minimize the cost of restoration and improve the net value of ecosystem service by comparing cost-effectiveness of different measures.

Key words: afforestation, cost-effectiveness, net value of ecological service, resource-saving, sustainable development

CLC Number: 

  • F326.2