JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2016, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (11): 1832-1843.doi: 10.11849/zrzyxb.20151251

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Analysis on the Relationship between Agriculture Water Consumption of Four Source Rivers and the Change of Ecosystem Structure of the Mainstream in Tarim River Basin in Recent 50 Years

MENG Fan-hao1, 2, Guli JIAPAER1, BAO An-ming1, GUO Hui1, 2, LUO Min1, 2, LIU Tie1   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Desert and Oasis Ecology, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2015-11-13 Revised:2016-04-13 Online:2016-11-20 Published:2016-11-20
  • Supported by:
    A Major Grant from the Xinjiang Department of Science and Technology, No.201230117-1; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41171295; Strategic Leading Science and Technology Projects of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, No.XDA05050104; One Thousand Youth Talents Plan of China (Xinjiang Project), No.374231001

Abstract: The agricultural water consumption in the source area of Tarim River is related to the water discharge of the mainstream, and indirectly influences the ecological stability in the basin. To know the situation of farmland expansion and water consumption in the Four Source Rivers regions, the area change, the expansion rate of farmland and the agricultural water footprint in this region during 1960s-2013 were analyzed, and the relations between them were investigated. The results indicated that: 1) Since the newly developed area of farmland in Aksu River Basin was almost equivalent to the reduction of farmland in Yarkant River Basin, the agricultural land in Four Source Rivers regions was stable during 1960s-1990. However, the agricultural water footprint increased slowly during this period. As a result, the ecosystem structure in the mainstream area changed. The desert expanded, and the oases shrank. 2) The year of 2000 was a dividing point. Both the agricultural land area and the agricultural water footprint in source areas of the Tarim River Basin were increased before 2000. As a result, the natural aquatic ecosystem, oasis ecosystem and desert ecosystem shrank in varying degrees. Excess consumption of agricultural water in source areas of the Tarim River Basin was the direct reason of ecosystem deterioration in the mainstream area of Tarim River. 3) Although the farmland area and the agricultural water footprint in source areas of the Tarim River Basin continued to grow after 2000, the ecosystems along the Tarim River were recovered because of water-saving projects, which saved nearly 2.722 billion m3 of water annually and ensured the water demand of ecosystems in the mainstream area of Tarim River.

Key words: agricultural water footprint, ecosystem structure, farmland, Tarim River Basin

CLC Number: 

  • F323.213