Resources Science ›› 2020, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (1): 96-103.doi: 10.18402/resci.2020.01.10

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Dynamics and sustainability of social-ecological systems in the Loess Plateau

WANG Shuai1, FU Bojie1,*(), WU Xutong2, WANG Yaping1   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    2. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2019-12-09 Revised:2020-01-08 Online:2020-01-25 Published:2020-01-25
  • Contact: FU Bojie


Driven by global environmental changes and human activities, the dynamic changes of social systems and ecological systems are increasing. Revealing the interaction mechanisms of this coupled system is the scientific basis for maintaining and enhancing resilience and sustainability. The Loess Plateau (LP) is one of the regions under great pressure from population, resources, and environment in China. It is also an important water and sediment source area of the Yellow River. Rational land use and the coordination of soil and water conservation with water resources use and sediment control are the main requirements of watershed management and regional sustainable development in the lower reaches of the Yellow River Basin. Based on the frontier research of coupled social-ecological system (SES) and the national needs for sustainable development and ecological construction, feedback mechanisms for regional social and ecological systems and coupled SES simulation are the key issues of research. Social-ecological system research in the Loess Plateau needs to illustrate the dynamics and mechanisms of SES evolution, develop methods for analyzing system dynamics and identifying regime shifts, and develop land-use optimization models for sustainable development in the LP, which are useful for the development of theories of SES and practices of sustainable development of the Loess Plateau.

Key words: social-ecological systems, feedback mechanism, sustainability, resilience, regime shift, coupled human and environment systems, Loess Plateau