Resources Science ›› 2020, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (5): 980-990.doi: 10.18402/resci.2020.05.15

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Spatiotemporal dynamics of ecological supply and demand based on ecological footprint theory

HONG Shunfa1, GUO Qinghai2(), LI Dawei3   

  1. 1. School of International Affairs and Public Administration, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China;
    2. School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China;
    3. School of Geographic Science and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2019-08-23 Revised:2019-12-23 Online:2020-05-25 Published:2020-07-25
  • Contact: Qinghai GUO


The balance of ecological supply and demand is a scientific question in the field of ecological civilization research, and a practical basis for the construction of ecological civilization. Because of its social-ecological attributes and measurability, ecological footprint has become an entry point in the study of the linkages between ecological supply and ecological demand. Based on the ecological footprint theory, an ecological footprint account was constructed in this study and ecological footprint and ecological carrying capacity calculation methods were optimized for the evaluation of ecological supply and demand in China during 1995-2015. The results show that: (1) Ecological footprint had grown rapidly since 2000, and finally formed a stepped pattern of decrease from the eastern to the central and western regions. The ecological carrying capacity was locally adjusted and the pattern was stable. (2) Ecological supply and demand situation had undergone qualitative change around 2005 in China, shifting from ecological surplus to ecological deficit. Up to 2015, the occupation of the natural environment required 1.39 China to meet existing ecological needs. (3) The ecological overload in the eastern region was much larger than in other regions. The ecological carrying capacity of the western region was poor, and the growth of ecological footprint had caused the acceleration of ecological overload in the western region. Among the western provinces (municipalities, autonomous regions), Ningxia and Xinjiang had serious ecological overload, and the ecological footprint was growing at a medium and high speed, which should be paid special attention. (4) The control of energy footprint and pollution footprint is the core to improve the balance of regional ecological supply and demand. The research results can provide some reference for regional ecological civilization construction and ecological planning in China.

Key words: ecological footprint, ecological carrying capacity, ECCI, spatiotemporal dynamics, ecological surplus, ecological deficit