Resources Science ›› 2015, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (9): 1709-1715.

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Concept definition and system construction of gross ecosystem production

MA Guoxia1(), ZHAO Xuetao1, WU Qiong1, PAN Tao2   

  1. 1. China Academy for Environmental Planning,Beijing 100012,China
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100101,China
  • Received:2015-05-10 Revised:2015-08-15 Online:2015-09-25 Published:2015-09-25


Ecosystems are a dynamic complex of plant,animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit. They change as a result of natural processes or because of human actions. Ecosystem services are central in the ecosystem accounting framework since they provide the link between ecosystem assets on the one hand,and benefits used and enjoyed by people on the other. How to carry out scientific and rational Gross Ecosystem Production (GEP)accounting is a key point in realizing ‘the establishment of the ecological civilization requirements of the target system,assessment,reward and punishment mechanism’ as stated by the 18th Party Congress. However,many researchers have confused the concept of GEP and ecosystem assets value,and concepts and accounting systems require defining. The terms gross and net are used in a wide range of accounting situations. The term net is used simply to refer to the difference between two accounting items,GEP accounting should be net accounting,but not gross accounting as in the same meaning in GDP. Based on reviews of ecosystem services value,the accounting boundary,unit,framework and methods of GEP are explored here,and the accounting difficulties of GEP analyzed. Biological diversity,inter-ecosystem flows,support system,and non-biological service should not be included in the accounting of GEP. In common with all accounting systems,ecosystem accounting is founded on relationships between stocks and flows. There are two key points in GEP accounting:ecosystem services change led by ecological system assets change,and benefit changes in the economic system based on changes in ecosystem services.

Key words: GEP, ecosystem service, flow, concept definition