PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2012, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (3): 303-314.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2012.03.005

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Review of Ecosystem Resilience Research Progress

YAN Haiming, ZHAN Jinyan, ZHANG Tao   

  1. State Key Laboratory ofWater Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2011-10-01 Revised:2012-02-01 Online:2012-03-25 Published:2012-03-25

Abstract: Due to the climate change and human activities, the global ecosystem has changed significantly, which leads to the decline of ecosystem resilience at the regional and even global scale and constrains the sustainable development of ecosystems. The question about how to maintain the sustainable development of ecosystems and reduce the influence of uncertainties has aroused great concern from the academic community and people from all walks of life. A theory based on ecosystem resilience has provided a framework for solving these problems for the ecosystem resilience provides measures to alleviate the ecosystem deterioration. Although the significance of the concept of ecosystem resilience in management has been widely accepted, the research on ecosystem resilience still remain stagnant in the mode of the conceptual analysis and case studies and there is still no consensus on the concept of ecosystem resilience. Previous researches are generally theoretical analyses and even fewer researchers have quantitatively measured ecosystem resilience. The quantitative measurement of ecosystem resilience has become the key step and breakthrough point for further exploration of the ecosystem resilience. This paper reviewed the development process of the concept of ecosystem resilience and illustrated current viewpoints on the concept, meaning and properties of ecosystem resilience. The current theories of ecosystem resilience were stated and some attempts of quantitative measurement of ecosystem resilience were discussed. This paper also summarized the influencing factors of ecosystem resilience that have been found in relevant researches, and their influencing mechanism was also analyzed. Finally the future research were perspected.

Key words: adaptive cycle, ecological resilience, ecosystem resilience, engineering resilience, resilience alliance, stability