PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (7): 851-859.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.07.006

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Determination of ecological red line of mountainous areas: A case study of Yihe Town in Chongqing Municipality

Yuchen DING1, Changchun FENG1,*(), Liwei WANG2   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • Received:2015-02-01 Revised:2015-04-01 Online:2016-07-20 Published:2016-07-20
  • Contact: Changchun FENG
  • Supported by:
    Foundation: National Science and Technology Support Program of China, No.2012BAJ22B04


Unsuitable land use is an important factor contributing to ecological problems. Determining ecological red line can coordinate the relationship between land use and the ecological environment, promote reasonable allocation of land resources, and improve regional ecological security. Research on methods to determine ecological red line has theoretical and practical values. Mountain areas have rugged terrain and dense water systems, where fragmentation of land use is often serious. They are also important areas with regard to soil and water conservation and key areas for ecological restoration and reconstruction. Taking a mountainous town—Yihe in Chongqing Municipality—as an example, this study used GIS tools and took into consideration ecological sensitivity and ecosystem services value to determine the rigid and flexible ecological red lines of the study area. This study chose slope, vegetation coverage, water and soil types, and erosive force of precipitation as indicators for ecological sensitivity assessment and food production, raw material production, gas regulation, climate regulation, hydrology regulation, soil retention, nutrient cycling maintenance, biodiversity, and aesthetic as indicators for ecological service assessment. The area within the rigid ecological red line is 43.90 km2, 44.34% of the total area of Yihe Town; and the area within the elastic ecological read line is 29.18 km2, 29.47% of the total area. Ecological red line encloses the northern and eastern mountainous area and southern area with dense water courses of the town. The ecological sensitivity and ecological services value are high is this area. The ecological red lines determined in this study identify key areas for ecological restoration and protection, and the methods and result can support policy-making for improving ecological security of the region.

Key words: mountainous areas, ecological read line, ecological sensitivity, ecosystem services value, Yihe Town of Chongqing Municipality