PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2009, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (5): 814-824.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2009.05.021

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A Study on Self-organization of Oasis System: A Case of Xinjiang Oasis System

Muattar SAYDI1, Wahap HALIK1,   

  1. 1. College of Resource and Environment Science,Xinjiang University,Urumqi 830046, China;
    2. Lab for Oasis Ecosystem of Xinjiang University,Urumqi 830046, China
  • Online:2009-09-25 Published:2009-09-25


Self-organization is a process where the organization of a system spontaneously increases without being controlled by the external system. As a new worldview for human to understand the universe and things, self-organization can be a very good explanation for the evolving process of complex systems. Constructed by numbers of sub-system and complex non-linear correlation between them, oasis system belongs to a typical self-organizing system. This paper analyzes the characteristics and evolving process of oasis system by applying self-organization theory through the case study from Xinjiang oasis system. The characteristics and working mechanisms of both the self-organizing and other-organizing process have been introduced to analyze the evolving process while putting the focus on self-organization. Results indicate that oasis system has the obvious features of self-organizing system such as being open, non-balanced, non-linear and fluctuation. Self-organizing process in oasis system spontaneously takes place by three steps, from non-organization to organization, from low level of organization to high level organization and constant increment of complexity. These three process manifested respectively in the spontaneous formation of oasis in a proper environment, proliferation and atrophy of oasis scale and evolution of oasis function and structure. Evolution of oasis system is a compound and complex process which is constructed by the self-organization based on natural factors and other-organization implemented by human activities. The operational status and characteristics of oasis system at a certain time period depends on the relationship and interacting mechanism between self-organization and other-organization. They have three types of possible influence. Firstly, the development of oasis system can be increased to a great degree with the assistance of other organization measures during the process of self-organization. In this case, oasis system will tend to reinforce itself, but close attention must be paid in order to avoid causing some negative feedbacks. Secondly, when self-organization and other-organization deviated from each other, it will break down the intrinsic order in oasis system and oasis system will develop to the direction of disorder and destruction. Finally, the harmonious and synchronous development of self-organization and other-organization can make oasis system play its best function and keep the trend of healthy and sustainable development. Some typical examples from the Xinjiang oasis system have been given correspondingly to support the theoretical analysis. This study can provide scientific basis for understanding the oasis system from the point of view of self-organization, implementing other-organizing process scientifically and organizing oasis system in a more effective way and on a long-term basis.

Key words: oasis, oasis system, other-organization, self-organization