Millennial Evolution of a Karst Socio-Ecological System: A Case Study of Guizhou Province, Southwest China

Yetong Li, Qihua Ke, Zhuodong Zhang
2022 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  
The dynamic changes in socio-ecological system (SES) have exerted increasing pressures on the natural environment, leading to observable changes in terrestrial surface structure. Therefore, understanding the historical evolution mechanism of social ecosystems is crucial for the future sustainable management of karst regions. However, detailed quantitative analyses of karst socio-ecological system at a long-term scale are lacking. Here, we applied a comprehensive research framework for the SES
more » ... karst region to visually analyze the evolution of karst SES over the past 1000 years in Guizhou Province, defining five evolution stages of the karst SES. Concurrently, we characterized the interactive effects of drivers on karst socio-ecological system during every evolutionary stage, and then assess major influences between these stages. Despite rocky desertification as the main effect of karst SES driven by many indicators, the quantitative analysis indicated that human-dominated land-use change explained the expansion of rocky desertification. Although effective implementation of relevant policies partly compensated for increased environmental pressures, continued structure and function shifts in local ecosystem can challenge progress towards sustainability in karst region. Our findings provide scientific references for managers and policymakers to assist them to identify how environmental issues emerged in karst areas and how they should be addressed.
doi:10.3390/ijerph192215151 pmid:36429871 pmcid:PMC9691231 fatcat:425efpueufawpnytbttpkspjri