Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 69 ›› Issue (11): 1628-1639.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201411004

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research framework of ecosystem services geography from spatial and regional perspectives

Shuangcheng LI(), Jue WANG, Wenbo ZHU, Jin ZHANG, Ya LIU, Yang GAO, Yang WANG, Yan LI   

  1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Beijing 100871, China
  • Received:2014-03-18 Revised:2014-09-24 Online:2014-11-20 Published:2014-11-20
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41130534, No.41371096


The research on ecosystem services has become a hotspot in ecology, geography and other related disciplines at home and abroad. Through reviewing the history of ecosystem service study, it can be found that the research has been gradually transformed from rational paradigm to regional paradigm, and from natural science paradigm to integrated paradigm between natural science and social science. It was characterized by increasing attention to spatiotemporal heterogeneity, spatial flow ability and regional features, and links between ecosystem services and human welfare. Almost all the subdisciplines of geography can find their own research themes in the cascade framework of ecosystem structure and function-service-human benefits and welfare. Due to more participation in the study area of ecosystem services, the geography of ecosystem services which is being constructed as a new branch of geography, not only plays a more important role in the research of ecosystem services, but also can extend the study scope of geography. Based on reviewing the historical process and development trend of the ecosystem service research, the logical necessity, opportunities and challenges of geography in ecosystem services research were analyzed in this paper. To promote the transform of ecosystem service research into geographical context, we proposed that the geography of ecosystem service should be established and well defined as an independent branch of geography. Moreover, a preliminary framework of geography of ecosystem service was described, including the definition, research scope and contents, and the subject position in geography.

Key words: ecosystem services geography, spatial and regional perspective, research paradigm