Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 76 ›› Issue (1): 178-190.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202101014

• Ecosystem Services • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Assessment and spatiotemporal characteristics of service valueof glaciers in the Qilian Mountains

SUN Meiping1,2(), MA Weiqian1, YAO Xiaojun1, ZHANG Mingjun1, LI Zhongqin2, QIN Dahe2   

  1. 1. College of Geography and Environmental Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    2. Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2020-02-24 Revised:2020-10-18 Online:2021-01-25 Published:2021-03-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41801052);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41861013);"Light of West China" Program of CAS;Longyuan Youth Innovation & Entrepreneurship Talent Program


Glaciers provide essential resources and services for human well-being and socio-economic development in arid regions, and estimation on service value of glaciers and its spatiotemporal characteristics are vital for socio-economic sustainable development and environmental protection. Based on the first and second glacier inventories, this research firstly constructed an assessment system of glacier service value. The glacier service value and its variation with time and space were then estimated by combining the unit area service price method, equivalent factor method and glacier service change index. The total glacier service value in the Qilian Mountains for 2016 was 24354 million yuan. The main parts were climate regulation and runoff regulation, which occupied 60.58% and 33.14% of the total value, respectively. The minor parts were freshwater supply and hydropower, which contributed 3.47% and 1.75% to the total, respectively. The service value of the rest parts was about 259 million yuan. For glacier service value of the watersheds in the Qilian Mountains, Shule River ranked first with 7771 million yuan, or 31.91%, followed by Haerteng River with 4321 million yuan (17.74%) and Beida River with 3281 million yuan (13.47%). From an administrative perspective, the glacier service value of the Qilian Mountains in Qinghai province was 1138 million yuan higher than that of Gansu province. For Qinghai, Haixi Mongolian Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture had the highest glacier service value with 11124 million yuan, accounting for 45.68%. For Gansu, the correspondent value was Jiuquan with 7758 million yuan, or 31.86%. During the period of 1956-2010, the loss of glacier service value in the Qilian Mountains increased faster from west to east, reaching 435 million yuan. This suggested that the change of glacier service value in the study region showed an obvious longitudinal and zonal differentiation.

Key words: glaciers, function and service, value estimation, spatiotemporal characteristics, Qilian Mountains