Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2013, Vol. 68 ›› Issue (5): 602-610.doi: 10.11821/xb201305003

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Responses of vulnerability for natural ecosystem to climate change in China

ZHAO Dongsheng, WU Shaohong   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2012-12-03 Revised:2013-01-23 Online:2013-05-20 Published:2013-05-20
  • Supported by:

    The "Strategic Priority Research Program" of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.XDA05090308; National Scientific Technical Supporting Programs during the 12th Five-year Plan of China, No.2012BAC19B04; No.2012BAC19B10

Abstract: Vulnerability of natural ecosystem to climate change is scientific basis for adapting and mitigating climate change, and is one of the important issues in the area of climate change and ecology. In this study, LPJ, a modified dynamical vegetation model according to features of China's natural ecosystems, was employed to simulate ecosystem dynamics under A2, B2 and A1B emission scenarios generated by PRECES (Providing Regional Climate for Impacts Studies) system. Using a vulnerability assessment model, vulnerability of natural ecosystem against climate change was evaluated in the future. Results suggest that vulnerability for China's natural ecosystems may strengthen in the east and weaken in the west, but the pattern of ecosystem vulnerability in China, decline from southeast to northeast, would not be altered under climate change. Ecosystem rising vulnerability may be mainly observed in temperate humid/sub-humid region and warm temperate humid/sub-humid region. Ecosystem decreasing vulnerability may be found in arid region of Northwest China and Tibetan Plateau region. In the near-term scale, natural ecosystem in China may be slightly affected by climate change. However, in mid-term and long-term scales, there may be severely adverse effect. Particularly, in the east with better water and thermal condition.

Key words: climate change, natural ecosystem, vulnerability, regional climate scenarios