Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (9): 1475-1483.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201609001

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

Frontiers in terrestrial system research in Chinaunder global change

Du ZHENG(), Shaohong WU, Yunhe YIN, Qinye YANG, Dongsheng ZHAO, Xueqin ZHANG   

  1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2016-08-20 Revised:2016-08-30 Online:2016-11-25 Published:2016-11-25
  • Supported by:
    Key Project of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41530749


In view of the regional differentiation rules of land surface, research on terrestrial system (TS) has provided significant basis for the rational development of natural resources and layout of industries, and supported regional sustainable development as well. In this paper, the progress of TS research in China is overviewed and research frontiers in TS research in the near future under global change are explored. Since the 1950s, China has paid great attention to the TS study as its socio-economic development, and conducted research on physical geographical regionalization, eco-geographical regionalization and comprehensive regionalization. Along with the deepening of global change research, dynamics of TS have been highly concerned. During the studies, methodology has been developed from qualitative research of integration of experts' brainpower gradually to quantitative research based on field observation and experiments of the natural processes, including physical, chemical and biological processes, as well as application of information technology and mathematical simulation. Along with the emphasis on global change, TS would be combined with the ideology, objectives and key researches of Future Earth program, to focus on the mechanism and regional effects of interaction among land surface elements, the response of TS to global change, the quantitative recognition on regional unit boundary, and the combination of physical and human elements.

Key words: global change, terrestrial system, differentiation rules, sustainable development, China