Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (3): 445-457.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202003001

• Academician Forum •     Next Articles

Progress of ecohydrological discipline and its future development in China

XIA Jun1,2, ZHANG Yongyong2(), MU Xingmin3,5, ZUO Qiting4, ZHOU Yujian2, ZHAO Guangju3,5   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, CAS and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
    4. School of Water Conservancy & Environment, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
    5. Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest Agriculture & Forestry University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
  • Received:2019-02-09 Revised:2020-02-12 Online:2020-03-25 Published:2020-05-25
  • Contact: ZHANG Yongyong
  • Supported by:
    The Developmental Strategies of the Discipline of the Academic Divisions of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(2017DXA);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41671024)


Ecohydrology is a key discipline developed in recent decades, which can give aid in the protection and restoration of complex ecological systems (e.g., mountain, river, forest, farmland, lake), ultimately promoting the ecological civilization construction and the green development of China. In this paper, the progress and existing challenges of ecohydrological discipline are elaborated, and the future development directions are proposed according to the international scientific frontiers and national demands on ecological civilization construction. The main directions are to develop new ecohydrological monitoring methods and improve comprehensive observation network of ecohydrological systems; to perfect the ecohydrological mechanisms and their basic theories; to promote the integrations of multi-scales and multi-elements by considering both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; to promote the multidisciplinary integrations between ecohydrology and social sciences. Furthermore, specific future research interests in China are proposed as follows: multi-source information fusion and comprehensive monitoring system construction, spatio-temporal patterns of key ecohydrological elements and their variation characteristics; integrated models of ecological, hydrological and economic processes and their uncertainty estimation; interdisciplinary studies including physical and social sciences. The application prospective in China is further explicated in a variety of ecosystems (e.g., forest, grassland, river and lake, wetland, farmland and urban area). This paper is expected to provide a reference to support the development strategy of the ecohydrological discipline in China, and to give a theoretical foundation and technical support for the implementation of national ecological civilization construction.

Key words: ecohydrological discipline, theory and method, comprehensive observation, mathematical modelling, scale issue