Ecological attributes, restoration, and protection of the Baiyangdian in Xiong'an New Area

Junguo Liu*, Dandan Zhao, Bin Ye

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Wetlands, with the richest biodiversity among the different ecosystems, have a significant relationship with social development and human welfare. Of late, wetland ecosystems have been facing area shrinking, function degradation, and biodiversity decrease due to global climate change and interruption by heavy human activities. More than half the wetlands in China have disappeared since the 20 century. Additionally, area shrinkage is a serious threat for the Chinese government. The latest national wetland survey in 2014 revealed that the wetland area had decreased by 34 thousand km compared with the survey from 2003 Almost 99% of this area was natural wetland. As a result, wetland degradation has been a major obstacle that restricts sustainable development in many ecologically sensitive regions. Since ecological civilization has been a key component of the Chinese socialism construction, wetland protection and restoration become a hot topic in the field of nature conservation. In 2016, the Ceneral Office of State Council promulgated "The scheme of wetland protection and restoration". This document requires an increase of the wetland area by 0.534 million km by 2020. Of this, more than 0.467 million km should originate from natural wetlands. Thus, the wetland protection rate should be raised by 50%. Because of the different characteristics and complexities of the ecological structure and function, the strategies for wetland protection and restoration will also be different. Therefore, attribute analysis of wetland ecosystems is the first and most necessary step to formulate effective measures to protect and restore wetlands. In this study, Baiyangdian, the key water body of the Xiong'an New Area, was selected as the study area. First, the ecological attributes and existing ecological problems of Baiyangdian were analyzed. Subsequently, the important issues for restoring the degraded wetland ecosystems with the principles, methods, and procedures of ecological restoration were discussed. The results revealed that while Baiyangdian has the typical characteristics of lake wetlands in terms of its landscape attributes, it also has a few characteristics of swamp wetlands. Due to intense human activities, a trend of reverse succession, from a lake-to swamp-type ecosystem, has been noticed. Baiyangdian faces four major environment problems; sharp water area shrinking, serious water scarcity, heavy water pollution, and rapid biodiversity losses. To successfully advance the construction of Xiong'an New Area, firstly, the water balance accounting, pollutant accounting, and ecosystem service accounting for the Baiyangdian Basin, needs to be conducted and analyzed. Based on this accounting, the optimization of the allocation of water resources is required. This will help ascertain suitable water table levels and guarantee a sufficient quantity of water in Baiyangdian and provide a necessary ecological foundation for the construction of the Xiong'an New Area. Secondly, high-polluting industries need to be strictly controlled, and clean production technology should be encouraged to reduce the discharge of water pollutants. Various technologies, such as sediment dredging, ecological floating beds, artificial floating islands, and biofilm technology, should be introduced to remove endogenous pollutants. Additionally, wetland vegetation sewage treatment plants should be constructed to enhance the water quality. Furthermore, based on the theory of ecological carrying capacity, local governments should formulate an ecological function redline, an environmental quality redline, and a resource utilization redline. These redlines will be used to ensure that Baiyangdian not only meets the basic needs of economic and social development but also does not exceed the upper threshold of the ecological carrying capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3019-3025
Number of pages7
JournalShengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica
Volume39
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Baiyangdian wetland
  • Ecological degradation
  • Ecological restoration
  • Xiong'an New Area

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