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Economic development and coastal ecosystem change in China.

He Q, Bertness MD, Bruno JF, Li B, Chen G, Coverdale TC, Altieri AH, Bai J, Sun T, Pennings SC, Liu J, Ehrlich PR, Cui B - Sci Rep (2014)

Bottom Line: Although China's coastal population growth did not change following the 1978 economic reforms, its coastal economy increased by orders of magnitude.Historical trends in physical and biotic indicators showed that China's coastal ecosystems changed little or slowly between the 1950s and 1978, but have degraded at accelerated rates since 1978.Without strict conservation efforts, continuing economic growth will further degrade China's coastal ecosystems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Environment, State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.

ABSTRACT
Despite their value, coastal ecosystems are globally threatened by anthropogenic impacts, yet how these impacts are driven by economic development is not well understood. We compiled a multifaceted dataset to quantify coastal trends and examine the role of economic growth in China's coastal degradation since the 1950s. Although China's coastal population growth did not change following the 1978 economic reforms, its coastal economy increased by orders of magnitude. All 15 coastal human impacts examined increased over time, especially after the reforms. Econometric analysis revealed positive relationships between most impacts and GDP across temporal and spatial scales, often lacking dropping thresholds. These relationships generally held when influences of population growth were addressed by analyzing per capita impacts, and when population density was included as explanatory variables. Historical trends in physical and biotic indicators showed that China's coastal ecosystems changed little or slowly between the 1950s and 1978, but have degraded at accelerated rates since 1978. Thus economic growth has been the cause of accelerating human damage to China's coastal ecosystems. China's GDP per capita remains very low. Without strict conservation efforts, continuing economic growth will further degrade China's coastal ecosystems.

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Relationship between economic growth and four selected human impacts: fishing, excess watershed fertilizers, mariculture, and coastal freight transportation.(a–d) Time series analysis on total impact; (e–h) panel analysis; and (i–l) panel analysis (data points of the same color are from the same region). Impacts are relative values. For the time-series analyses, impacts in 1978 were set to be 1, and for the other analyses, impacts averaged across regions in the earliest year available were set to be 1. Dashed lines in (a) and (i) excluded data since 1999. All relationships shown are significant at the level of P < 0.05. See detailed statistics and other relationships in Table 1.
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f3: Relationship between economic growth and four selected human impacts: fishing, excess watershed fertilizers, mariculture, and coastal freight transportation.(a–d) Time series analysis on total impact; (e–h) panel analysis; and (i–l) panel analysis (data points of the same color are from the same region). Impacts are relative values. For the time-series analyses, impacts in 1978 were set to be 1, and for the other analyses, impacts averaged across regions in the earliest year available were set to be 1. Dashed lines in (a) and (i) excluded data since 1999. All relationships shown are significant at the level of P < 0.05. See detailed statistics and other relationships in Table 1.

Mentions: Time-series analysis showed that 6 of the 9 human impacts with national-scale data (Table 1, Fig. 3) had an inverted U-shape relationship with GDPpc, displaying a turning point predicted by the EKC hypothesis. Turning points for fertilizers (Fig. 3b) and saltpans appeared to have been recently passed. However, those for CO2 emissions and mariculture (11000 and 6800 USD, respectively) have not, and are predicted to occur at levels much higher than current GDPpc. Turning points for fishing were likely induced by the zero-growth policy mandated since 1999 (ref. 35). Analysis excluding the post-1998 data revealed monotonic increases in fishing with GDPpc (Table 1, Fig. 3a). The other 3 impacts, all transportation related increased linearly or nonlinearly with GDPpc, except that oceangoing freight was best predicted with constant and autoregressive terms and no GDPpc. Most relationships held when population density, trade openness (an institutional policy measure) and time trend (proxy for time dependent variables including technological change) were included as explanatory variables19, and when analyzed as per capita impacts (Table 1). The exceptions were (i) CO2 emissions increased monotonically, (ii) when analyzed as per capita impact, passenger transportation deceased with GDPpc, and (iii) saltpans may have varying turning points or be unrelated to GDPpc.


Economic development and coastal ecosystem change in China.

He Q, Bertness MD, Bruno JF, Li B, Chen G, Coverdale TC, Altieri AH, Bai J, Sun T, Pennings SC, Liu J, Ehrlich PR, Cui B - Sci Rep (2014)

Relationship between economic growth and four selected human impacts: fishing, excess watershed fertilizers, mariculture, and coastal freight transportation.(a–d) Time series analysis on total impact; (e–h) panel analysis; and (i–l) panel analysis (data points of the same color are from the same region). Impacts are relative values. For the time-series analyses, impacts in 1978 were set to be 1, and for the other analyses, impacts averaged across regions in the earliest year available were set to be 1. Dashed lines in (a) and (i) excluded data since 1999. All relationships shown are significant at the level of P < 0.05. See detailed statistics and other relationships in Table 1.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4125988&req=5

f3: Relationship between economic growth and four selected human impacts: fishing, excess watershed fertilizers, mariculture, and coastal freight transportation.(a–d) Time series analysis on total impact; (e–h) panel analysis; and (i–l) panel analysis (data points of the same color are from the same region). Impacts are relative values. For the time-series analyses, impacts in 1978 were set to be 1, and for the other analyses, impacts averaged across regions in the earliest year available were set to be 1. Dashed lines in (a) and (i) excluded data since 1999. All relationships shown are significant at the level of P < 0.05. See detailed statistics and other relationships in Table 1.
Mentions: Time-series analysis showed that 6 of the 9 human impacts with national-scale data (Table 1, Fig. 3) had an inverted U-shape relationship with GDPpc, displaying a turning point predicted by the EKC hypothesis. Turning points for fertilizers (Fig. 3b) and saltpans appeared to have been recently passed. However, those for CO2 emissions and mariculture (11000 and 6800 USD, respectively) have not, and are predicted to occur at levels much higher than current GDPpc. Turning points for fishing were likely induced by the zero-growth policy mandated since 1999 (ref. 35). Analysis excluding the post-1998 data revealed monotonic increases in fishing with GDPpc (Table 1, Fig. 3a). The other 3 impacts, all transportation related increased linearly or nonlinearly with GDPpc, except that oceangoing freight was best predicted with constant and autoregressive terms and no GDPpc. Most relationships held when population density, trade openness (an institutional policy measure) and time trend (proxy for time dependent variables including technological change) were included as explanatory variables19, and when analyzed as per capita impacts (Table 1). The exceptions were (i) CO2 emissions increased monotonically, (ii) when analyzed as per capita impact, passenger transportation deceased with GDPpc, and (iii) saltpans may have varying turning points or be unrelated to GDPpc.

Bottom Line: Although China's coastal population growth did not change following the 1978 economic reforms, its coastal economy increased by orders of magnitude.Historical trends in physical and biotic indicators showed that China's coastal ecosystems changed little or slowly between the 1950s and 1978, but have degraded at accelerated rates since 1978.Without strict conservation efforts, continuing economic growth will further degrade China's coastal ecosystems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Environment, State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.

ABSTRACT
Despite their value, coastal ecosystems are globally threatened by anthropogenic impacts, yet how these impacts are driven by economic development is not well understood. We compiled a multifaceted dataset to quantify coastal trends and examine the role of economic growth in China's coastal degradation since the 1950s. Although China's coastal population growth did not change following the 1978 economic reforms, its coastal economy increased by orders of magnitude. All 15 coastal human impacts examined increased over time, especially after the reforms. Econometric analysis revealed positive relationships between most impacts and GDP across temporal and spatial scales, often lacking dropping thresholds. These relationships generally held when influences of population growth were addressed by analyzing per capita impacts, and when population density was included as explanatory variables. Historical trends in physical and biotic indicators showed that China's coastal ecosystems changed little or slowly between the 1950s and 1978, but have degraded at accelerated rates since 1978. Thus economic growth has been the cause of accelerating human damage to China's coastal ecosystems. China's GDP per capita remains very low. Without strict conservation efforts, continuing economic growth will further degrade China's coastal ecosystems.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus