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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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Historical trends in coastal ecosystem responses to human impacts.(a) Change of fish trophic diversity and body length; insets are the annual rates (+SE) of change pre- and post-economic reform. (b) Number of red tides recorded/year. (c) Mean coral cover (error bars for maximums and minimums) at three sites, South China. (d) Loss of coastal wetlands, shown as relative area of total wetlands (upper) and mangroves (lower). Wetland area in ~1978 (1976–1980) was set to be 1.
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f4: Historical trends in coastal ecosystem responses to human impacts.(a) Change of fish trophic diversity and body length; insets are the annual rates (+SE) of change pre- and post-economic reform. (b) Number of red tides recorded/year. (c) Mean coral cover (error bars for maximums and minimums) at three sites, South China. (d) Loss of coastal wetlands, shown as relative area of total wetlands (upper) and mangroves (lower). Wetland area in ~1978 (1976–1980) was set to be 1.

Mentions: Across China's seas, the trophic diversity and body size of marine fish did not change before 1978, but both have steadily decreased since (Fig. 4a). Harmful algal blooms have become more frequent and extensive since the 1980s, with red tides increasing from <10/year before 1980 to 70–120/year since 2000 (Fig. 4b). In the South China Sea, percent cover of many corals has crashed to <15% of pre-reform levels (Fig. 4c). With increasing human impacts, the areas of marshes, mangroves and tidal flats have decreased. However, estuarine delta area has increased due to heavy sediment loads carried by rivers. There are indications that restoration has begun to reverse mangrove loss (Fig. 4d).


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)

Historical trends in coastal ecosystem responses to human impacts.(a) Change of fish trophic diversity and body length; insets are the annual rates (+SE) of change pre- and post-economic reform. (b) Number of red tides recorded/year. (c) Mean coral cover (error bars for maximums and minimums) at three sites, South China. (d) Loss of coastal wetlands, shown as relative area of total wetlands (upper) and mangroves (lower). Wetland area in ~1978 (1976–1980) was set to be 1.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

f4: Historical trends in coastal ecosystem responses to human impacts.(a) Change of fish trophic diversity and body length; insets are the annual rates (+SE) of change pre- and post-economic reform. (b) Number of red tides recorded/year. (c) Mean coral cover (error bars for maximums and minimums) at three sites, South China. (d) Loss of coastal wetlands, shown as relative area of total wetlands (upper) and mangroves (lower). Wetland area in ~1978 (1976–1980) was set to be 1.
Mentions: Across China's seas, the trophic diversity and body size of marine fish did not change before 1978, but both have steadily decreased since (Fig. 4a). Harmful algal blooms have become more frequent and extensive since the 1980s, with red tides increasing from <10/year before 1980 to 70–120/year since 2000 (Fig. 4b). In the South China Sea, percent cover of many corals has crashed to <15% of pre-reform levels (Fig. 4c). With increasing human impacts, the areas of marshes, mangroves and tidal flats have decreased. However, estuarine delta area has increased due to heavy sediment loads carried by rivers. There are indications that restoration has begun to reverse mangrove loss (Fig. 4d).

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