Publications by authors named "Xinling Dong"

2 Publications

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Understanding the complex environmental management through a len of food-water-ecosystem nexus: Insights from an ecosystem restoration hotspot in dryland.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Apr 15;783:147029. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Guangdong Open Laboratory of Geospatial Information Technology and Application, Guangzhou Institute of Geography, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510070, PR China; Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou), Guangzhou 511458, PR China.

The Ecosystem Restoration Project (ERP) is a critical and urgent practice to achieve the land degradation neutrality (LDN) targets. However, an insufficient understanding of the balance between contrasting sectors of the food-water-ecosystem nexus results in ineffectiveness in supporting complex environmental management (CEM), leading to undesirable ERP failures. The Ordos Plateau case identified the nexus evolution and the non-linear interactions between sectors, which were expected to support adaptive strategy formulations for CEM and achieve win-win outcomes. Revegetation in drylands substantially boosted ecosystem restoration, alleviating soil erosion. However, the excessive reliance on returning cropland to woodland and grassland has caused a significant loss of arable and grazing land. During the initial period of ERPs, this exacerbated decline in grain and meat productivity. In addition, aggressive revegetation activities have also reduced runoff yield and depleted soil water resources. Water scarcity is recognized as the most challenging issue in dryland ecosystem restoration, heavily influencing the interactions between sectors and threatening the long-term sustainability of ERPs. To accommodate for regional water carrying capacity, ERPs should adopt and properly allocate the use of suitable plant species with a proven anti-drought capability and high survival ratios without additional human interventions. In addition, the evolution regimes, driving factors, critical thresholds, and complex feedbacks between the nexus sectors should be fully understood to address the water resources constraints and reconcile trade-offs. This would enable the prevention of ecosystem shifts to undesirable failures and inform timely and cost-effective CEM to achieve the LDN targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147029DOI Listing
April 2021

Win-win-win pathway for ecological restoration by balancing hydrological, ecological, and agricultural dimensions: Contrasting lessons from highly eroded agroforestry.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 6;774:145140. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Guangdong Open Laboratory of Geospatial Information Technology and Application, Guangzhou Institute of Geography, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510070, PR China; Key Lab of Guangdong for Utilization of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System, Guangzhou 510070, PR China.

Ecological restoration projects (ERP) can effectively reverse ecosystem degradation. However, some ERPs have failed to restore ecosystems under environmental constraints, and they were unable to achieve the desired ecological and economic benefits. To achieve a win-win-win target that balances the hydrological, ecological, and agricultural dimensions, we introduced the contrasting lessons from hotspots of ecosystem restoration in the arid Loess Plateau (LP) and the humid Karst Plateau (KP) in China, and discussed a novel strategy for coordinating ecosystem restoration, water and food security, and residents' livelihoods. The biophysical models and related statistical records showed that aggressive ERPs and soil and water conservation projects (SWCPs) significantly promoted vegetation restoration and reduced soil erosion and sediment yield in both areas. However, excessive afforestation in the arid LP exhausted water resources and threatened ecosystem sustainability. The accelerated replacement of cropland since 1999 in the LP aggravated cropland shortage which led to carbon sequestration and grain productivity declines in the initial years. However, the construction of terrace and check-dam fields and improvements in the conditions of agricultural production reconciled the cropland shortage and stabilized food security. The positive involvement of stakeholders in ERPs effectively minimized land degradation through economic development and the improved livelihoods of local residents. Therefore, based on the evidence from the KP and LP, the proposed win-win-win strategy is potentially applicable in other global regions that suffer from land degradation. This strategy can achieve considerable success if the planners have a good understanding of local environmental conditions as well as the social and economic needs of residents affected by ERPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145140DOI Listing
June 2021