A review on the research progress of desertification assessment

Release Date:2014-07-21

Chinese Journal of Plant Ecology (植物生态学报)

DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2011.00345

2011/35:3 PP.345-352

  • YIN He 1   LI Zheng-Guo 1,2    WANG Yang-Lin 1  
  • 1.College of Urban Environmental Sciences, Peking University,Beijing,100871,China
  • 2.Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences,Beijing,100081,China

Desertification is widely recognized as one of the most serious global environmental threats occurring in ecological fragile areas. To assess desertification at a regional scale is of practical significance in understanding environ-mental change and strengthening ecosystem management. We critically reviewed the development of desertification concepts, as well as common assessment methodologies. We emphasized desertification assessment objects and indicators, as well as scales. We showed that, compared to other indicators, indicators derived from vegetation information are more reliable and effective in desertification assessment. We proposed future research prospects on desertification assessment.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.