Assessment of ecosystem services in restoration programs in China: A systematic review

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We examined the use of ecosystem service (ES) approaches at the landscape scale to assess two major ecological restoration programs (ERPs) in China. We found 68 papers highlighting four aspects: (1) most papers considered only one ES, and all ES categories were not covered equally; (2) regional-scale and short-term assessments dominated the reviewed papers, and few papers evaluated the impacts of ERPs on ESs at multiple spatial scales; (3) the majority of datasets were from global and national databases; and (4) 40% of studies used mostly proxy models and did not report model validation. Finally, we identify four needs: (1) for a deeper understanding of the interactions between multiple ESs; (2) to establish multiple temporal and spatial scales on ERP assessments including future scenarios and balanced efforts of ERP assessments over the entire territory; (3) to establish multiple data scales; and (4) to develop robust modeling approaches.

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    Budget in American dollars (based on 2017 currency).


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This work was supported by the Fonds de Recherche Nature et Technologies du Québec (FRQNT) in collaboration with the China Scholarship Council (CSC), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). We appreciate the support of Prof. J. Fan, Prof. X.Z. Deng and Prof. L. Zhen for providing us advices, which helped improve the paper. We are grateful to Jessika Pickford (Traduction Catalytik) for the English revision. This paper has also benefited from comments by anonymous reviewers.

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Correspondence to Jérôme Théau.

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Wen, X., Théau, J. Assessment of ecosystem services in restoration programs in China: A systematic review. Ambio 49, 584–592 (2020).

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  • China
  • Ecological restoration program
  • Ecosystem services
  • Systematic review