The Effect of Ecology, Production and Livelihood on the Alpine Grassland Ecosystem of the Tibetan Plateau

  • Xingyuan LiuEmail author


The grassland of the Tibetan Plateau is an important base for livestock production and shelter for ecological safety in China. The degradation of alpine grassland in the Tibetan Plateau has not only impacted local livestock production and people’s quality of life, but has also damaged the ecosystem security of China and Southeast Asia. By analyzing the function of ecology, production and livelihood (FEPL) of the alpine grassland ecosystem and using the Naqu region of the northern Tibetan Plateau as an example, this study utilizes the annual per-capita income of well-to-do society and the overcome-poverty line for the herdsman to standard livelihood function and establishes an appropriate structure for the FEPL of the alpine grassland ecosystem. Controlling livestock carrying capacity is the key for the development of the FEPL of alpine grassland ecosystem in the Tibetan Plateau.


Alpine grassland Ecological service function Interaction mechanism Climate change Titetan Plateau 


  1. Bao, W. 2009. Development problem and strategy options of Tibetan Plateau rangeland resources. Research of Agricultural Modernization 30 (1): 20–23.Google Scholar
  2. BLMT (Bureau of Land Management of Tibet and Bureau of Animal Husbandry of Tibet). 1994. The Tibet grassland resources. Beijing: Chinese Science Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cheng, S.K., and L. Shen. 2000. Approach to dynamic relationship between population, resources, environment and development of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Journal of Natural Resources 15 (4): 297–304.Google Scholar
  4. Costanza, R., R. d’Arge, R. de Groot, et al. 1997. The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387 (6630): 253–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Daily, G.C., T. Söderqvist, S. Aniyar, et al. 2000. The value of nature and the nature of value. Science 289 (5478): 395–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. de Groot, R.S., J.V.D. Perk, A. Chiesura, et al. 2000. Ecological functions and socio-economic values of critical natural capital as a measure for ecological integrity and environmental health. Earth and Environmental Sciences 1: 191–214.Google Scholar
  7. Ferraro, P.J. 2004. Targeting conservation investments in heterogeneous landscapes: A distance-function approach and application to watershed management. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 86 (4): 905–918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fisher, B., R.K. Turner, and P. Morling. 2009. Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making. Ecological Economics 68 (3): 643–653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Foggin, J.M. 2008. Depopulating the Tibetan grasslands: National policies and perspectives for the future of Tibetan herders in Qinghai Province, China. Mountain Research and Development 28 (1): 26–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gao, Q.Z., M.J. Duan, Y.F. Wan, et al. 2010. Comprehensive evaluation of eco-environmental sensitivity in Northern Tibet. Acta Ecologica Sinica 30 (15): 4129–4136.Google Scholar
  11. Holling, C.S. 2001. Understanding the complexity of economic, ecological, and social systems. Ecosystems 4 (5): 390–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hu, Z.Z. 2000. Grassland development and ecological environment of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Tibetan Plateau. Beijing: China Tibetology Research Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kelly, K., R. Ayling, and G. Elmekki. 1997. Dealing with conflict: Natural resources and dispute resolution. Commonwealth Forestry Review 76 (3): 182–185.Google Scholar
  14. Li, D.M., Z.G. Guo, and L.Z. An. 2008. Assessment on vegetation restoration capacity of several grassland ecosystems under destroyed disturbance in permafrost regions of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology 19 (10): 2182–2188.Google Scholar
  15. Lin, L., G.M. Cao, Y.K. Li, et al. 2010. Effects of human activities on organic carbon storage in the Kobresia hummilis meadow ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau. Acta Ecologica Sinica 30 (15): 4012–4018.Google Scholar
  16. Liu, X.Y., Q.G. Chen, and Y.N. Wang. 2006. The effect of grassland degeneration for ecological security and economic development in Gannan region of Gansu Province. Pratacultural Science 23 (12): 39–41.Google Scholar
  17. Liu, X.Y., R.J. Long, and Z.H. Shang. 2011. Evaluation method of ecological services function and their value for grassland ecosystems. Acta Prataculturae Sinica 20 (1): 167–174.Google Scholar
  18. ———. 2012. Interactive mechanism of service function of alpine rangeland ecosystems in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Acta Ecologica Sinica 32 (24): 7688–7697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Liu, H.Y., Z.R. Mi, L. Lin, et al. 2018. Shifting plant species composition in response to climate change stabilizes grassland primary production. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115 (16): 4051–4056.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Long, R.J. 2007. Functions of ecosystem in the Tibetan grassland. Science and Technology Review 25 (9): 26–28.Google Scholar
  21. Long, R.J., L.M. Ding, Z.H. Shang, et al. 2008. The yak grazing system on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau and its status. The Rangeland Journal 30 (2): 241–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lu, C.X., G.D. Xie, Y. Xiao, et al. 2004. Ecosystem diversity and economic valuation of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Acta Ecologica Sinica 24 (12): 2749–2756.Google Scholar
  23. Mao, F., Y.H. Zhang, Y.Y. Hou, et al. 2008. Dynamic assessment of grassland degradation in Naqu of northern Tibet. Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology 19 (2): 278–284.Google Scholar
  24. Moran, D., A. McVittie, D.J. Allcroft, et al. 2007. Quantifying public preferences for agri-environmental policy in Scotland: A comparison of methods. Ecological Economics 63 (1): 42–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ren, J.Z. 1998. Research methods of grassland science. Beijing: China Agricultural Press.Google Scholar
  26. Sala, O.E., and J.M. Paruelo. 1997. Ecosystem services in grasslands. In Nature’s services: Societal dependence on natural ecosystems, ed. G.C. Daily. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  27. Statistical Bureau of Tibet. 2009. Tibet statistical yearbook in 2009. Beijing: China Statistics Press.Google Scholar
  28. Straton, A. 2006. A complex systems approach to the value of ecological resources. Ecological Economics 56 (3): 402–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Venkatachalam, L. 2007. Environmental economics and ecological economics: Where they can converge? Ecological Economics 61 (2/3): 550–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wang, Y.B., G.X. Wang, Y.P. Shen, et al. 2005. Degradation of the eco-environmental system in alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology 27 (5): 633–640.Google Scholar
  31. Yu, G., C.X. Lu, and G.D. Xie. 2007. Seasonal dynamics of ecosystem services of grassland in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology 18 (1): 47–51.Google Scholar
  32. Zhang, L.X. 2006. Exploration of ecological pitfalls embedded in the human-land interaction. Acta Ecologica Sinica 26 (7): 2167–2173.Google Scholar
  33. Zhang, C.G., and C.L. Fang. 2002. Driving mechanism analysis of ecological-economic-social capacity interactions in oasis systems of arid lands. Journal of Natural Resources 17 (2): 181–187.Google Scholar
  34. Zhong, X.H., S.H. Liu, X.D. Wang, et al. 2006. A research on the protection and construction of the state ecological safe shelter zone on the Tibet Plateau. Journal of Mountain Science 24 (2): 129–136.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, College of Pastoral Agricultural Science and TechnologyLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina

Personalised recommendations