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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Ecological Risk Assessment

A New Method of Regional Eco-environmental Quality Assessment and Its Application


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 41 No. 5, p. 1393-1401
    Received: Oct 7, 2011
    Published: September 14, 2012

    * Corresponding author(s): wxd@imde.ac.cn
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  1. Xiaodan Wang *,
  2. Yingzi Cao,
  3. Xianghao Zhong and
  4. Pan Gao
  1. Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Science, No. 9, Section 4 of Renming South Rd., Chengdu 610041, China. Assigned to Associate Editor Minghua Zhang


Eco-environmental quality assessment (EQA) is an intricate and challenging task that must take into account numerous natural, economic, political, and social factors, which are subject to multiple conflicting criteria. In this paper, a methodological reference framework is developed for EQA that combines the fuzzy Delphi method (FDM) and fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (FAHP) with a geographic information system (GIS). The proposed method significantly improves the accuracy and reliability of evaluation results through the incorporation of fuzzy set theory. A GIS not only has the ability to store and analyze large amounts of spatial data from different sources but also provides a consistent visualization environment for displaying the input data and the results of EQA. Furthermore, unlike prior EQAs, the proposed method can support the dynamic estimation of regional eco-environmental quality by updating historical spatiotemporal data at little additional cost. A case study is presented for the western Tibetan Plateau. The study results show that worse, bad, and moderate eco-environmental quality classes comprised 16.58, 20.15, and 24.84% of the total area, respectively. Good and better eco-environmental quality classes accounted for 38.43%. This result indicates that nearly 62% of the total area is eco-environmentally vulnerable. The results verified the usefulness and feasibility of the proposed method. The EQA can also help local managers make scientifically based and effective decisions about Tibetan eco-environmental protection and land use.

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Copyright © 2012. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.