Skip Navigation Links
Journal of Environmental Accounting and Management
António Mendes Lopes (editor), Jiazhong Zhang(editor)
António Mendes Lopes (editor)

University of Porto, Portugal


Jiazhong Zhang (editor)

School of Energy and Power Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province 710049, China

Fax: +86 29 82668723 Email:

Impact of Regional Management Alternatives and Land Conversion on the Net Primary Productivity in Heilongjiang Province, China

Journal of Environmental Accounting and Management 4(1) (2016) 45--58 | DOI:10.5890/JEAM.2016.03.005

Fanghua Hao$^{1}$, Wenyan Wang$^{1}$, Wei Ouyang$^{1}$, Yun Luan$^{2}$

$^{1}$ School of Environment, State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, Beijing Normal University, No.19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Haidian District, Beijing 10085, China

$^{2}$ The Administrative Center for China’s Agenda 21, No.8 Yuyuantan South Road, Haidian District, Beijing, China

Download Full Text PDF



The Chinese government has initiated a set of ecological restoration projects to address aggravated environmental pollution and land degradation; among these projects the Grain for Green Project (GFGP) is the most renowned policy with a significant influence on land use and land cover change (LUCC) in China. The Net Primary Productivity (NPP) as a key index of ecosystem productivity, was studied to estimate the contribution of LUCC and management alternatives as human factors in Heilongjiang Province from 2001 to 2012. Carnegie–Ames–Stanford Approach (CASA) model was been utilized to simulate NPP during the study areas. The results showed that the LUCC from cropland to forest was the main type of land transformation induced by the GFGP, whereas the significant increase of the NPP occurred in forest, cropland and grassland between 2001 and 2007. Since 2007, the greatest rise of the total NPP occurred in the cropland with a rise of 12.6%, and the forest and grassland NPP slightly declined. The newly restored forests were located in the extremely frigid area at the junction or margin of mountains and plains where there is lack of supervision and the benefit of GFGP is difficult to observe in a short period. The temporal-spatial results of the NPP changes induced by human activities reflect the vital role that management practices play in the change of NPP compared with LUCC in Heilongjiang Province. Our analysis indicates that the fragile ecological environment of Heilongjiang Province has not changed fundamentally, and there is still a risk of cyclical fluctuations. As a result, scientific management alternatives in the unchanged land should be implemented and combined with restoration projects with middle- and long-term perspectives, such as logging limits in the forest, natural fire prevention and the improvement of fertilizer and irrigation practices. The Chinese government is initiating a new round of the GFGP, and the research results would be helpful in guiding the policy implementation in the local regions.


This paper was financially supported by the Supporting Program of the “Twelfth Five-year Plan” for Sci & Tech Research of China (2012BAD15B05).


  1. [1]  Bian, J., Li, A. and Deng, W. (2010), Estimation and analysis of net primary productivity of Ruoergai wetland in China for the recent 10 years based on remote sensing, Procedia Environmental Sciences 2: 288-301.
  2. [2]  Bullock, A. and King, B. (2011), Evaluating China’s Slope Land Conversion Program as sustainable management in Tianquan and Wuqi Counties, Journal of Environmental Management 92: 1916-1922.
  3. [3]  Chen, Y.F., Liu, Y.S., Wang, J., Yan, J.P. and Guo, X.D. (2009), Land Use Changes of an Aeolian-Loessial Soil Area in Northwest China: Implications for Ecological Restoration, Pedosphere 19: 356-361.
  4. [4]  Crabtree, R., Potter, C., Mullen, R., Sheldon, J., Huang, S., Harmsen, J., Rodman, A. and Jean, C. (2009), A modeling and spatiotemporal analysis framework for monitoring environmental change using NPP as an ecosystem indicator, Remote Sensing of Environment 113: 1486-1496.
  5. [5]  Cuo, L., Zhang, Y., Gao, Y., Hao, Z. and Cairang, L. (2013), The impacts of climate change and land cover/use transition on the hydrology in the upper Yellow River Basin, China, Journal of Hydrology 502: 37-52.
  6. [6]  Yu, D.Y., Shao, H.B., Shi, P.J., Zhu, W.Q. and Pan, Y.Z. (2009), How does the conversion of land cover to urban use affect net primary productivity? A case study in Shenzhen city, China, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 149: 2054-2060.
  7. [7]  Elmore, A.J., Shi, X., Gorence, N.J., Li, X., Jin, H., Wang, F. and Zhang, X. (2008), Spatial distribution of agricultural residue from rice for potential biofuel production in China, Biomass and Bioenergy 32: 22-27.
  8. [8]  Friedl, M., McIver, D.K., Hodges, J.C.F., Zhang, X., Muchoney, D., Strahler, A.H., Woodcock, C.E., Gopal, S., Schneider, A., Cooper, a, Baccini, A., Gao, F. and Schaaf, C. (2002), Global land cover mapping from MODIS: algorithms and early results, Remote Sensing of Environment 83: 287-302.
  9. [9]  Friedl, M., Sulla-Menashe, D., Tan, B., Schneider, A., Ramankutty, N., Sibley, A. and Huang, X. (2010), MODIS Collection 5 global land cover: Algorithm refinements and characterization of new datasets, Remote Sensing of Environment 114: 168-182.
  10. [10]  Gao, J. and Liu, Y. (2012), Deforestation in Heilongjiang Province of China, 1896-2000: Severity, spatiotemporal patterns and causes, Applied Geography 35: 345-352.
  11. [11]  Huang, L., Liu, J., Shao, Q. and Xu, X. (2012), Carbon sequestration by forestation across China: Past, present, and future, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 16: 1291-1299.
  12. [12]  Huang, L., Xiao, T., Zhao, Z., Sun, C., Liu, J., Shao, Q., Fan, J. and Wang, J. (2013), Effects of grassland restoration programs on ecosystems in arid and semiarid China, Journal of Environmental Management 117: 268-275.
  13. [13]  Jia, X., Fu, B., Feng, X., Hou, G., Liu, Y. and Wang, X. (2014), The tradeoff and synergy between ecosystem services in the Grain-for- Green areas in Northern Shaanxi, China, Ecological Indicators 43, 103-111.
  14. [14]  Jiang, W., Yuan, L., Wang, W. and Cao, R. (2015), Spatio-temporal analysis of vegetation variation in the Yellow River Basin, Ecological Indicators 51, 117-126.
  15. [15]  Li, J., Cui, Y., Liu, J., Shi, W. and Qin, Y. (2013), Estimation and analysis of net primary productivity by integrating MODIS remote sensing data with a light use efficiency model, Ecological Modelling 252: 3-10.
  16. [16]  Liu, C., Dong, X. and Liu, Y. (2015), Catena Changes of NPP and their relationship to climate factors based on the transformation of different scales in Gansu, China, Catena 125: 190-199.
  17. [17]  Liu, M., Jiang, G., Li, L., Li, Y., Gao, L. and Niu, S. (2004), Control of sandstorms in Inner Mongolia, China, Environmental Conservation 31: 269-273.
  18. [18]  Liu, S., Zhang, P. and Lo, K. (2014), Urbanization in remote areas: A case study of the Heilongjiang Reclamation Area, Northeast China, Habitat International 42: 103-110.
  19. [19]  Lu, Q., Gao, Z., Ning, J., Bi, X. and Wang, Q. (2015), Impact of progressive urbanization and changing cropping systems on soil erosion and net primary production, Ecological Engineering 75: 187-194.
  20. [20]  Milesi, C., Elvidge, C.D., Nemani, R.R. and Running, S.W. (2003), Assessing the impact of urban land development on net primary productivity in the southeastern United States, Remote Sensing of Environment 86: 401-410.
  21. [21]  Mu, S., Zhou, S., Chen, Y., Li, J., Ju, W. and Odeh, I.O. (2013), Assessing the impact of restoration-induced land conversion and management alternatives on net primary productivity in Inner Mongolian grassland, China, Global and Planetary Change 108: 29- 41.
  22. [22]  Pei, F., Li, X., Liu, X., Wang, S. and He, Z. (2013), Assessing the differences in net primary productivity between pre- and post-urban land development in China, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 171-172, 174-186.
  23. [23]  Peng, H., Cheng, G., Xu, Z., Yin, Y. and Xu, W. (2007), Social, economic, and ecological impacts of the “Grain for Green” project in China: A preliminary case in Zhangye, Northwest China, Journal of Environmental Management 85, 774-784.
  24. [24]  Qiao, Z., Yang, X., Liu, J. and Xu, X. (2013), Ecological vulnerability assessment integrating the spatial analysis technology with algorithms: A case of the wood-grass ecotone of northeast China, Abstract and Applied Analysis doi:10.1155/2013/207987.
  25. [25]  Raymond, C.L. and McKenzie, D. (2013), Temporal carbon dynamics of forests in Washington, US: Implications for ecological theory and carbon management, Forest Ecology and Management 310, 796-811.
  26. [26]  Su, C. and Fu, B. (2013), Evolution of ecosystem services in the Chinese Loess Plateau under climatic and land use changes, Global and Planetary Change 101: 119-128.
  27. [27]  Sun, D.F., Li, H., Dawson, R., Tang, C.J. and Li, X.W. (2006), Characteristics of steep cultivated land and the impact of the Grain-for- Green Policy in China, Pedosphere 16: 215-223.
  28. [28]  Sun, W., Shao, Q., Liu, J. and Zhai, J. (2014), Assessing the effects of land use and topography on soil erosion on the Loess Plateau in China, Catena 121: 151-163.
  29. [29]  Tian, G. and Qiao, Z. (2014), Assessing the impact of the urbanization process on net primary productivity in China in 1989-2000, Environmental Pollution 184: 320-326.
  30. [30]  Taelman, S.E., Schaubroeck, T., Meester, S.T., Boone, L. and Dewulf, J. (2016), Accounting for land use in life cycle assessment: The value of NPP as a proxy indicator to assess land use impacts on ecosystems, Science of the Total Environment 550: 143-156.
  31. [31]  Wang, C., Ouyang, H., Maclaren, V., Yin, Y., Shao, B., Boland, A. and Tian, Y. (2007), Evaluation of the economic and environmental impact of converting cropland to forest: A case study in Dunhua county, China, Journal of Environmental Management 85: 746- 756.
  32. [32]  Wang, H., Li, X., Long, H., Gai, Y. and Wei, D. (2009), Monitoring the effects of land use and cover changes on net primary production: A case study in China’s Yongding River basin, Forest Ecology and Management 258: 2654-2665.
  33. [33]  Wang, S., Zhou, L., Chen, J., Ju, W., Feng, X. and Wu, W. (2011), Relationships between net primary productivity and stand age for several forest types and their influence on China’s carbon balance, Journal of Environmental Management 92: 1651-1662.
  34. [34]  Wang, X., Shen, J. and Zhang, W. (2014), Emergy evaluation of agricultural sustainability of Northwest China before and after the grain-for-green policy, Energy Policy 67: 508-516.
  35. [35]  Wu, S., Zhou, S., Chen, D., Wei, Z., Dai, L. and Li, X. (2014), Determining the contributions of urbanisation and climate change to NPP variations over the last decade in the Yangtze River Delta, China, Science of the Total Environment 472: 397-406.
  36. [36]  Xu, D., Li, C., Song, X. and Ren, H. (2014), The dynamics of desertification in the farming-pastoral region of North China over the past 10years and their relationship to climate change and human activity, Catena 123: 11-22.
  37. [37]  Yang, H., Mu, S. and Li, J. (2014), Effects of ecological restoration projects on land use and land cover change and its influences on territorial NPP in Xinjiang, China, Catena 115, 85-95.
  38. [38]  Xu, Y.F., Tong, Z.L., Mu, P.W., Zhang, L.N. (2013), New Energy Development Research in Heilongjiang Province, Journal of Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University 4: 1-4.
  39. [39]  Yin, R., Liu, T., Yao, S., Zhao, M. (2013), Forest Policy and Economics Designing and implementing payments for ecosystem services programs: Lessons learned from China’s cropland restoration experience, Forest Policy and Economics 35: 66-72.
  40. [40]  Yu, D.Y., Shi, P.J., Han, G.Y., Zhu, W.Q., Du, S.Q. and Xun, B. (2011), Forest ecosystem restoration due to a national conservation plan in China, Ecological Engineering 37: 1387-1397.
  41. [41]  Yu, W., Zang, S., Wu, C., Liu, W. and Na, X. (2011), Analyzing and modeling land use land cover change (LUCC) in the Daqing, Applied Geography 31: 600-608.
  42. [42]  Yue, X., Mu, X., Zhao, G., Shao, H. and Gao, P. (2014), Dynamic changes of sediment load in the middle reaches of the Yellow River basin , China and implications for eco-restoration, Ecological Engineering 73: 64-72.
  43. [43]  Zhou, D., Zhao, S., Liu, S. and Zhang, L. (2014), Modeling the effects of the Sloping Land Conversion Program on terrestrial ecosystem carbon dynamics in the Loess Plateau: A case study with Ansai County, Shaanxi province, China, Ecological Modelling 288: 47- 54.
  44. [44]  Zhou, D., Zhao, S. and Zhu, C. (2012), The grain for green project induced land cover change in the Loess Plateau: A case study with Ansai County, Shanxi Province, China, Ecological Indicators 23: 88-94.
  45. [45]  Zhou, H., Van Rompaey, A. and Wang, J. (2009), Detecting the impact of the “Grain for Green” program on the mean annual vegetation cover in the Shaanxi province, China using SPOT-VGT NDVI data, Land Use Policy 26: 954-960.
  46. [46]  Zhou, W., Gang, C., Zhou, L., Chen, Y., Li, J., Ju, W. and Odeh, I. (2014), Dynamic of grassland vegetation degradation and its quantitative assessment in the northwest China, Acta Oecologica 55: 86-96.
  47. [47]  Zhou, X., Xiao, B., Ochieng, R.M. and Yang, J. (2009), Utilization of carbon-negative biofuels from low-input high-diversity grassland biomass for energy in China, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 13: 479-485.
  48. [48]  Zika, M. and Erb, K. (2009), The global loss of net primary production resulting from human-induced soil degradation in drylands, Ecological Economics 69: 310-318.