Biodiversity Science ›› 2003, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (3): 256-261.doi: 10.17520/biods.2003033

• 论文 • Previous Article    

Buffer zones: pattern, function and design principles

YU Guang-Zhi, JIANG Zhi-Gang   

  1. Institute of Zoology,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100080
  • Received:2002-11-27 Revised:2003-04-01 Online:2003-05-20
  • JIANG Zhi-Gang

To set up nature reserves is an important approach to in situ conservation of biodiversity. However, there are many problems in the practice of designing nature reserves, and the most serious one is design of the boundaries of the nature reserves, especially those separating intensively used land from strictly protected natural areas. It is necessary to prevent the influences of human activities on the protected core areas in order to conserve the biodiversity in the reserve. To resolve the problem, establishing buffer zones in nature reserves was suggested. The idea was accepted by the Man and Biosphere (MAB) in their Biosphere Reserve Programme and was put into wide practice. Nowadays, as an integrated functional part of a nature reserve, a buffer zone has both functions of ecological buffer and social buffer. Buffer zones can not only protect from the human influences and pollutants, but also provide a migration corridor for wildlife and serve as a base for research and monitoring. In this paper, we review the definition, pattern, types and development of buffer zones, and summarize the principles for designing buffer zones. Finally, we discuss the current circumstances of buffer zones in our country.

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