Biodiversity Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (9): 999-1007.doi: 10.17520/biods.2017086

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Article     Next Article

Assessment of forest conservation in the Cangshan Nature Reserve based on propensity score matching

Bing Chen, Fangzheng Liu, Yubo Zhang, Jinhong Du, Wei Wang*(), Junsheng Li   

  1. Biodiversity Research Center, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012
  • Received:2017-03-20 Accepted:2017-05-17 Online:2017-10-04
  • Wang Wei
  • About author:# Co-first authors

The establishment of protected areas is one of the most common measures of biodiversity conservation. Regular assessment can help improve management and promote conservation in protected areas. According to administrative divisions, we divided the Cangshan Nature Reserve into three parts: Dali City, Eryuan County and Yangbi County, as sub-study areas. The evaluation was based on propensity score matching and paired-samples t-test. Elevation, slope, distance to the nearest settlement, and distance to the nearest road were four chosen covariates. Since the Cangshan Nature Reserve was upgraded to the national level in 1994, we compared forest changes between 1995 and 2015. Partial correlation analysis was carried out between each covariate and forest change to analyze the impact factors. Results indicated that in Dali City, the forest change value inside the Cangshan Nature Reserve was significantly higher than that found outside. Forest coverage inside the Cangshan Nature Reserve in Dali City was the highest among all regions. The forest change rates both inside and outside the Cangshan Nature Reserve in Eryuan County were higher than the other two counties. There was no significant difference in forest change value between areas inside and outside of the nature reserve in Eryuan County. In Yangbi County, the forest change rates both inside and outside of Cangshan Nature Reserve were the lowest among three counties, but the forest change value found within 10 km outside of the nature reserve was significantly higher than that found in areas beyond 10 km, which indicates that the existence of the Cangshan Nature Reserve performed positive neighborhood leakage in surrounding areas within 10 km. The four covariates all affected forest change in different areas in a variety of ways. The propensity score matching and sub-regional methodology for the assessment of the Cangshan Nature Reserve provided a new technical method and example for other conservation assessment studies.

Key words: propensity score matching, neighborhood leakage, assessment of conservation, forest coverage change

Fig. 1

Forest coverage of Dali City, Eryuan County and Yangbi County in 1995 and 2015"

Table 1

Overall condition of forest coverage inside and outside of Cangshan Nature Reserve in Dali City, Eryuan County and Yangbi County during 1995-2015"

子研究区域 Sub-study area 1995 2015 森林覆盖变化值 Forest coverage change
Forest change
Forest area (km2)
Forest coverage
Forest area (km2)
Forest coverage
Dali City
保护区内 Inside 166.15 78.74% 168.24 79.73% 2.09 1.26%
保护区外 Outside 284.05 28.61% 320.33 32.26% 36.28 12.77%
Eryuan County
保护区内 Inside 32.73 71.15% 34.43 74.85% 1.700 5.19%
保护区外 Outside 1004.14 38.86% 1151.36 44.56% 147.22 14.66%
Yangbi County
保护区内 Inside 117.26 80.32% 113.98 78.07% -3.28 -2.80%
保护区外 Outside 740.91 49.26% 776.95 51.66% 36.04 4.86%

Table 2

Result of propensity score matching of three survey regions in Dali City (D), Eryuan County (E) and Yangbi County (Y). A refers to areas inside Cangshan Nature Reserve; B refers to areas within 10 km outside of Cangshan Nature Reserve; C refers to areas beyond 10 km from Cangshan Nature Reserve. Numbers in the table are sample values, which refers to the number of grids."

研究区段 Survey region 匹配前 Before matching 匹配成功 Matched 未匹配成功 Unmatched
对照组 Control 处理组 Treated 对照组 Control 处理组 Treated 对照组 Control 处理组 Treated
DA_DB 336 211 26 26 310 185
DA_DC 465 211 36 36 429 175
DB_DC 465 336 232 232 233 104
EA_EB 428 46 40 40 388 6
EA_EC 2,050 46 45 45 2,005 1
EB_EC 2,050 428 414 414 1,636 14
YA_YB 352 146 16 16 336 130
YA_YC 1,152 146 34 34 1,118 112
YB_YC 1152 352 338 338 814 14

Fig. 2

Comparison of forest coverage change during 1995-2015 inside Cangshan Nature Reserve among three survey regions in Dali City (D), Eryuan County (E) and Yangbi County (Y) (mean ± SD). A refers to areas inside Cangshan Nature Reserve; B refers to areas within 10 km outside of Cangshan Nature Reserve; C refers to areas beyond 10km from Cangshan Nature Reserve."

Table 3

Results of paired-samples t-test of forest coverage change during 1995-2015 among three survey regions in Dali City (D), Eryuan County (E) and Yangbi County (Y). A refers to areas inside Cangshan Nature Reserve; B refers to areas within 10 km outside of Cangshan Nature Reserve; C refers to areas beyond 10 km from Cangshan Nature Reserve."

t 3.553 3.187 0.535 0.246 -1.359 -1.943 -0.970 0.283 2.772
df 25 35 231 39 44 413 15 33 337
P 0.002* 0.003* 0.593 0.807 0.181 0.053 0.347 0.779 0.006*
[1] Andam KS, Ferraro PJ, Pfaff A, Sanchez-Azofeifa GA, Robalino J (2008) Measuring the effectiveness of protected areas networks in reducing deforestation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 105, 16089-16094.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.0800437105 pmid: 18854414
[2] Armsworth PR, Daily GC, Kareiva P, Sanchirico JN (2006) Land market feedbacks can undermine biodiversity conservation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 103, 5403-5408.
doi: 10.1073/pnas.0505278103 pmid: 16554375
[3] Brockington D, Igoe J (2006) Eviction for conservation: a global overview. Conservation and Society, 4, 424-470.
[4] Bruner AG, Gullison RE, Rice RE, da Fonseca GAB (2001) Effectiveness of parks in protecting tropical biodiversity. Science, 291, 125-128.
doi: 10.1126/science.291.5501.125 pmid: 11141563
[5] Caro TM, Gardner TA, Stoner C, Fitzherbert EB, Davenport TRB (2009) Assessing the effectiveness of protected areas: paradoxes call for pluralism in evaluating conservation performance. Diversity and Distributions, 15, 178-182.
doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2007.10.006
[6] Clements T, Suon S, Wilkie DS, Milner-Gulland EJ (2014) Impacts of protected areas on local livelihoods in Cambodia. World Development, 64, S125-S134.
doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.03.008
[7] Coetzee BW, Gaston KJ, Chown SL (2014) Local scale comparisons of biodiversity as a test for global protected area ecological performance: a meta-analysis. PLoS ONE, 9, e105824.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105824 pmid: 4146549
[8] Ervin J (2003) Rapid assessment of protected area management effectiveness in four countries. BioScience, 53, 833-841.
doi: 10.1641/0006-3568(2003)053[0833:RAOPAM]2.0.CO;2
[9] Ewers RM, Rodrigues ASL (2008) Estimates of reserve effectiveness are confounded by leakage. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 23, 113-116.
doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.03.001 pmid: 18280005
[10] Gaston KJ, Jackson SF, Cantú-salazar G, Cruz-pi?ón G (2008) The ecological performance of protected areas. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 39, 93-113.
doi: 10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.39.110707.173529
[11] Gaveau DLA, Epting J, Lyne O, Linkie M, Kumara I, Kanninen M, Leader-Williams N (2009) Evaluating whether protected areas reduce tropical deforestation in Sumatra. Journal of Biogeography, 36, 2165-2175.
doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2009.02147.x
[12] Geldmann J, Barnes M, Coad L, Craigie ID, Hockings M, Burgess ND (2013) Effectiveness of terrestrial protected areas in reducing habitat loss and population declines. Biological Conservation, 161, 230-238.
doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.02.018
[13] Hansen BB, Bowers J (2008) Covariate balance in simple, stratified and clustered comparative studies. Statistical Science, 2, 219-236.
doi: 10.1214/08-STS254
[14] Hansen BB, Klopfer SO (2006) Optimal full matching and related designs via network flows. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, 15, 609-627.
doi: 10.1198/106186006X137047
[15] Ho DE, Imai K, King G, Stuart EA (2011) MatchIt: nonparametric preprocessing for parametric causal inference. Journal of Statistical Software, 42(8), 3-39.
doi: 10.18637/jss.v042.i08
[16] Huang FQ, Du CL, Sun MH, Ning B, Luo Y, An SL (2015) Propensity score matching in SPSS. Journal of Southern Medical University, 35, 1597-1601. (in Chinese with English abstract)
doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-4254.2015.11.15
[黄福强, 杜春霖, 孙梦辉, 宁冰, 罗颖, 安胜利 (2015) 倾向评分配比在SPSS软件上的实现. 南方医科大学学报, 35, 1597-1601.]
doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-4254.2015.11.15
[17] Imbens G (2004) Nonparametric estimation of average treatment effects under exogeneity: a review. Review of Economics and Statistics, 86, 4-29.
doi: 10.1162/003465304323023651
[18] Joppa LN, Pfaff A (2009) High and far: biases in the location of protected areas. PLoS ONE, 4, e8273.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008273
[19] Joppa LN, Pfaff A (2010) Reassessing the forest impacts of protection: the challenge of nonrandom location and a corrective method. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1185, 135-149.
doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.05162.x
[20] Ma KP (2016) On key issues and possible solutions related to nature reserve management in China. Biodiversity Science, 24, 249-251. (in Chinese)
doi: 10.17520/biods.2016082
[马克平 (2016) 当前我国自然保护区管理中存在的问题与对策思考. 生物多样性, 24, 249-251.]
doi: 10.17520/biods.2016082
[21] Mas JF (2005) Assessing protected area effectiveness using surrounding (buffer) areas environmentally similar to the target area. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 105, 69-80.
doi: 10.1007/s10661-005-3156-5 pmid: 15952512
[22] Nagendra H (2008) Do parks work? Impact of protected areas on land cover clearing. Ambio, 37, 330-337.
doi: 10.1579/06-R-184.1 pmid: 18828277
[23] Naughton-Treves L, Holland MB, Brandon K (2005) The role of protected areas in conserving biodiversity and sustaining livelihoods. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 30, 219-252.
doi: 10.1146/
[24] Nepstad D, Schwartzman S, Bamberger B, Santilli M, Ray D, Schlesinger P, Lefebvre P, Alencar A, Prinz E, Fiske G, Rolla A (2006) Inhibition of Amazon deforestation and fire by parks and indigenous lands. Conservation Biology, 20, 65-73.
doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00351.x pmid: 16909660
[25] Pouzols FM, Toivonen T, Minin ED, Kukkala AS, Kullberg P, Kuuster? J, Lehtom?ki J, Tenkanen H, Verburg PH, Moilanen A (2014) Global protected area expansion is compromised by projected land-use and parochialism. Nature, 516, 383-386.
doi: 10.1038/nature14032 pmid: 25494203
[26] Randolph JJ, Falbe K, Manuel AK, Balloun JL (2014) A step-by-step guide to propensity score matching in R. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 19.. (accessed on 2017-03-06)
[27] Reese HM, Lillesand TM, Nagel DE, Stewart JS, Goldmann RA, Simmons TE, Chipman JW, Tessar PA (2002) Statewide land cover derived from multiseasonal Landsat TM data: a retrospective of the WISCLAND project. Remote Sensing of Environment, 82, 224-237.
doi: 10.1016/S0034-4257(02)00039-1
[28] Ren GP, Young SS, Wang L, Wang W, Long YC, Wu RD, Li JS, Zhu JG, Yu DW (2015) Effectiveness of China’s national forest protection program and nature reserves. Conservation Biology, 29, 1368-1377.
doi: 10.1111/cobi.12561 pmid: 26171762
[29] Shen B (1998) Studies on the resource exploitation and biodiversity conservation in Dali Cangshan-Erhai Nature Reserve. Chinese Biodiversity, 6, 151-156. (in Chinese with English abstract)
doi: 10.3321/j.issn:1005-0094.1998.02.011
[沈兵 (1998) 大理苍洱自然保护区生物多样性保护及其开发利用. 生物多样性, 6, 151-156.]
doi: 10.3321/j.issn:1005-0094.1998.02.011
[30] Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2014) Global Biodiversity Outlook 4. Montreal, Canada.
[31] Soares-Filho BS, Nepstad DC, Curran LM, Cerqueira GC, Garcia RA, Ramos CA, Voll E, McDonald A, Lefebvre P, Schlesinger P (2006) Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature, 440, 520-523.
doi: 10.1038/nature04389 pmid: 16554817
[32] Sun M (2008) Cangshan Annals. The Nationalities Publishing House of Yunnan, Kunming. (in Chinese)
[孙明 (2008) 苍山志. 云南民族出版社, 昆明.]
[33] Wang L, Young SS, Wang W, Ren GP, Xiao W, Long YC, Li JS, Zhu JG (2016) Conservation priorities of forest ecosystems with evaluations of connectivity and future threats: implications in the Eastern Himalaya of China. Biological Conservation, 195, 128-135.
doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.12.044
[34] Wang W, Pechacek P, Zhang MX, Xiao NW, Zhu JG, Li JS (2013) Effectiveness of nature reserve system for conserving tropical forests: a statistical evaluation of Hainan Island, China. PLoS ONE, 8, e57561.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057561 pmid: 3585332
[35] Wang W, Xin LJ, Du JH, Chen B, Liu FZ, Zhang LB, Li JS (2016) Evaluating conservation effectiveness of protected areas: advances and new perspectives. Biodiversity Science, 24, 1177-1188. (in Chinese with English abstract)
doi: 10.17520/biods.2016162
[王伟, 辛利娟, 杜金鸿, 陈冰, 刘方正, 张立博, 李俊生 (2016) 自然保护地保护成效评估: 进展与展望. 生物多样性, 24, 1177-1188.]
doi: 10.17520/biods.2016162
[36] Wittemyer G, Elsen P, Bean WT, Coleman A, Burton O, Brashares JS (2008) Accelerated human population growth at protected area edges. Science, 321, 123-126.
doi: 10.1126/science.1158900 pmid: 18599788
[37] [武冉 (2011) 我州天保工程一期工程顺利结束. 大理日报.]. (accessed on 2017-03-13)
[38] Xin LJ, Zhu YP, Chen B, Jin YC, Luo JW, Wang W (2015) Effectiveness assessment of Cangshan Nature Reserve of Yunnan Province based on PSR model. Ecological Economy, 31(12), 125-128, 141. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[辛利娟, 朱彦鹏, 陈冰, 靳勇超, 罗建武, 王伟 (2015) 基于PSR模型的云南苍山保护区保护成效研究. 生态经济, 31(12), 125-128, 141.]
No related articles found!
Full text