Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (9): 999-1007.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017086

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

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:2017-09-20 Published:2017-10-04
  • Contact: Wang Wei
  • About author:# Co-first authors

Abstract:

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.

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