Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (10): 1279-1287.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021319

• Special Feature: Ecosystem Authenticity and Integrity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The connotation and assessment framework of national park ecosystem integrity:A case study of the Amur Tiger and Leopard National Park

Yafang Jiang1, Jing Tian1, Jingbo Zhao2, Xiaoping Tang1,*()   

  1. 1 Academy of Forest Inventory and Planning/ National Park Research Institute, National Forest and Grassland Administration, Beijing 100714
    2 Jilin Provincial Institute of Forest Inventory and Planning, Changchun 130022
  • Received:2021-08-15 Accepted:2021-10-20 Online:2021-10-20 Published:2021-10-20
  • Contact: Xiaoping Tang

Abstract:

Background: Ecosystem integrity is one of the management goals of China's national parks, and ecosystem integrity is also one of the criteria when planning the national park territory. However, the interpretation of the term “ecosystem integrity” as well as a standard assessment framework has not yet reached a consensus.
Aims: This paper aims to put forward a comprehensive interpretation of the term “ecosystem integrity” based on previous literature. We also present a succinct and efficient framework to assess the ecosystem integrity of China's national parks. We suggest that structure and process integrity, functional integrity, and spatial pattern integrity should be considered when assessing the ecosystem integrity of a national park. We then applied the framework to evaluate the ecosystem integrity of the Amur Tiger and Leopard National Park in China.
Results and Discussions: Results indicate that since the establishment of the national park system pilot, there are complete food chains with the Amur tiger and Amur leopard as top carnivores within the national park pilot territory. Also, a great amount of Amur tiger and Amur leopard have returned and resettled back to China from Russia. Population sizes of both Amur tiger and Amur leopard, their habitat quality, and their regional biodiversity have steadily increased over the past years.
Conclusion: It is concluded that the boundary of the Amur Tiger and Leopard National Park is reasonably proposed due to the high regional ecosystem integrity, which lies a solid foundation for the sustainable development of the national park.

Key words: national park, ecosystem integrity, Amur Tiger and Leopard National Park, biodiversity, integrity assessment