Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (8): 1036-1044.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019269

• Original Papers • Previous Articles    

Coupling and co-evolution of biological and cultural diversity in the karst area of southwest China: A case study of Pogang Nature Reserve in Guizhou

Xing Bi1,2, Zhaohui Yang1,3, Cheng Wang1,3, Haijun Su1,3, Mingming Zhang1,3,*()   

  1. 1 College of Forestry, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025
    2 Forestry Bureau of Xingyi, Xingyi, Guizhou 562400
    3 Research Center of Biodiversity and Nature Conservation in Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025
  • Received:2019-08-29 Accepted:2020-04-07 Online:2020-08-20 Published:2020-09-30
  • Contact: Mingming Zhang


Biodiversity is strongly linked with cultural diversity, positively influencing the balance of natural and social ecosystem. We studied the historical co-evolution of biological and cultural diversity by analyzing the distribution and change of cultural landscapes in Pogang Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China, a representative karst area. We then assessed how the national ecological policy and rural protection systems influenced bio-cultural diversity, based on the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and a model of coupled human and natural systems (CHANS). Our results show that a complete and typical natural karst ecosystem was preserved in Pogang Nature Reserve, despite repeated alteration of management practices and changes in the attitudes toward protection and land use. Local residents in the Pogang Nature Reserve created a distinctive traditional culture following a process of long-term adaptation to the karst environment. Biodiversity and cultural diversity patterns in the Pogang Nature Reserve overlapped geographically, and two main interventions facilitated the maintenance of the coupled system based on their co-evolution: government policies and traditional village rules and regulations. The protection of bio-cultural diversity in Pogang Nature Reserve and other karst areas should be prioritized to promote coordinated development of both biological and cultural diversity. To avoid the separation of nature conservation and culture conservation, our results suggest that the government and the administrative department of Pogang Nature Reserve should not only make proactive policies supporting biodiversity conservation, but also enhance protection and maintenance of traditional village rules and regulations and local culture in and around the reserve.

Key words: karst, bio-cultural diversity, cultural landscape, Pogang Nature Reserve in Guizhou