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J Environ Manage. 2019 Mar 1;233:543-552. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.12.047. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

An evolving assessment model for environmental carrying capacity: A case study of coral reef islands.

Author information

1
Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China; LREIS, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China; School of Geographic and Oceanic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China.
2
Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China; LREIS, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China. Electronic address: sufz@lreis.ac.cn.
3
Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China; LREIS, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China.

Abstract

Environmental carrying capacity (ECC) provides an insight into measuring sustainability of the vulnerable coral reef islands. However, an integrated assessment of ECC on the social-ecological system of reef islands is rarely existence. And conventional approaches miss addressing the difference of social development, which would lead to a misinterpretation of sustainable development of reef island system. This study develops an evolving model of RI-ECC which incorporates five specific development phases, and the assessment involves (1) identification and measurement of carrying components, (2) supply/demand surplus analysis of indicators and (3) ECC states determination. A case study is conducted in Zhaoshu Island of China, indicating the efficiency of RI-ECC model and serving as a reference for adaptive management.

KEYWORDS:

Coral reef islands; Dynamic assessment; Environmental carrying capacity; Evolving conceptual model; Sustainability

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