Dr Lulu Zhang
Managed watersheds provide many ecosystem services to meet human needs for water, food, timber, and energy while supporting critical ecologic functions that benefit humanity. These benefits, for example, include nutrient cycling, water filtering and purifying, carbon storage, flood and erosion/sedimentation control, and biodiversity preservation. The quality and quantity of ecosystem services provided by a watershed significantly depend on land-use decisions involving soil, vegetation, and water conservation at a landscape scale. Due to environmental, social, and economic concerns, watershed management strategies have to consider complex scientific and public policy issues.
Environmental resources are not isolated from one another but exist in an interconnected manner. This interconnectedness is particularly evident when resource management practices are applied in watersheds. In regions with natural constraints, such as drylands, sector-oriented resource management may substantially decrease ecosystem services. The specific case of integrated watershed management in China will cover monitoring data, consolidating process-based knowledge, and translating evidence into policy-relevant recommendations to policymakers, which showcase a successful example of how science informs policy.
In conclusion, multifunctional land-use is proposed as a holistic watershed management approach to balance and manage competition of ecosystem services and minimise dysfunctions with minimum trade-offs through working on the Nexus of environmental resources.