GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 1982, Vol. 1 ›› Issue (1): 3-8.doi: 10.11821/yj1982010002

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Huang Pingwei   

  1. Institute of Geography, Acodemia Sinica
  • Online:1982-03-15 Published:1982-03-15

Abstract: Ecological balance or balance of nature has been defined as the state in an ecosystem when the interrelationships of organisms to one auothor and to their environment are hasmonious or integrated to a considerable degree.It furnishes a cenceptual framework for the study of ecosystem's structure and function which is being directed to the analysis of such basic processes as organic matter production, energy flow, nutrient cycling, etc.,the quantification of factors of balance, the sythesis of the interrelated parts into a whole, and the formulation of methods of prediction. As man has played an increasingly important role in shaping the earth's surface, the future welfare of mankind is closely linked with the changes about to occur in the nature, and any solution has to conform to economic and social realities of the areas concerned, a new development in scene is the incorporation of the human aspects in the context of ecological researches.A traditional notion long harboured in the mind of geographers is that the scope of their profession is to study the earth as the home of mankind.As early as 1923, H.H.Barrows published his paper entitled "Geography as Human Ecology" in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers.Geography has also been claimed as the bridge between physical and social sciences. "Sythesis", "location and spatial relationships" and "man as a part of environment and vice versa" are some of the comparative advantages of the professional background of geographers mentioned by M.W.Mikesell in the volume "Perspectives on Environment" (1974).These are enough to justify the participation of geographers in e'cological studies of the environment.The idea of ecological balance is relative; changes and adjustments never clase. The relative degree of balance exercises contral over the rate of change which ranges from very slow to rapid.Neither the degree of balance nor the rate of change may serve as an indication of "good" or "bad" from the human point of view. In many cases, relative balance and stability or imbalance and change may be good in one respect and bad in another.As the majority of current discussions on ecological balance concern with soil erosion induced by the destruction of natural vegetation, this subject, is treated to illustrate the forementioned principles.It is not a correct notion that return to the original vegetation to retore ecological balance is the only solution.In a number of cases, this is not necessary and not possible.