Research of landscape ecology in Son la province to serve socio - Economic planning and development

Son La province locates in the North West of Vietnam, which is essential geological position in socio-economic development strategy and protection of national and regional security and defense. Moreover, Son La is ensuring national and regional security and defense. Simultaneously, having the watersheds of Da and Ma River, this province is the crucial protection area for the Northern Delta and has the two largest hydropower projects in Vietnam. With the terrain predominated by low mountain, highlands and valleys, abundance of land and climate resources, and a special local knowledge system, Son La has great prospects for developing agriculture, forestry, trade and tourism, bringing socio-economic and environmental efficiencies. However, low effectiveness of natural resource protection in Son La has positive effects on other regions in the downstream of Da River and Ma River. In recent 10 years, land use system and in structure of cultivated plants have been change rapidly. In the province, land degradation has been more seriously, water resource has been degraded; environment pollution caused by deforestation and agricultural chemical and natural hazards have been more frequently and caused more and more risks [84]. Thus, in long term strategy of socio-economic development need scientifically consider rapid and sustainable development following functional regions. Researching landscape ecology (LE) is a synthetic and interdisciplinary approach from research of species structure, environment characteristics, ecological and regional conditions, and distributional regions. Researching ecological landscape aims to clearly understanding of natural resources and natural conditions; the interaction relation among natural components; features and functions of each territorial unit, etc. which are foundations of new proposals of properly and sustainable natural resource extractions and uses.Thus, nowadays, it is necessary to research ecological landscapes in Son La province aiming to orientation of ecological function exploitation, reformation and rehabilitation of provincial territory. In this fact, the study of "Research of landscape ecology in Son La provinces to serverve socioeconomic planning and development" contributes to sustainable socioeconomic development in Son La province.

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MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING VIETNAM ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY GRADUATE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE ----------------------------- DOAN THI TRUONG NHUNG RESEARCH OF LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY IN SON LA PROVINCE TO SERVE SOCIO-ECONOMIC PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT Major: Ecology Code: 9 42 01 20 SUMMARY OF BIOLOGY DOCTORAL THESIS Hà Nội - 2018 This thesis was finished at: Graduate University of Science and Technology – Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology Supervisor 1: Asc. Prof. DSc. Tran Dinh Ly Supervisor 2: Dr. Ha Quy Quynh Reviewer 1: . Reviewer 2: . Reviewer 3: .. The theisis will be defended in Committee in front of the thesis assement committee at Graduate University of Science and Technology – Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology at .hour.. on date ...month.year 2018 The thesis shall be found at: - The Library of Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology - The Vietnam National Library 1 INTRODUCTION 1. The significance of study Son La province locates in the North West of Vietnam, which is essential geological position in socio-economic development strategy and protection of national and regional security and defense. Moreover, Son La is ensuring national and regional security and defense. Simultaneously, having the watersheds of Da and Ma River, this province is the crucial protection area for the Northern Delta and has the two largest hydropower projects in Vietnam. With the terrain predominated by low mountain, highlands and valleys, abundance of land and climate resources, and a special local knowledge system, Son La has great prospects for developing agriculture, forestry, trade and tourism, bringing socio-economic and environmental efficiencies. However, low effectiveness of natural resource protection in Son La has positive effects on other regions in the downstream of Da River and Ma River. In recent 10 years, land use system and in structure of cultivated plants have been change rapidly. In the province, land degradation has been more seriously, water resource has been degraded; environment pollution caused by deforestation and agricultural chemical and natural hazards have been more frequently and caused more and more risks [84]. Thus, in long term strategy of socio-economic development need scientifically consider rapid and sustainable development following functional regions. Researching landscape ecology (LE) is a synthetic and interdisciplinary approach from research of species structure, environment characteristics, ecological and regional conditions, and distributional regions. Researching ecological landscape aims to clearly understanding of natural resources and natural conditions; the interaction relation among natural components; features and functions of each territorial unit, etc. which are foundations of new proposals of properly and sustainable natural resource extractions and uses.Thus, nowadays, it is necessary to research ecological landscapes in Son La province aiming to orientation of ecological function exploitation, reformation and rehabilitation of provincial territory. In this fact, the study of "Research of landscape ecology in Son La provinces to serverve socioeconomic planning and development" contributes to sustainable socio- economic development in Son La province. 2. Thesis Ojectives The thesis aims to: - Classify landscape ecology system and establish maps of landscape ecology in Son La province - Clarify the changes of landscape ecology in Son La over time (from 2005 to 2015) - Identify the scientific foundations based on studing landscape ecology to orientate rational territory use in agriculture, forestry and conservation 2 3. Main contents of the thesis - Scientific bases of LE and classification of LE - Characteristics of components of the LE in Son La province such as natural features, socio-economic characteristics, humans and human activities - System of landscape ecology in Son La province - Assessment of the changes of the landscape ecology system in Son La province. - To propose solutions for rational and sustainable use of natural resources in Son La province. CHAPTER 1. LITERATURE REVIEW AND SCIENTIFC BASES OF STUDY ISSUES 1.1. Scientific fields related to landscape ecology 1.1.1. Ecology Ecology originated from Greek, “Oikos” means "house" or "living relation"; “Logos” means "study of". Thus, ecology means the scientific study of the relations of organisms and their habitats. There are many different definitions of ecology, but, generally, they are united that: ecology is a biology science that studies the interrelations between organisms and the environment. 1.1.2. Ecosystem  Ecosystem concept: Vu Trung Tang (2003) [63] defined: “ecosystem is a combination of biomes with their physical environment where they are existed, in which, organism interact each other and with environment to create a material cycle and energy metabolism"  Ecosystem components: Ecosystem includes two basic components: biomes và physical environment.  Ecosystem structure: Including biomes, their physical environment, interrelations among organisms, interactions between organisms and their environment.  Ecosystem functions: The basic function of the ecosystem is the implementation of the material cycle, energy and information exchange to recombine biomes adapting with condition of biophysical environments, creating a dynamic balance in development process.  Ecosystem Nature: Ecosystem has some features, three most significant features of which have been mentioned in this part, including: - Ecosystem is a constantly moving and changing system, the static state is only relative and temporary. - Ecosystem is an adjustable dynamic balance system - The higher the diversity, the greater the sustainability 1.1.3. Landscape study  Concept of landscape 3 In this thesis, LE is defined as a form concept. "landscape is a complete part of the earth's surface with geomorphology, structure, and determined complexion in the development process and causal relations of impact factor integration" [97].  Elements of landscape forming In Son La province, the thesis analysed the culture features, the role of landscape forming factors and the relationship between them, and at the same time, grouped these elements. Group of abiotic elements includes: geological background, terrain and processes of geomorphology, climate and hydrology. Group of biotic elements includes soil, biological system, duration and human activities.  System of landscape classification Pham Hoang Hai and his colleagues (1997) constructed a landscape classification system applied to the Vietnam territory at the map of a 1/1,000,000 scale with 7 levels: Landscape systems →Landscape subsystems → Landscape class → Landscape subclass → Landscape type → Landscape sub-type → Landscapes kind [27].  Structure and dynamic of landscapes - Landscape structures include horizontal, vertical and temporal structure - Landscape dynamic and changes  Landscape functions Landscape functions have different conceptions 1.1.4. Biogeocenology Biogeocenos are defined as "synthesizing natural phenomena on a certain surface in a accordant manner with the matter exchange and transformation flow among natural conditions (mother rocks, floras, faunas, micro-organisms, soils and hydro-climatic conditions), which have particular characteristics for the interactions of the constituent elements and have the specific types of material and energy exchanges between them and other natural phenomena and is a dialectical unity having initial contradictory in the constantly movement "(Sukachev, 1947) [122]. In a simple understanding, biogeocenos includes biocoenosis and habitat. The nature of the interrelationship between the components of biogeocenos is the processes of matter and energy accumulation and transformation (Sukachev called the process of biogeocenos) that decide the arising, growth, development and ecological succession of forest ecosystems. 1.2. Research review of Landscape Ecology 1.2.1. Concept of landscape ecology  Definitions of landscape ecology focusing on ecological specialties of landscape The most common point of definition focuses on two important aspects of interaction between organism and its environment that enables to differentiate between landscape ecology research and ecology research.  Definitions focus on humanity features of landscapes 4 In this way, the definitions focus on the theoretical points that this is general and interdisciplinary sciences that study the relationship between human and the landscape.  Landscape ecology of landscape scientists in Soviet and Vietnam According to Soviet landscapeologists, LE is a new discipline of landscape study, in which, humans are included as a part of the landscape in the form of economic activities and surrounding elements forming the landscape [72]. In Vietnam, all the most important definitions of the LE are given by geographers. LE is a discipline of applied landscape study, with particular emphasis on ecological features of geology. Subjects of LE study are specific units with their own principles, methods, and special regulation to classify them in the spatial dimensions [27].  Integrated definition of landscape ecology LE has two basic aspects: teritorial landscape and ecosystem of lanscape. These two aspects are independent but link closely together in a united territory. The LE theory issues are also the unification of landscape theory and the ecosystem theory. Thus, the LE is a science studying and explaining the interactions of the system of biotic and abiotic elements in the definite space of the landscape. Studying landscape considers two directions including landscape compositions and entire of landscape, while studying LE focuses on the ecological characteristics of landscape components. Each landscape component is specifically considered in terms of environment of the organism, and interacting with the organism according to ecological laws [72] 1.2.2. Structure and functions of landscape ecology The structure of LE consists of the landscape structure (the natural geographic components of the landscape) and the ecosystem structure (organic and inorganic materials, producers, consummers and decomposers) which are intergrated in a unity. The function of LE is multifunctional, including the natural functions of the landscape and the ecological functions of the ecosystem. The change of any structural element of the landscape will cause the change of other components and the change of landscape and all landscape functions. 1.2.3. Differentiation between “Landscape ecology” and “Ecological Landscape” “Landscape ecology”: is the intermediate science between ecology and landscape where ecological content is more focused than ecological issues in the landscape, the centre of reflection is the ecosystems within the landscape boundary [87]. “Ecological landscape”: In the foreign references, we only found the term of Landscape Ecology (or Landschafts Oekologie in German) while the term of Ecological Landscape (Oekologische Landschaft) has not been found. The explanation for the two concepts presented by Nguyen The Thon (1993) [74] differentiated unclearly these two concepts. Therefore, this research recommends using the term of Landscape Ecology only. 5 1.2.4. Literature review of Landscape Ecology  On the world Ecologycal study of landscape has begun in the second half of the 1960s at the Institute of Biology Landscape at the Academy Sciences of Czechoslovakia (1967). The Fifth Conference (1974) initiated the establishment of the International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE), the first of meeting was held in Denmark in 1984. It i scan be seen that ecologycal study of landscape means determination of ecological characteristics and norms of a landscape in order to protect and improve the environment [72].  In Vietnam The study contents of the landscape ecology have become clearly since Vietnam joined the International Association of Landscape Ecology in 1992. Researches in this period is oriented and had research scale in accordance with demands for economic development and environmental protection at the territorial level. Most of the landscape ecology studies in Vietnam have been conducted following the landscape structure analysis, landscape assessment, and determination of ecological economic models. 1.3. Studies related to thesis topic in Son La province Many previous studies related to the thesis topics, in different fields, are carried out in different periods. The authors investigated on the natural, socio-economic conditions of Son La province and grouped of researches implemented in the territory of Son La province. 1.4. Theoretical bases Based on scientific publications of ecosystem, landscapes, this thesis create foundation theory for studing LE in Son La. The scientific contents and theory for thesis approaching the research isues include: - The term of „landscape ecology“ or „ecology study of landscape“ has the same definition of natural objects, thus, the thesis uses the term of „landscape ecology“. - The viewpoint:"LE is the science of studying the interactions between organisms and the environment, organisms and organisms in a certain area limited by the landscape" (Schubert, 1986, p. 447) [121] was used in this study. LE units are ecosystems - LE has clear hierarchy and classification as follows: LE system – LE sub- system - LE class – LE sub-class - LE type – LE sub-type – LE kind. The objects of LE study is the ecosystem in the landscape. Therefore, the specific object in this thesis is sub-system of monsoon tropical monsoons LE with mild winters and a dry season in Son La. Because the separate classification for LE in Son La province has been inexistent, the thesis used the landscape classification by Pham Hoang Hai et al. (1997) [27] as a foundation for ranking the levels of the LE system in Son La province. From the theoretical and scientific bases, the criteria for applying LE classification, the thesis gave the classification criteria for the research area following 6 the hierarchy of system  sub-system  class  sub-class  sub-class  type  sub-type  kind. CHAPTER 2. RESEARCH CONTENTS, VIEWPOINTS AND METHODS 2.1. Research Contents - Scientific bases of landscape ecology and landscape ecology classification - Characteristics of components of landscape ecology in Son La: Natural - social - economic conditions - human beings and human activities - System of landscape ecology in Son La - Change assessment of landscape ecology system in Son La - Suggestion of solutions for sustainable and proper use of natural resources in Son La 2.2. Theoretical viewpoints of the research 2.2.1. Systematic viewpoint The basis of the systemic viewpoints is the conception of the unity and completeness of internal relationships and the distribution of the external linkage of the system. 2.2.2. Synthetic viewpoint Synthesis is considered at two different views: (1) Synthesis is the process of comprehensive research on the natural and socio-economic conditions, the relationships between organisms in the ecosystem in the territory of the landscape. (2) Synthesis is a systematic and regulative combination based on comphrehensive and integrated analysis of the elements and factors of natural terrestrial aggregates, simultaneously, identifies biological laws, relationships between organisms in the geographic locations 2.2.3. Territorial viewpoint For the evaluation process to be effective, research should establish theoretical and practical issues related to organization and planning based on the approach of the territorial point of view. This ensures that the research territory is assessed not only in relation to neighbouring territories, but also for the specific characteristics of Son La province. 2.2.4. Historical perspective Every territorial unit or geographic entity has to go through the processes of formation, development and evolution over time. Thus, the process of assessing and perceiving the territory from a historical perspective is a full access to all aspects of territory in the past and forecast of their changes in the future. 2.2.5. Interdisciplinary and sustainable development viewpoints Sustainable Development (SD), a new and comprehensive aspect, has great concerned when the economic development affects on the human environment and natural resources. Research and assessment of landscape ecology from the SD point of view is understood to be an evaluation for each unit level based on an integrated assessment of the constituent elements, structure and functions of the landscape 7 ecology. Using landscape ecology units ensures economic, environmental and social factors in practice application. 2.3. Research methods 2.3.1. Fieldworks The fieldworks were conducted based on a detailed survey of the formation factors and the landscape slice. Main survey routes and timeframes include: - Route 1: Son La - Bac Yen - Phu Yen: April 15th - 14th, 2014. - Route 2: Son La - Thuan Chau - Muong La - Quynh Nhai: May 20 to 27, 2015. - Route 3: Son La - Mai Son - Yen Chau - Moc Chau: from March 1 to March 8, 2016. 2.3.2. Data and document analysis and synthesis Materials, data related to research topic, research areas are collected, selected, processed and systematized. 2.3.3. Mapping and GIS Map is considered as the second language of geography, because they are the most visible expressing spatial features of the research objects. Digital maps have enough spatial and attribute information for the features of interest, helping the composite mapping process to be performed accurately and objectively. Mapping and geographic information systems (GIS) are used in a various context throughout the research process. 2.3.4. Professional expert interview The researcher has consulted experts and scientists from the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Institute of Geography, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Science and Technology of Son La province; Son La Forest Protection Department, Son La Nature Reserve Management Board, University of Natural Sciences - VNU, Tay Bac University ... 2.3.5. Method group of landscape ecology research and assessment The methodology group includes: - Method of Conjugate component map analysis - Method of the dominant factor analysis - Method of LE mapping - Method of landscape zoning 2.4. Steps of research The research was done by this following main steps: Step 1. Difined the ojectives, duties and scales and contents of research Step 2. Collecting and reviewing typical issues related to thesis topic, at the same time, doing the field trips and identifying the differented characteristics of the constituent factors and their role in LE of Son La province. Step 3. Research the landscape and LE classification systems, then, construct the 1:100.000 scale map of LE in Son La. 8 Step 4. Calculate the area of each LE kind over time and the changes of each LE kind. Step 5. Give orientation of proper exploitation and use of territory toward socio-economic developmemt. CHAPTER 3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 3.1. Natural conditions, human ecology elements - formation factors of land