chapter  2
Materials and methods
Pages 3

As a typical region in southwestern China, Sichuan province has suffered a high frequency of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, landslides, mudflows, droughts, and floods. Natural disasters cause huge losses, which becomes restricting factors for the ecological environment and economic development. For example, the ecosystem services value (ESV) in the central zone of the Wenchuan earthquake of May 2008 decreased by approximately 520.04 × 106 US$ (Chen et al. 2012). In the Wenchuan earthquake, the proportions of severe damage in important regions of water conservation and biodiversity were 4.15% and 2.85%, respectively, and the proportions of decreased ESs were 9.2% and 7.63%, respectively (Wang et al. 2008). Various natural hazards can damage ecosystems and affect the functioning of ESs. Moreover, rapid economic development can influence ecosystems. Frequent construction and large-scale economic activity have nevertheless degraded ecosystems through soil erosion, degradation of vegetation, and reduction of biodiversity, which also affect the functioning of ESs. Conservation efforts, early risk warning, prevention, and emergency recovery systems must therefore be established to provide an effective ecological barrier from human society. More attention should also be given to assessing the risk of ecosystem degradation caused by climate change and human activity. Some ecosystems such as wetlands and water bodies are sensitive to climate change and human activity, and an adaptable mechanism of risk prevention must be quickly established to protect these ecosystems.