Chao W., Aiyu Q., Peifang W., Jun H., 2013. Estuarine ecosystem health assessment based on the DPSIR framework: a case of the Yangtze Estuary, China In: Conley, D.C., Masselink, G., Russell, P.E. and O'Hare, T.J. (eds.)
With population growth and regional economic development, the relationship between estuaries and human activities grows ever closer. Meanwhile, estuaries and adjacent coasts are facing serious threats from excess resource utilization and adverse environmental changes, making it both necessary and urgent to conduct studies on estuarine ecosystem health. This paper developed an approach using the Driver-Pressure-State change-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework to evaluation of estuarine ecosystem state, causes of degradation and the legislative and management responses meant to improve conditions. Correlation analysis was used to analyze the linkage of indicators to avoid double counting of the aspects. Sensitivity analysis was also applied to analyze the small changes in indicator values resulting in changes of the integrated health value. The assessment results showed that the health state of the Yangtze Estuary ecosystem has been progressively declined since the late 1990s; and it reached the worst situation in the middle 2000s. The indicators of driver, pressure and impact systems showed the obvious sensitivity to the integrated health value. Due to the implementation of a series of ecological restoration measures, the estuary has shown some improvement trends in the late 2000s.