Ecology has been recognized as an independent discipline since 1869, when Ernest Haeckel first used this terminology and defines it as a branch of science for studying the interactions between organisms and their environment. The modern ecology expanded the subject and scope of the study; broke throw the limitation of pure naturalism tendency and was actively involved in solving the urgent task of world-concerned global development problem. While equipped by modern methodology and equipments, it becomes a bridge between science and development. Although a wealth of knowledge with deep ecological thought has been accumulated in the long course of China's development, it has not developed into a science until the 1950s. The development of ecology in China may roughly be divided into four phases (i.e. primitive embryonic phase, fundamental ecological study phase, ecosystem study phase, and the phase for sustainable development. This paper gives a general review of the development of ecology in China and introduced the progress in several selected areas. These include: biodiversity conservation, ecological research related to global change, restoration of degraded ecosystems, desertification control, ecosystem study on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, promotion of sustainable development from concept to action, and evaluation of ecosystem services and eco-compensation, etc. Based on the current development status of ecological science in China and the needs of the country, six priority areas for development of Ecology in the future were recommended.
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Vol. 1 • No. 1