Ecological quality is defined as the stability, adaptability and resilience of an ecosystem. Monitoring and assessing ecological quality are important bases for China's ecological civilization construction. The national key research and development program “Technologies and guidelines for monitoring ecological quality of terrestrial ecosystems in China”, launched in July 2017, includes plans to study the observation technologies and provide guidelines on the ecological in-situ observation, the regional biodiversity and ecosystem function monitoring and its applications, all of which contribute to national ecological quality assessment. A year after its implementation, some important progress has been achieved, such as building the indicator system for comprehensive monitoring of ecological quality and improvement of the methods, mass data transmission, infrared camera-based monitoring of biodiversity, multi-angle automatic spectral observation systems, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based desert monitoring. We have organized this special issue and attempted to introduce the monitoring techniques and assessment methods on ecological quality from different perspectives in order to further promote the development of ecology and its observation methods.
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Vol. 10 • No. 2