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《Journal of Beijing Forestry University》 2001-04
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Percentage of forest cover in different historic periods of China.

Fan Baomin; Dong Yuan. Section of Forestry History, Beijing For.Univ., 100083, P.R.China.  
As a country rich in forest resources in early history, according to the textual researches, China had a high percentage of forest cover over 60% before the Xia Dynasty established 4 000 years ago. But, since then, the area of forest decreased continuously. To the end of the Warring States, 221 B C, the percentage of forest cover dropped to 46%. In the Tang Dynasty(618~907) forest coverage was 33%,and at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty, 600 years ago, it was 26%.In 1840,it reduced to 17%. Before the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, it was only 12.5%. 1840~1949 is the period in which the forest vanished with the fastest speed. The change of forest is connected with the amount of population and the level of economy development. The decrease of forest in large scale has caused and will continue to lead to a series of ecological and social problems. Therefore, in the 21st century, China should control the population strictly, develop the science and technology and enlarge the forest resources with great efforts in order to assure the sustainable development of the whole country.
【Fund】: 国家林业局《中华大典·林业典》项目资助
【CateGory Index】: S717
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