Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2012, 1(2): 34-38
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Did Eucalyptus contribute to environment degradation? Implications from a dispute on causes of severe drought in Yunnan and Guizhou, China

WenJun Zhang
School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China; International Academy of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Hong Kong

Received 16 March 2012;Accepted 20 April 2012;Published online 5 June 2012

Various viewpoints were proposed to explain the causes of recent years' severe drought occurred in Yunnan and Guizhou, China. In general there are two parties of viewpoints, the Eucalyptus cause and climate change cause. I think Yunnan-Guizhou drought has been mainly caused by abnormal climate change. Eucalyptus was not significant in the formation of Yunnan-Guizhou drought. However, the forestation effect of Eucalyptus in China was not good. Environment quality and biodiversity in Eucalyptus plantation forests has been degrading in last decades. Enhancement of alleopathy of Eucalyptus trees under drought conditions would partly contribute to biodiversity reduction and environment degradation in Eucalyptus plantation forests. For existing Eucalyptus plantation forests of Yunnan, I suggest that some improvement measures should be adopted. Artificial weeding and cleaning in Eucalyptus plantation forests should be banned. Density of Eucalyptus trees needs to be reduced. Biodiversity should be artificially improved in Eucalyptus plantation forests. In the future, the mountains and lands with better vegetation cover must not be reclaimed for Eucalyptus planting. Eucalyptus plantation forests should be made in barren mountains and lands with poor biodiversity.

Keywords Eucalyptus;environment;drought;biodiversity;soil and water conservation;Yunnan and Guizhou.

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