摘要: Analysing runoff changes and how these are affected by climate change and human activities is deemed crucial to elucidate the ecological and hydrological response mechanisms of rivers. The Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration and the Range of Variability Approach (IHA-RVA) method, as well as the ecological indicator method, were employed to quantitatively assess the degree of hydrologic change and ecological response processes in the Yellow River Basin from 1960 to 2020. Using Budyko's water heat coupling balance theory, the relative contributions of various driving factors (such as precipitation, potential evapotranspiration, and underlying surface) to runoff changes in the Yellow River Basin were quantitatively evaluated. The results show that the annual average runoff and precipitation in the Yellow River Basin had a downwards trend, whereas the potential evapotranspiration exhibited an upwards trend from 1960 to 2020. In approximately 1985, it was reported that the hydrological regime of the main stream underwent an abrupt change. The degree of hydrological change was observed to gradually increase from upstream to downstream, with a range of 34.00%–54.00%, all of which are moderate changes. However, significant differences have been noted among different ecological indicators, with a fluctuation index of 90.00% at the outlet of downstream hydrological stations, reaching a high level of change. After the mutation, the biodiversity index of flow in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River was generally lower than that in the base period. The research results also indicate that the driving factor for runoff changes in the upper reach of the Yellow River Basin is mainly precipitation, with a contribution rate of 39.31%–54.70%. Moreover, the driving factor for runoff changes in the middle and lower reaches is mainly human activities, having a contribution rate of 63.70%–84.37%. These results can serve as a basis to strengthen the protection and restoration efforts in the Yellow River Basin and further promote the rational development and use of water resources in the Yellow River.