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Land use/land cover change and the effects on ecosystem services in the Hengduan Mountain region, China

Yahui Wang, Erfu Dai, Le Yin and Liang Ma

Ecosystem Services, 2018, vol. 34, issue PA, 55-67

Abstract: As one of the most important ecological functional area in China, the Hengduan Mountain region has experienced dramatic land use/land cover changes (LUCC) over the past 20 years, but the effects of these changes on ecosystem services remain unknown. We revised a proxy-based method to analyze LUCC and ecosystem service value (ESVs) dynamics over three decades, and evaluated the sensitivity of ESVs to LUCC by using an elasticity indicator. Forest land converted to grassland during 1990–2000 was due to deforestation, but a reverse trend was found in 2000–2010 as a result of the implementation of ecological projects. The ESVs of the entire region decreased slightly (0.01% per year) in 1990–2000, and sharply increased (0.14% per year) in 2000–2010. The elasticity reached 0.07 for 1990–2000 and 0.29 for 2000–2010, which were moderate levels for China. For the whole region, forest land is a key land use type and should be maintained. Along the elevation gradient, different developmental strategies should be adopted. Lower areas should focus on the coordinated development of economy and ecology, and higher areas on ecological protection. On the county level, it is necessary to adjust the forest-grassland proportion in each county.

Keywords: Ecosystem service values; Land use change; Elasticity; Proxy-based approach; Hengduan Mountain region; Regression method (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:34:y:2018:i:pa:p:55-67