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Effects of Urbanization-Induced Cultivated Land Loss on Ecosystem Services in the North China Plain

Wei Song () and Xiangzheng Deng ()
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Wei Song: Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

Energies, 2015, vol. 8, issue 6, 1-16

Abstract: Since the implementation of market oriented economic reform in 1978, China has been on the track of rapid urbanization. The unprecedented urbanization in China has resulted in substantial cultivated land loss and rapid expansion of urban areas. The cultivated land loss due to urbanization not only threatens food security in China, but has also led to ecological system degradation to which close attention should be paid. Therefore, we examined the effects of the conversion from cultivated to urban areas on the ecosystem service in the North China Plain on the basis of a net primary productivity based ecosystem service model (NESM) and a buffer comparison method. Cultivated land loss due to urbanization in the North China Plain led to a total loss of ecosystem service value of 34.66% during the period 1988–2008. Urban expansion significantly decreased the ecosystem service function of water conservation (–124.03%), nutrient cycling (–31.91%), gas regulation (−7.18%), and organic production (–7.18%), while it improved the soil conservation function (2.40%). Land use change accounted for 57.40% of the changes in ecosystem service and had a major influence on the changes in nutrient cycling and water conservation. However, climate change mainly determined the changes in gas regulation, organic production, and soil conservation.

Keywords: ecosystem service; urbanization; cultivated land loss; net primary productivity; North China Plain (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q4 Q40 Q41 Q42 Q43 Q47 Q48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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