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Research Progress on Changes in Land Use and Land Cover in the Western Himalayas (India) and Effects on Ecosystem Services

Partho Protim Mondal () and Yili Zhang ()
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Partho Protim Mondal: Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
Yili Zhang: Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 12, 1-14

Abstract: Western Himalaya is an important region in terms of its enriched biodiversity and immense ecosystem services (ESS). However, its biodiversity and ESS are under tremendous pressure from rapid population growth, developmental activities, unplanned urbanization, agricultural expansion, climate change, and the associated changes in land use and land cover (LULC). This study provides a systematic review of the composition and pattern of LULC (from existing literature) and the effects of LULC change on various ESS provided by the western Himalayan ecosystems. Despite being such a significant area, data and studies concerning the impacts of LULC change on the spatial distribution of ESS, focused particularly on the western Himalayan region are inadequately reported. Most existing studies indicate a general decrease in forest cover and an increase in forest fragmentation along with generally increasing trends in built-up areas, croplands, and barren lands. These results imply ecosystem degradation and a reduction in the potential for the sustainable flow of ESS from this region. In this respect, this study suggests that quantification and spatial mapping of ESS in the western Himalayan region is conducted.

Keywords: ecosystem services (ESS); land use; land cover; impact of LULC change on ESS; Western Himalaya (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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