Quantification of the Impact of Land-Use Changes on Ecosystem Services: A Case Study in Pingbian County, China
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Pingbian Miao Autonomous County is one of the poorest rural areas in China. Land-use changes, mainly driven by agricultural expansion and deforestation, may significantly impact ecosystem services and functions, but such effects are difficult to quantify. In the present study, Landsat image data were combined with the published coefficients about the world and China ecosystem to quantify land-use and ecosystem service changes in the mountainous area. A sensitivity analysis was employed to determine the effect of manipulating these coefficients on the estimated values. Our results show that during the past decades (from 1973 to 2004) forests and grasslands were converted into shrubland and cropland, respectively, resulting in a continuous decrease in ecosystem service (from 124.5 US$ × 106 in 1973 to 100.4 US$ × 106 in 2004). We found that the decrease of mixed forest in the study area was the largest contributor (i.e., 25.4 US$ × 106) to the decline of the ecosystem service. Therefore we propose that future land-use policy should pay more attention to the crucial ecosystem functions of these forests (including tropical forest), and that it is necessary to balance the relationship between the livelihood of local farmers and environmental protection in order to maintain a healthy and stable ecosystem.
KeywordsAgricultural expansion Deforestation Ecosystem services Pingbian County Remote sensing
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