Ecosystem management based on ecosystem services and human activities: a case study in the Yanhe watershed
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- Su, C., Fu, B., Wei, Y. et al. Sustain Sci (2012) 7: 17. doi:10.1007/s11625-011-0145-1
With activities that alter the structure and function of the habitat, humans have a direct impact on ecosystems and ecosystem services, i.e., the conditions and processes that sustain human life. In this study, 35 townships in the Yanhe watershed in the Loess Plateau of China were selected. The net primary production (NPP), carbon sequestration and oxygen production (CSOP), water conservation, and soil conservation were the ecosystem services selected and valuated. Human activity was quantified by an integrated human activity index (HAI) based on population density, farmland ratio, and the influence of road networks and residential areas. The NPP, CSOP, and water conservation showed a conspicuous spatial pattern fanning outward from the southwest, while the soil conservation showed an obscure spatial pattern distinguished primarily by the peripheral area surrounding the urbanized areas. Total ecosystem services in the Yanhe watershed demonstrated a decreasing pattern from south to north, and the HAI was in proportion to administrative and economic development. Based on the selected ecosystem services and HAI, we mapped the townships of the Yanhe watershed by cluster analysis, and provided sustainable ecosystem management suggestions, tailored to the social-ecological map.