Identifying key areas of ecosystem services potential to improve ecological management in Chongqing City, southwest China

  • Yang Xiao
  • Qiang Xiao


Because natural ecosystems and ecosystem services (ES) are both critical to the well-being of humankind, it is important to understand their relationships and congruence for conservation planning. Spatial conservation planning is required to set focused preservation priorities and to assess future ecological implications. This study uses the combined measures of ES models and ES potential to estimate and analyze all four groups of ecosystem services to generate opportunities to maximize ecosystem services. Subsequently, we identify the key areas of conservation priorities as future forestation and conservation hotspot zones to improve the ecological management in Chongqing City, located in the upper reaches of the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, China. Results show that ecosystem services potential is extremely obvious. Compared to ecosystem services from 2000, we determined that soil conservation could be increased by 59.11%, carbon sequestration by 129.51%, water flow regulation by 83.42%, and water purification by 84.42%. According to our prioritization results, approximately 48% of area converted to forests exhibited high improvements in all ecosystem services (categorized as hotspot-1, hotspot-2, and hotspot-3). The hotspots identified in this study can be used as an excellent surrogate for evaluation ecological engineering benefits and can be effectively applied in improving ecological management planning.


Ecosystem services Ecological management Chongqing City Potential Hotspots 



We would like to thank Brian DOONAN for his help in editing this manuscript as well as the journal editors and anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier version.


This study was supported by key foundational research project of the Science and Technology Bureau of China (No. 2016YFC0502304).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Chongqing College of Arts and SciencesChongqingChina

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