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Application of the InVEST model for assessing water yield and its response to precipitation and land use in the Weihe River Basin, China

Abstract

With realizing the importance of ecosystem services to society, the efforts to evaluate the ecosystem services have increased. As the largest tributary of the Yellow River, the Weihe River has been endowed with many ecological service functions. Among which, water yield can be a measure of local availability of water and an index for evaluating the conservation function of the region. This study aimed to explore the temporal and spatial variation of water yield and its influencing factors in the Weihe River Basin (WRB), and provide basis for formulating reasonable water resources utilization schemes. Based on the InVEST (integrated valuation of ecosystem services and tradeoffs) model, this study simulated the water yield in the WRB from 1985 to 2019, and discussed the impacts of climatic factors and land use change on water yield by spatial autocorrelation analysis and scenario analysis methods. The results showed that there was a slight increasing trend in water yield in the WRB over the study period with the increasing rate of 4.84 mm/10a and an average depth of 83.14 mm. The main water-producing areas were concentrated along the mainstream of the Weihe River and in the southern basin. Changes in water yield were comprehensively affected by climate and underlying surface factors. Precipitation was the main factor affecting water yield, which was consistent with water yield in time. And there existed significant spatial agglomeration between water yield and precipitation. Land use had little impact on the amount of water yield, but had an impact on its spatial distribution. Water yield was higher in areas with wide distribution of construction land and grassland. Water yield of different land use types were different. Unused land showed the largest water yield capacity, whereas grassland and farmland contributed most to the total water yield. The increasing water yield in the basin indicates an enhanced water supply service function of the ecosystem. These results are of great significance to the water resources management of the WRB.

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Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (U2243211).

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Correspondence to Peng Gao or Xingmin Mu.

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Wu, C., Qiu, D., Gao, P. et al. Application of the InVEST model for assessing water yield and its response to precipitation and land use in the Weihe River Basin, China. J. Arid Land 14, 426–440 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-022-0013-0

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Keywords

  • water yield
  • InVEST model
  • Weihe River Basin
  • Geoda model
  • scenario analysis