Climate and land use change impacts on water yield ecosystem service in the Yellow River Basin, China

Abstract

The Yellow River Basin is an important water conservation and ecological barrier in China. Studying its water supply services is of great significance for the development of the Yellow River Basin and conservation of its ecosystems. This study is based on the InVEST model and scenario analysis method. We used data including land use cover, meteorology and soil type as inputs to analyze the spatial and temporal pattern of water yield in the Yellow River Basin from 1995 to 2018 and the impact of precipitation and land use change on water yield in the basin. The results show that from 1995 to 2018, the water yield in the Yellow River basin increased by 20,106 million m3, the high-value areas of water yield distributed in the southwest and southeast, the low-value areas distributed in the northwest region, and the spatial pattern of water yield changed insignificantly. From 1995 to 2005, the contribution rates of land use change and climate change to water production were 3.32% and 96.68%, respectively, and the contribution rates of land use change and climate change to water production from 1995 to 2018 were − 0.48% and 100.48%, respectively. In conclusion, the influence of precipitation on water production is more significant, and the effect of land use change on water production is smaller. This study reveals the temporal and spatial variation characteristics of water yield and its controlling factors in the Yellow River Basin, which is of great significance to the protection of ecological environment and the maintenance of ecological balance of the whole basin.

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Acknowledgements

This study was financially supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (no. 2016YFC0501902) and the University Research Project of Gansu Provincial Education Department (no. 2018A-038). We thank International Science Editing (http://www.internationalsCienceediting.com) for editing this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Degang Zhang.

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This article is a part of the Topical Collection in Environmental Earth Sciences on “Water in Large Basins” guest edited by Peiyue Li and Jianhua Wu.

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Yang, J., Xie, B., Zhang, D. et al. Climate and land use change impacts on water yield ecosystem service in the Yellow River Basin, China. Environ Earth Sci 80, 72 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-020-09277-9

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Keywords

  • Water yield
  • Land use change
  • Climate
  • Yellow River Basin
  • InVEST model