Impact Assessment of LUCC on Ecosystem Services
The ecosystem services (ESs) concept is based on socio-ecological complexity integrated with local decision demands. It helps prevent both regional ecological degradation and conflicts associated with large-scale land-use/coverage change (LUCC). In this study, an integrated assessment method was developed to analyze spatio-temporal changes in the supply capacities of ESs in a typical land system dynamics in Gansu Province, northwest with long time series LUCC maps (1992–2015). The LUCC analysis showed rapid expansion of grassland and cultivated land was occured in Gannan and Qingyang cities, respectively, which was attributed to conversion of forests and bare land. The supply capacity of ESs indicated an increasing trend (cultural service > supporting service > provisioning service > regulating service) which was associated with positive changes in multiple ESs. However, the decrease in specific services likely caused unexpected losses which potentially offset profits from the current management of the socio-ecological system. Therefore, this study provided an integrated assessment of the effects of changing land system dynamics on the potential provision of ESs in typical semiarid and arid regions.
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