Main content area

The spatial association of ecosystem services with land use and land cover change at the county level in China, 1995–2015

Chen, Wanxu, Chi, Guangqing, Li, Jiangfeng
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.669 pp. 459-470
ecosystem services, ecosystems, land use, land use and land cover maps, landscapes, metropolitan areas, planning, sustainable development, China
Ecosystem services are increasingly affected by land use and land cover change (LULCC) in China. However, the spatial association between LULCC and ecosystem services remains unclear, thus constraining effective land use and ecosystem conservation policymaking. This study attempts to fill this gap by examining the association between ecosystem services intensity (ESI) and LULCC from a spatial perspective at the county level in China. The adapted benefit transfer method was employed to measure the ESI based on LULCC data. LULCC was characterized and measured by single land use dynamic degree, integrated land use dynamic degree, land use intensity, and land use diversity. The results indicated that ESI levels in China experienced a continuously decreasing trend from 1995 to 2015, especially in large metropolitan areas. The relationship between ESI and LULCC exhibited both significant spatial dependence and heterogeneity. Overall, ESI and land use intensity had statistically significant negative associations. However, the association between ESI and LULCC varied greatly over space and in different time periods. The results have important implications for future delineation of ecological conservation priority zones, sustainable development of national land, and the integration of ESI into landscape planning.