Variations in ecosystem service value in response to land use changes in Shenzhen
Urban sprawl significantly impacts ecosystem services and functions. The exact impacts, however are difficult to quantify and are often neglected in policy making. The evaluation of ecosystem services is conducive to clarifying the ecological and environmental changes caused by urbanization. The objective of this study is to investigate variations in ecosystem services in response to land use changes during urbanization. The aim is to provide useful information and advice for policy makers concerned with sustainable development. Shenzhen, one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in China, is selected as the study area. A fast evaluation method for ecological service values based on land use change was proposed and applied to the city for 1996, 2000 and 2004. The total value of ecosystem services in Shenzhen was 2776.0Â million Yuan in 1996, 2911.4Â million Yuan in 2000 and 2544.7Â million Yuan in 2004 respectively, with a decrease of 231.3Â million Yuan from 1996 to 2004 mainly due to the decreasing areas of woodland, wetland and water body. The combined ecosystem service value of woodland, wetland, water body and orchard was over 90% of the total value. Water supply and waste treatment were the top two service functions with high service value, contributing about 40% of the total service value. The results suggest that a reasonable land use plan should be made with emphasis on protecting wetland, water body and woodland, which have the highest ecosystem service value.
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