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Assessment of net ecosystem services of plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation in China


  • Chang, Jie
  • Wu, Xu
  • Liu, Anqin
  • Wang, Yan
  • Xu, Bin
  • Yang, Wu
  • Meyerson, Laura A.
  • Gu, Baojing
  • Peng, Changhui
  • Ge, Ying


Plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation is rapidly expanding in China and elsewhere worldwide. In order to comprehensively understand the impacts of plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation on agricultural ecosystem services and dis-services, we developed an assessment framework for the net ecosystem services and used China as a case study. Our results showed that, compared to conventional vegetable cultivation, plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation has higher fresh vegetable production, greater CO2 fixation (3.61 t CO2 ha- 1 yr- 1), better soil retention (23.1 t ha- 1 yr- 1), and requires less irrigation (2132 m3 water ha- 1 yr- 1), maintains similar soil fertility, but also has higher NO3- accumulation and N2O emissions. In 2004, plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation in China provided an overall net economic benefit of 67,956 yuan ha-1 yr- 1 (8.28 yuan = 1 USD in 2004), where 68,240 yuan ha- 1 yr- 1 represented ecosystem services and 284 yuan ha- 1 yr- 1 for dis-services. The transition from conventional vegetable cultivation to plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation resulted in a net economic benefit of 24,248 yuan ha- 1 yr- 1. A cost-benefit analysis suggests that plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation in China has the potential to optimize social benefits in addition to increasing annual economic income to farmers directly.

Suggested Citation

  • Chang, Jie & Wu, Xu & Liu, Anqin & Wang, Yan & Xu, Bin & Yang, Wu & Meyerson, Laura A. & Gu, Baojing & Peng, Changhui & Ge, Ying, 2011. "Assessment of net ecosystem services of plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation in China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 740-748, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:4:p:740-748

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Weinberger, Katinka & Lumpkin, Thomas A., 2007. "Diversification into Horticulture and Poverty Reduction: A Research Agenda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1464-1480, August.
    2. Yang, Wu & Chang, Jie & Xu, Bin & Peng, Changhui & Ge, Ying, 2008. "Ecosystem service value assessment for constructed wetlands: A case study in Hangzhou, China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 116-125, December.
    3. Guo, Zhongwei & Xiao, Xiangming & Gan, Yaling & Zheng, Yuejun, 2001. "Ecosystem functions, services and their values - a case study in Xingshan County of China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 141-154, July.
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    7. Sandhu, Harpinder S. & Wratten, Stephen D. & Cullen, Ross & Case, Brad, 2008. "The future of farming: The value of ecosystem services in conventional and organic arable land. An experimental approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(4), pages 835-848, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fengjiao Ma & A. Egrinya Eneji & Jintong Liu, 2014. "Understanding Relationships among Agro-Ecosystem Services Based on Emergy Analysis in Luancheng County, North China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(12), pages 1-20, November.
    2. repec:eee:ecoser:v:26:y:2017:i:pb:p:316-328 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Damnyag, Lawrence & Tyynelä, Tapani & Appiah, Mark & Saastamoinen, Olli & Pappinen, Ari, 2011. "Economic cost of deforestation in semi-deciduous forests — A case of two forest districts in Ghana," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2503-2510.


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