Assessment of net ecosystem services of plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation in China
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 (3.61Â t CO2 ha-Â 1Â yr-Â 1), better soil retention (23.1Â tÂ ha-Â 1Â yr-Â 1), and requires less irrigation (2132Â m3Â waterÂ ha-Â 1Â yr-Â 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 67,956Â yuanÂ ha-1Â yr-Â 1 (8.28Â yuanÂ =Â 1 USD in 2004), where 68,240Â yuanÂ ha-Â 1Â yr-Â 1 represented ecosystem services and 284Â yuanÂ ha-Â 1Â yr-Â 1 for dis-services. The transition from conventional vegetable cultivation to plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation resulted in a net economic benefit of 24,248Â yuanÂ ha-Â 1Â yr-Â 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.
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