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Ecosystem Services Research in Rural Areas: A Systematic Review Based on Bibliometric Analysis


  • Beichen Ge

    (College of Landscape and Horticulture, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224, China
    College of Landscape and Horticulture, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650500, China)

  • Congjin Wang

    (College of Landscape and Horticulture, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224, China)

  • Yuhong Song

    (College of Landscape and Horticulture, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224, China)


As an essential part of ecosystem services, the rural ecosystem service (rES) plays an irreplaceable role in sustainable development. However, research on rESs still needs improvement compared with urban ecosystem services. Aiming at analyzing the research and development trends in rES, three types of bibliometric analysis software, HistCite, VOSviewer, and CiteSpace, are applied to reveal and visualize the research status and the prospect of existing research. The results show that since 2015, there has been a significant increase in the number of countries, papers, and institutions studying rES. There are five main research areas, among which urbanization and nature’s contribution to people (NCP) are ongoing. Moreover, the research content gradually shifted from fundamental studies on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services to the relationships between different stakeholders and rESs against the background of complex social relations and cultural settings in urbanization. However, there is still a lack of leading ancestor literature in the field, and this field still needs to be developed.

Suggested Citation

  • Beichen Ge & Congjin Wang & Yuhong Song, 2023. "Ecosystem Services Research in Rural Areas: A Systematic Review Based on Bibliometric Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(6), pages 1-18, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:15:y:2023:i:6:p:5082-:d:1096108

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