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Planning Landscape Corridors in Ecological Infrastructure Using Least-Cost Path Methods Based on the Value of Ecosystem Services

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  • Jung A Lee

    () (Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 5F2, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
    Institute of Life Science and Natural Resources, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, 145 Anamro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-713, Korea)

  • Jinhyung Chon

    () (Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, 145 Anamro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-713, Korea)

  • Changwoo Ahn

    () (Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 5F2, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA)

Abstract

Ecosystem service values have rarely been incorporated in the process of planning ecological infrastructure for urban areas. Urban ecological infrastructure is a network system of natural lands and waters that provides ecosystem services. The purpose of this study was to design landscape corridors that maximize the value of ecosystem services in ecological infrastructure planning. We explored the optimal corridors to enhance the connectivity among landscape elements to design an ecological infrastructure for the city of Gwacheon, South Korea, as an example of a small urban area. We calculated the value of ecosystem services using standardized estimation indices based on an intensive review of the relevant literature and employed the least-cost path method to optimize the connectivity of landscape structural elements. The land use type in the city with the highest estimated value of ecosystem services was the riparian zone ( i.e. , 2011 US$7,312.16/ha). Given areal coverage of all land use types, the estimated value of developed area open spaces was 2011 US$899,803.25, corresponding to the highest contribution to the total value of ecosystem services. Therefore, the optimal configured dispersal corridors for wildlife were found from the riparian zones (source area) to the developed area open spaces (destination area) in the city. Several challenges remain for improving the estimation of the value of ecosystem services and incorporating these ecosystems in ecological infrastructure planning. Nonetheless, the approaches taken to estimate the value of ecosystem services and design landscape corridors in this study may be of value to future efforts in urban ecological infrastructure planning.

Suggested Citation

  • Jung A Lee & Jinhyung Chon & Changwoo Ahn, 2014. "Planning Landscape Corridors in Ecological Infrastructure Using Least-Cost Path Methods Based on the Value of Ecosystem Services," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(11), pages 1-22, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:6:y:2014:i:11:p:7564-7585:d:41734
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Junga Lee & Christopher D. Ellis & Yun Eui Choi & Soojin You & Jinhyung Chon, 2015. "An Integrated Approach to Mitigation Wetland Site Selection: A Case Study in Gwacheon, Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(3), pages 1-28, March.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:126-:d:125903 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2356-:d:123314 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ecosystem service; value of ecosystem services; least-cost path method; ecological infrastructure; landscape connectivity; landscape structure elements;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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