Impact of land use change on multiple ecosystem services in the rapidly urbanizing Kunshan City of China: Past trajectories and future projections

Authors: Weixin Ou*, College of Land Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Yu Tao, College of Land Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Gongtai Chen, College of Land Management, Nanjing Agricultural University, Qin Tao, College of Land Management, Nanjing Agricultural University
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change, Sustainability Science, China
Keywords: Ecosystem services, Land use change, Urban expansion, Scenario analysis, Tradeoff and synergy
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Senate Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this study, we assessed land use change in the rapidly urbanizing Kunshan City of China during 2006–2016 and projected future land uses in 2030 under three alternative scenarios: Business-As-Usual (BAU), Croplands Protection (CP), and Ecological Restoration (ER). Then we quantified the spatio-temporal variations of six ecosystem services (including crop production, carbon storage, habitat quality, flood regulation, and nitrogen and phosphorus retention) in response to urban land use change from 2006 to 2030 using the InVEST model. We also analyzed the tradeoffs and synergies among multiple ecosystem services. According to our estimates, the urban land of Kunshan increased by 19% over the past decade and will continue to expand by 15% from 2016 to 2030 under the BAU scenario. As a result, crop production, carbon storage, habitat quality, and flood regulation capacity would all decrease tremendously. Crop production would remain stable under the CP scenario owing to the strict protection of croplands, but nitrogen and phosphorus loading would increase by 8%. In contrast, the ER scenario would decrease nutrient loading by over 35% with concomitant benefits to carbon storage, habitat quality, and flood regulation capacity. However, crop production would decrease dramatically under the ER scenario, primarily due to the transition of large areas of croplands to ecological land. Based on these findings, we propose four major land use strategies, including compact urban growth, croplands protection, reforestation to build greenways, and wetlands restoration in the riparian areas of drinking water sources to improve ecosystem services in Kunshan.

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