Impacts of land use/land cover change and socioeconomic development on regional ecosystem services: The case of fast-growing Hangzhou metropolitan area, China

Kai Ya Wu, Xin Yue Ye, Zhi Fang Qi, Hao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study analyzes land use dynamics, spatiotemporal patterns of ecosystem service value (ESV), and the forces driving growth in the Hangzhou metropolitan area (HMA) in China. An integrated approach utilizing a Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS) was used to extract information on land use/land cover (LULC) change over the period of 1978-2008 from time-series Landsat MSS/TM/ETM+ imagery. We found that the areal extent of built-up land increased by 169.85%, while that of bare land increased by 83.70%. The outward expansion of built-up land and the net increase in bare land, both of which have a low ESV, indicate that human encroachment into surrounding natural and semi-natural ecosystems is resulting in decreased regional ecosystem service functions. Regional total GDP measured in constant value for the year 2000 increased by a factor of 31.71, and total population increased by 72.40% in 1978-2008. The resulting LULC change and socioeconomic development are likely responsible for the overall decline of 24.04% in regional ESV. It is projected that increasing land use demand will place heavy pressure on the natural and semi-natural ecosystems and impair the ecological functions that are necessary to support the human-dominated ecosystem. Therefore, sustainable development policies must address the impact of the loss of semi-natural and natural lands due to drastic urbanization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
JournalCities
Volume31
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

Keywords

  • China
  • Ecosystem service value
  • Hangzhou
  • Land use/land cover (LULC) change
  • Metropolitan area

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