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Quantifying variations in ecosystem services in altitude-associated vegetation types in a tropical region of China

First Author: Fang Z
Abstract: Natural vegetation is important for ecosystem services (ESs) provision, but is decreasing rapidly due to human-driven land use change, especially rapid expansion of commercial plantations. This is leading to a decrease in ESs provision, so measures are urgently needed to protect natural vegetation. Human activities, especially commercial plantations, can also lead to differences in vegetation types and associated ESs provision. This feature varies with altitude, an issue which has received insufficient attention. In this study, four ESs relevant to stakeholders (carbon storage, nitrogen export, sediment retention and water yield) were assessed. InVEST models and statistical methods (ANOVA; exploratory hierarchical clustering) were used to analyse: 1) similarities/differences in ESs provision between different vegetation types and 2) spatial differences in ESs in different altitude zones in the Xishuangbanna region of China. The results showed that vegetation types in Xishuangbanna and their ESs supply capacity differed markedly, with the overall ESs supply capacity of natural forests exceeding that of commercial plantations. Promotion of mixed organic agriculture can be a balanced measure to secure future economic development and ecological protection. This study can act as reference for vegetation protection in other areas within and beyond China.
Contact the author: Bai Y; Jiang B
Page Number: 138565
Impact Factor: 6.551
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PubYear: Jul 2020
Volume: 726
Publication Name: Science of The Total Environment
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