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Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 1030; doi:10.3390/su9061030

Impact of Land Use Intensity on Ecosystem Services: An Example from the Agro-Pastoral Ecotone of Central Inner Mongolia

2,6
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4,5,* and 2,3,5,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
School of Ecology and Environment, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021, China
3
Inner Mongolia Key Laboratory of Grassland Ecology, Hohhot 010021, China
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Grassland Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hohhot 010010, China
5
Key Laboratory of Grassland Ecology and Restoration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Hohhot 010010, China
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Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1574 KB, uploaded 15 June 2017]   |  

Abstract

Land use intensity is an important indicator of human activities, so we quantified the land use intensity and five ecosystem services (soil conservation, water conservation, carbon storage, net primary productivity (NPP), and crop production) in 13 subbasins of the Tabu River Basin in an agro-pastoral ecotone in central Inner Mongolia. Furthermore, we analyzed the relationships among ecosystem services and the responses of the services to the impact of land use intensity. The primary conclusions were as follows: (1) All five ecosystem services gradually diminished from the upper to the lower reaches of the Tabu River Basin; (2) Water conservation exhibited a trade-off relationship with soil conservation, NPP, and crop production, but it exhibited a synergistic relationship with carbon storage. There were also synergistic relationships between soil conservation, carbon storage, NPP, and crop production; (3) As land use intensity increased, soil conservation, NPP and crop production monotonically increased. In contrast, water conservation exhibited a monotonically decreasing trend, and carbon storage followed a unimodal curve; (4) In this region, suitable ecosystem services were sustained at a land use intensity of approximately 3.95. View Full-Text
Keywords: land use intensity; Inner Mongolia; agro-pastoral ecotone; regulating services; crop production land use intensity; Inner Mongolia; agro-pastoral ecotone; regulating services; crop production
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Li, Q.; Zhang, X.; Liu, Q.; Liu, Y.; Ding, Y.; Zhang, Q. Impact of Land Use Intensity on Ecosystem Services: An Example from the Agro-Pastoral Ecotone of Central Inner Mongolia. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1030.

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