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Changes in Water Retention and Carbon Sequestration in the Huangshan UNESCO Global Geopark (China) from 2000 to 2015

1
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Division of Ocean Science and Technology, Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China
3
Huangshan UNESCO Global Geopark Administrative Committee, Huangshan 245700, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Science, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100085, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(11), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111152
Received: 24 September 2020 / Revised: 27 October 2020 / Accepted: 29 October 2020 / Published: 30 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Patterns and Processes of Forest Ecosystem Services)
Geopark ecosystem function assessments form an essential knowledge base for natural resource conservation and sustainable development. In this study, we evaluated changes in water retention and carbon sequestration in forests in the Huangshan United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Geopark (HUGG), China, from 2000 to 2015. We analyzed the relationship between these ecosystem functions and various controlling factors. The ecosystem functions in HUGG experienced significant changes during the study period. Water retention function increased slightly (0.15 m3 hm−2 year−1), while carbon sequestration increased sharply (25.57 g C m−2 year−1), with both showing increased spatial homogenization. Increased precipitation significantly enhanced the water retention function, whereas a temperature increase had a positive effect on the carbon sequestration. Both water retention and carbon sequestration decreased significantly with increased tourist disturbance. Pearson’s correlation coefficient and variance partitioning analysis identified the climate factors and tourist disturbance controlling water retention and carbon sequestration, respectively. The fitted structural equation model showed that climate factors had a greater total impact on water retention than tourist disturbance, while the total impact of climate factors on carbon sequestration was far less than that due to tourist disturbance. This study untangled the relationship between ecosystem functions (water retention and carbon sequestration) and influential factors in the HUGG and clarified that climate factors and tourist disturbance were determinants of changes in these ecosystem functions. The results from this study provide scientific foundations for the sustainable management of natural ecosystems in the HUGG and other geoparks. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem functions; carbon sequestration; water retention; tourist disturbance; climate factors; Huangshan UNESCO Global Geopark ecosystem functions; carbon sequestration; water retention; tourist disturbance; climate factors; Huangshan UNESCO Global Geopark
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gou, R.; Li, W.; Yang, Y.; Bai, J.; Meng, Y.; Wu, J.; Ding, Y.; Dai, Z.; Shi, Q.; Song, S.; Lin, G. Changes in Water Retention and Carbon Sequestration in the Huangshan UNESCO Global Geopark (China) from 2000 to 2015. Forests 2020, 11, 1152. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111152

AMA Style

Gou R, Li W, Yang Y, Bai J, Meng Y, Wu J, Ding Y, Dai Z, Shi Q, Song S, Lin G. Changes in Water Retention and Carbon Sequestration in the Huangshan UNESCO Global Geopark (China) from 2000 to 2015. Forests. 2020; 11(11):1152. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111152

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gou, Ruikun, Wei Li, Yanzheng Yang, Jiankun Bai, Yuchen Meng, Jun Wu, Yali Ding, Zheng Dai, Qi Shi, Shanshan Song, and Guanghui Lin. 2020. "Changes in Water Retention and Carbon Sequestration in the Huangshan UNESCO Global Geopark (China) from 2000 to 2015" Forests 11, no. 11: 1152. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11111152

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