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Impacts of Urbanization and Associated Factors on Ecosystem Services in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Urban Agglomeration, China: Implications for Land Use Policy

by Yushuo Zhang 1,2,*, Xiao Lu 3,*, Boyu Liu 4 and Dianting Wu 2
1
Faculty of Tourism Management, Shanxi University of Finance and Economics, Taiyuan 030006, China
2
Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3
School of Geography and Tourism, Qufu Normal University, Rizhao 276826, China
4
College of Geo-Exploration Science and Technology, Jilin University, Changchun 130026, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4334; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114334
Received: 27 September 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 18 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land Use Form in China)
Conflicts between ecological conservation and socio-economic development persisted over many decades in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei urban agglomeration (BTH). Ecosystem services were affected drastically by rapid urbanization and ecological restoration programs in the BTH since 2000. This study aims to identify the spatial patterns of the four types of ecosystem services (net primary productivity (NPP), crop production, water retention, and soil conservation) in 2000 and 2010, and to make clear the impacts of urbanization and associated factors on the spatial patterns of ecosystem services. Based on the quantification of ecosystem services, we assessed the spatial patterns and changes, and identified the relationships between the type diversity of ecosystem services and land-use change. We also analyzed the effect of the spatial differentiation of influencing factors on ecosystem services, using the geographical detector model. The results showed that the average value of crop production increased substantially between 2000 and 2010, whereas the net primary productivity decreased significantly, and the water retention and soil conservation decreased slightly. The ecosystem services exhibited a spatial similar to that of influencing factors, and the combination of any two factors strengthened the spatial effect more than a single factor. The geomorphic factors (elevation and slope) were found to control the distribution of NPP, water retention, and soil conservation. The population density was responsible for crop production. We also found that the urbanization rate plays a major indirect role in crop production and water retention when interacting with population density and slope, respectively. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) indirectly influences the spatial distribution of NPP when interacting with geomorphic factors. These findings highlight the need to promote new strategies of land-use management in the BTH. On the one hand, it is necessary to carefully select where new urban land should be located in order to relieve the pressure on ecosystem services in dense urban areas. On the other hand, the maintenance of ecological restoration programs is needed for improving vegetation coverage in the ecological functional zones in the medium and long term. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; spatial patterns; urbanization; geographical detector; Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei urban agglomeration (BTH) ecosystem services; spatial patterns; urbanization; geographical detector; Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei urban agglomeration (BTH)
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Zhang, Y.; Lu, X.; Liu, B.; Wu, D. Impacts of Urbanization and Associated Factors on Ecosystem Services in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Urban Agglomeration, China: Implications for Land Use Policy. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4334.

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