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Open AccessArticle

Urbanization Impacts on Natural Habitat and Ecosystem Services in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao “Megacity”

1
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
School of Resources and Environment, Henan University of Economics and Law, Zhengzhou 450046, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6675; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166675
Received: 12 July 2020 / Revised: 15 August 2020 / Accepted: 15 August 2020 / Published: 18 August 2020
The population aggregation and built-up area expansion caused by urbanization can have significant impacts on the supply and distribution of crucial ecosystem services. The correlation between urbanization and ecosystem services has been well-studied, but additional research is needed to better understand the spatiotemporal interactions between ecosystem services and urbanization processes in highly urbanized areas as well as surrounding rural areas. In this paper, the relationships of urbanization with natural habitat and three key regulating ecosystem services—water retention, soil conservation, and carbon sequestration, were quantified and mapped for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), a rapidly developing urban agglomeration of over 70 million people, for the period of 2000–2018. Our results showed that urbanization caused a general decline in ecosystem services, and urbanization and ecosystem services exhibited a negative spatial correlation. However, this relationship varied along urban-rural gradients and weak decoupling was the overall trend during the course of the study period, indicating a greater need for the protection and improvement of ecosystem services. Our results provide instructive insights for new urbanization planning to maintain regional ecosystem services and sustainable development in the GBA and other large, rapidly urbanized agglomerations. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; urbanization; China; urban planning; Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao ecosystem services; urbanization; China; urban planning; Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao
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Wang, W.; Wu, T.; Li, Y.; Xie, S.; Han, B.; Zheng, H.; Ouyang, Z. Urbanization Impacts on Natural Habitat and Ecosystem Services in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao “Megacity”. Sustainability 2020, 12, 6675.

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