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Article
Peer-Review Record

Spatial–Temporal Interaction Relationship between Ecosystem Services and Urbanization of Urban Agglomerations in the Transitional Zone of Three Natural Regions

Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10211; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310211
by 1, 1,* and 2,*
Reviewer 1: Dimitrios Kalfas
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10211; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310211
Received: 5 November 2020 / Revised: 4 December 2020 / Accepted: 4 December 2020 / Published: 7 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability Futures)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

The manuscript titled "Spatial-Temporal Interaction Relationship between Ecosystem Services and Urbanisation of Urban Agglomerations in the Transitional Zone of Three Natural Regions" intends to document the spatial interaction relationship between urbanisation and multiple ecosystem services (ESS) and also clarify them. The increasing number and expansion of urban areas, underlines the importance of integrating ES in spatial planning. The study revolved around the Lanxi (LX) urban agglomeration in the transitional zone of the natural region as an example. The LX urban agglomeration is an important inter-provincial urban agglomeration in western China, with relatively dense populations and towns. In 2018, the total population of the region was 11,890,300, and the population density was 122 people per km2, which was much higher than the average of the others provinces in the western region. The level of urbanisation in the LX urban agglomeration is generally low, with large spatial differences. The urbanisation rate increased from 27.83% in 2000 to 61.24% in 2018 —slightly higher than the national average of 59.58%.

The empirical basis of the paper is a qualitative research study, including a mixed set of methods: The spatial association pattern was measured and tested using the global bivariate Moran's I index and local bivariate Moran's I index (LISA), the InVEST model used to evaluate the ESS of the LX urban agglomeration and the range standardisation method was used to standardise the population density, economic density, and proportion of construction land on the grid scale, and the comprehensive urbanisation level index was obtained by equal weight weighted calculation.

However, the analysis reflects clearly the identified key factors for (1) spatially clarify the changing process of urbanisation and ecosystem services; (2) reveal the spatial-temporal interaction relationship between urbanisation and ESS in the LX urban agglomeration based on the grid scale; and (3) discuss suggestions for coordinating urban development and ecological protection in the future.

The research is original; it could be characterized as novel and I think important to the field, it has the appropriate structure and language been used well. In the meanwhile, the manuscript has a good extent and it is comprehensive (<5,000 words, could be a little more than 6000 - 6500 words), the tables and figures make the paper more than 13 pages.

The title is OK. The abstract reflects well the findings of this study but it not has an appropriate length (263 words), it must be up to 200 words long, for this reason I would be good to reduce. The introduction is effective, clear and well organized; it really introduced and put into perspective what research is negotiating.

I would be much more satisfied if the number of references was slightly higher (about 10 -15 references) and I would appreciate it if it included also data other than Asia for example America, Europe or Australia, because it has many references from Asia. In this way it is documented that a method that is tested in a place with its own characteristics can be implemented in other places around the world.

Landsat satellites have the optimal ground resolution and spectral bands to efficiently track land use and to document land change due to climate change and a host of other natural and human-caused changes. I would be good to include (ex. line 138) the numbers of images were used [ex. Landsat-8 Enhanced Thematic Mapper 30 m resolution image for 2019 covering the study area was downloaded (LC08_L1TP_185032_20170xxx_20170xxx_01_T1) from the U.S. Geological Survey (http://www.usgs.gov/)]. I also know most of the images, data, and related products available from the USGS are federally created data and therefore reside in the public domain and may be used, transferred, or reproduced without copyright restriction.

For the Methodology chapter, the research conduct has been tested in several areas of the world, with similar results and will probably be tested in others. Appropriate references to the methodology included in the already published bibliography. The results and discussion sections are very good. The argument flows and is reinforced through the justification of the way elements are interpreted. The same applies to the conclusions.

Moreover, I would be much more satisfied if the lines: 280 -285 and 363 - 366 were retyping or paraphrasing, or use quotes, because they have big similarity in case with the reference below, which I think must be cited:

Jiali Wang, Weiqi Zhou, Steward T.A. Pickett, Wenjuan Yu, Weifeng Li. A multiscale analysis of urbanization effects on ecosystem services supply in an urban megaregion, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 662, 2019, Pages 824-833, ISSN 0048-9697, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.260.

In lineς 426-427 the reference "22.   Peng, J., Tian, L., Liu, Y., Zhao, M., Hu, Y., Wu, J. Ecosystem services response to urbanization in metropolitan areas: thresholds identification. Sci. Total Environ. 2017, 607,706-714" must revised as "22.         Peng, J., Tian, L., Liu, Y., Zhao, M., Hu, Y., Wu, J. Ecosystem services response to urbanization in metropolitan areas: thresholds identification. Sci. Total Environ. 2017,607-608,706-714", because we have two volumes in one.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report

The literature sources used in the introduction are mainly from China and should be extended by other sources from authors except China.

The maps in Figure 2 should be on the same scale for both years - 2010 and 2018 for better comparison.

Nutrient purification and carbon stored in Figure 2 seems to be same in both years, is it really so?

Concluding paragraphs should be clear and sum up what you have presented in your research without sounding redundant. A summarizing conclusion is missing. 

 

 

 

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 3 Report

General comments

“Spatial-Temporal Interaction Relationship between Ecosystem Services and Urbanisation of Urban Agglomerations in the Transitional Zone of Three Natural Regions”, submitted to Sustainability, is a well done and very interesting manuscript. This paper considers the LanXi (LX) urban agglomeration in three natural transitional regions using socio-economic, ecological environment, and other multiple data, through the InVEST model, GIS, GeoDA, and other methods, to supersede administrative boundaries and to explore the relationship between urbanisation and ESS on a grid scale. The authors should better explain some methods used in their analysis and the manuscript should be revised by an English Native Speaker. Please, see below my specific comments.

Specific comments

Lines 32 -33: Please, arrange the keywords for alphabetic order.

Lines 84 – 86: I think that you should add some recent references to support this your sentence “Ecologically fragile areas, such as the transition zones of natural areas and the structure, function, and quality of the ecological environment of the ecosystem, are particularly sensitive to changes in urban patterns[37].” I would like to suggest:

Smeraldo, S., et al. (2020). Modelling risks posed by wind turbines and power lines to soaring birds: the black stork (Ciconia nigra) in Italy as a case study. Biodiversity and Conservation, 29,1959–1976.

Hu, M., et al., (2019). Spatial differentiation of ecological security and differentiated management of ecological conservation in the Pearl River Delta, China. Ecological Indicators, 104, 439-448.

Line 97 – 101: Please, explain better your hypothesis and predictions.

Lines 104 – 128: Please, reduce this part of the manuscript.

Lines 148 – 149: I think that you should add some references to support this your method “The spatial association pattern was measured and tested using the global bivariate Moran's I index and local bivariate Moran's I index (LISA).” I would like to suggest:

Bosso, L., et al. (2017). Modelling the risk posed by the zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha: Italy as a case study. Environmental Management, 60(2), 304-313.

Alonso, C., et al. (2019). Interspecific variation across angiosperms in global DNA methylation: phylogeny, ecology and plant features in tropical and Mediterranean communities. New Phytologist, 224(2), 949-960.

Lines 233 – 234: Please, make the legends readable.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

There are minor typos in the written text.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

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