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Open AccessArticle

Planning Landscape Corridors in Ecological Infrastructure Using Least-Cost Path Methods Based on the Value of Ecosystem Services

1
Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 5F2, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
2
Institute of Life Science and Natural Resources, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, 145 Anamro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-713, Korea
3
Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, 145 Anamro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-713, Korea
4
Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, 4400 University Drive, MS 5F2, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 7564-7585; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117564
Received: 31 July 2014 / Revised: 17 October 2014 / Accepted: 17 October 2014 / Published: 28 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Ecosystem service values have rarely been incorporated in the process of planning ecological infrastructure for urban areas. Urban ecological infrastructure is a network system of natural lands and waters that provides ecosystem services. The purpose of this study was to design landscape corridors that maximize the value of ecosystem services in ecological infrastructure planning. We explored the optimal corridors to enhance the connectivity among landscape elements to design an ecological infrastructure for the city of Gwacheon, South Korea, as an example of a small urban area. We calculated the value of ecosystem services using standardized estimation indices based on an intensive review of the relevant literature and employed the least-cost path method to optimize the connectivity of landscape structural elements. The land use type in the city with the highest estimated value of ecosystem services was the riparian zone (i.e., 2011 US$7,312.16/ha). Given areal coverage of all land use types, the estimated value of developed area open spaces was 2011 US$899,803.25, corresponding to the highest contribution to the total value of ecosystem services. Therefore, the optimal configured dispersal corridors for wildlife were found from the riparian zones (source area) to the developed area open spaces (destination area) in the city. Several challenges remain for improving the estimation of the value of ecosystem services and incorporating these ecosystems in ecological infrastructure planning. Nonetheless, the approaches taken to estimate the value of ecosystem services and design landscape corridors in this study may be of value to future efforts in urban ecological infrastructure planning. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem service; value of ecosystem services; least-cost path method; ecological infrastructure; landscape connectivity; landscape structure elements ecosystem service; value of ecosystem services; least-cost path method; ecological infrastructure; landscape connectivity; landscape structure elements
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, J.A; Chon, J.; Ahn, C. Planning Landscape Corridors in Ecological Infrastructure Using Least-Cost Path Methods Based on the Value of Ecosystem Services. Sustainability 2014, 6, 7564-7585. https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117564

AMA Style

Lee JA, Chon J, Ahn C. Planning Landscape Corridors in Ecological Infrastructure Using Least-Cost Path Methods Based on the Value of Ecosystem Services. Sustainability. 2014; 6(11):7564-7585. https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117564

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lee, Jung A; Chon, Jinhyung; Ahn, Changwoo. 2014. "Planning Landscape Corridors in Ecological Infrastructure Using Least-Cost Path Methods Based on the Value of Ecosystem Services" Sustainability 6, no. 11: 7564-7585. https://doi.org/10.3390/su6117564

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