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Open AccessArticle

Understanding Relationships among Agro-Ecosystem Services Based on Emergy Analysis in Luancheng County, North China

1
Key Laboratory of Agricultural Water Resources, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shijiazhuang 050022, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Calabar, Calabar PMB 1115, Nigeria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8700-8719; https://doi.org/10.3390/su6128700
Received: 29 August 2014 / Revised: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 24 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in China: Bridging Global Knowledge with Local Action)
Exploring the relationship between different services has become the focus of ecosystem services research in recent years. The agro-ecosystem, which accounts for one-third of the global land area, provides lots of services but also disservices, depending on resources provided by other systems. In this paper, we explored the agro-ecosystem from four aspects: a summary of different indicators in the agro-ecosystem, input and output changes with time, relationships between different ecosystem services and disservices, and resource contribution to major services, using Luancheng County of North China as the study area. We then used emergy analysis to unify all the indicators. The conclusions were that the agro-ecosystem maintained provisioning and regulating services but with increasing volatility under continued growth in production inputs and disservice outputs. There was a positive correlation between most of the different services and disservices. Rainfall and groundwater resources were the most used input resources in the agro-ecosystem and all other major ecosystem services depended directly on them. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; ecosystem disservices; emergy analysis; Luancheng County; China ecosystem services; ecosystem disservices; emergy analysis; Luancheng County; China
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Ma, F.; Eneji, A.E.; Liu, J. Understanding Relationships among Agro-Ecosystem Services Based on Emergy Analysis in Luancheng County, North China. Sustainability 2014, 6, 8700-8719.

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