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Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 709;

Interrelations of Ecosystem Services and Rural Population Wellbeing in an Ecologically-Fragile Area in North China

State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yu-Pin Lin
Received: 2 April 2017 / Revised: 24 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 29 April 2017
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Ecosystem services (ES) are indispensable contributors to rural population wellbeing (RPWB). Understanding the relationship between ES and RPWB is important to human welfare and conserving ecosystem services. Ecologically-vulnerable areas are widely distributed in China and are concentrated with impoverished people. This study explored the relations of ES and RPWB in an ecologically-fragile area, and provided some recommendations for regional improvement. We developed an evaluation framework, analyzed the spatio-temporal characteristics of services and RPWB, and examined their relations. Results showed that: (1) the level of RPWB in an ecologically-vulnerable area was lower than that in the downstream region; however, the wellbeing gap between regions has narrowed over time; (2) Regions with a higher ecosystem service capacity had higher levels of rural population wellbeing, and vice versa; (3) In addition to the food supply, other ES indicators were closely associated with RPWB in the region. Specifically, the net income and living space were closely related to food supply, while rural-urban income ratio and water environment were more relevant to the other services. Lastly, it is important to address environment and poverty issues simultaneously. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological fragile areas; ecosystem service; rural population wellbeing ecological fragile areas; ecosystem service; rural population wellbeing

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Yan, Y.; Zhao, C.; Quan, Y.; Lu, H.; Rong, Y.; Wu, G. Interrelations of Ecosystem Services and Rural Population Wellbeing in an Ecologically-Fragile Area in North China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 709.

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