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Open AccessArticle

Ecosystem Services under Climate Change Impact Water Infrastructure in a Highly Forested Basin

1
Department of Geography, School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710119, China
2
Centre for Global Food and Resources, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide 5005, Australia
3
NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia
4
School of Tourism & Research Institute of Human Geography, Xi’an International Studies University, Xi’an 710128, China
5
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA
6
Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(10), 2825; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102825
Received: 3 September 2020 / Revised: 8 October 2020 / Accepted: 8 October 2020 / Published: 11 October 2020
Climate change can have critical impacts on ecosystem services (ESs) and their inter-relationships, especially for water-related services. However, there has been little work done on characterizing the current and future changes in these services and their inter-relationships under a changing climate. Based on the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE), the soil conservation service curve number model (SCS-CN), and the improved stochastic weather-generator-based statistical downscaled global climate models (GCMs), we examined two important water-related services, namely, the soil conservation (SC) service and the flood mitigation (FM) service, and their inter-relationship under baseline and future climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 8.5). We took the Upper Hanjiang River Basin (UHRB), which is the core water source area of the China’s South-to-North Water Diversion Project (S–NWDP), as an illustration. The findings revealed that (1) the SC and FM services will both decrease under the two climate scenarios examined; (2) the SC and FM services showed a significant synergistic inter-relationship and the synergy will be improved by 16.48% and 2.95% under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, respectively, which provides an opportunity for management optimization; (3) the ecological degradation in the UHRB will likely have serious consequences for the middle and lower reaches of the Hanjiang river basin, and therefore impact the actual economic benefits of the S–NWDP. This study points to the necessity for understanding the dynamic changes and inter-relationships of ecosystem services under future climate change and provides information regarding the consequences of climate change, which is useful for policy and infrastructure investment. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; ecosystem services; soil conservation service; flood mitigation service; inter-relationships; the Upper Hanjiang River Basin climate change; ecosystem services; soil conservation service; flood mitigation service; inter-relationships; the Upper Hanjiang River Basin
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Li, X.; Zhang, L.; J. O’Connor, P.; Yan, J.; Wang, B.; Liu, D.L.; Wang, P.; Wang, Z.; Wan, L.; Li, Y. Ecosystem Services under Climate Change Impact Water Infrastructure in a Highly Forested Basin. Water 2020, 12, 2825.

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