Land-use/cover is one of the major factors that affect the ecosystem and the services it provides. The impact of land-use change on ecosystem service value is a hotspot in developing countries, especially China—a region with rapid economic development and rapid population growth. As the leading area of China’s reform and opening-up, Guangdong province in southern China is subjected to land-use conversion that significantly alters the capacity of natural ecosystem to provide ecosystem services supporting human well-being. We analyzed the characteristics of land-use changes from 1990 to 2018 using the four-phase land-use data interpreted from Landsat satellite images. We estimated the ecosystem service value through a well-established benefit transfer method using modified local value coefficients, analyzed the trade-offs and synergies among ecosystem services through ecosystem service trade-off degree, and compared the relationship between ecosystem services value, economic development, and population in Guangdong province. The results indicated that the following: (1) Built-Up Area drastically expanded from 6783.1 km2
in 1990 to 13,142.0 km2
in 2018 (93.7%), especially in the Pearl River Delta, where the growth rate of Built-Up Area expansion was up to 169.0%. The other land-use types were all contracted as Cropland (−10.9%), Forestland (−1.0%), Grassland (−4.0%), Water Body (−2.1%), and Unused Land (−24.4%). (2) Total ecosystem service value decreased from US$121,666 billion in 1990 to US$116,432 billion in 2018 (−4.3%). Cropland, Forestland, and Water Body played the most important roles for the total ecosystem service value. Water supply experienced the largest declines in ecosystem services value (US$ −1866.3 million, −10.1%), followed by waste treatment (7.6%) and gas regulation (−4.9%). (3) Synergy was the dominant relationship among ecosystem services. The above results can not only serve as reference case for other provinces/regions/countries/ to carry out relevant research work but also provide much focus on land-use planning to manage the impacts of land-use change on regional ecosystem services function.
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