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Assessing Changes in Ecosystem Service Values over 1985–2050 in Response to Land Use and Land Cover Dynamics in Abaya-Chamo Basin, Southern Ethiopia

1
Management of Crop Water Stress in the Tropics and Subtropics (490g), Institute of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute) (490), University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
2
Rural Development Theory and Policy (490a), Institute of Agricultural Sciences in the Tropics (Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute) (490), University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
3
Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, 53113 Bonn, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 December 2019 / Revised: 20 January 2020 / Accepted: 21 January 2020 / Published: 27 January 2020
This study evaluated the effect of Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) dynamics on the value of ecosystem services in Abaya-Chamo basin over 1985–2050. The main objectives of the study were to estimate the value of ecosystem services of Abaya-Chamo basin using local and global ecosystem service value coefficients, assess how it changes over time, and develop tools to inform policy and public decision-making to protect lands and waters in the region. The study utilized observed (1985 and 2010) and predicted (2030 and 2050) LULC datasets and ecosystem service value coefficients obtained from publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The results indicated that the total ecosystem service value of Abaya-Chamo basin was 12.13 billion USD in 1985 and 12.45 billion USD in 2010. The value is predicted to increase to 12.47 billion USD by the year 2050, which is 2.84% (344.5 million USD) higher than the total value of ecosystem services of the basin in 1985. Although the total ecosystem service value of the basin showed a slight increase over the study period, it was observed that the total value of services obtained from natural ecosystems is expected to decline by 36.24% between 1985 and 2050. The losses of services obtained from natural ecosystems, such as water regulation and erosion control, are major concern as the consequence has already been reported in the basin in the form of reduced water quality and productivity of the lakes due to an increased soil erosion and sediment transport in the basin. Therefore, special attention should be given to the rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems and the protection of remaining natural vegetation and water bodies to enhance natural capital and ecosystem services in the basin. A large-scale dissemination of eco-agricultural land use practices, which provide multiple ecosystem services (such as agroforestry and heterogeneous agricultural areas) in the basin, needs to be considered in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; landscape change; valuation of ecosystem services; land use/land cover; Abaya-Chamo Basin ecosystem services; landscape change; valuation of ecosystem services; land use/land cover; Abaya-Chamo Basin
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Woldeyohannes, A.; Cotter, M.; Biru, W.D.; Kelboro, G. Assessing Changes in Ecosystem Service Values over 1985–2050 in Response to Land Use and Land Cover Dynamics in Abaya-Chamo Basin, Southern Ethiopia. Land 2020, 9, 37.

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