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Impact of Land Cover Change on Ecosystem Services in a Tropical Forested Landscape

Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, TH Köln—University of Applied Sciences, Betzdorfer Straße 2, 50679 Cologne, Germany
College of Applied Sciences, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu 44613, Nepal
The State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), No.20 Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Jalan CIFOR, Situ Gede, Sindang Barang, Bogor 16115, Indonesia
School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, VIC 3010, Australia
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mahendra Ratna Multiple Campus, Ilam 57300, Nepal
Ernst Moritz Arndt University Greifswald Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology Soldmannstr, 15 D-17487 Greifswald, Germany
Institute for Agriculture and the Environment, University of Southern Queensland, West St, Darling Heights, QLD 4350, Australia
School of Business, La Trobe University, Melbourne 3072, Australia
Kathmandu Forestry College, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Resources 2019, 8(1), 18;
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 13 January 2019
PDF [713 KB, uploaded 14 January 2019]


Ecosystems provide a wide range of goods, services or ecosystem services (ES) to society. Estimating the impact of land use and land cover (LULC) changes on ES values (ESV) is an important tool to support decision making. This study used remote sensing and GIS tools to analyze LULC change and transitions from 2001 to 2016 and assess its impact on ESV in a tropical forested landscape in the southern plains of Nepal. The total ESV of the landscape for the year 2016 is estimated at USD 1264 million year−1. As forests are the dominant land cover class and have high ES value per hectare, they have the highest contribution in total ESV. However, as a result of LULC change (loss of forests, water bodies, and agricultural land), the total ESV of the landscape has declined by USD 11 million year−1. Major reductions come from the loss in values of climate regulation, water supply, provision of raw materials and food production. To halt the ongoing loss of ES and maintain the supply and balance of different ES in the landscape, it is important to properly monitor, manage and utilize ecosystems. We believe this study will inform policymakers, environmental managers, and the general public on the ongoing changes and contribute to developing effective land use policy in the region. View Full-Text
Keywords: land use and land cover change; deforestation and forest degradation; tropical forests; ecosystem service valuation; remote sensing land use and land cover change; deforestation and forest degradation; tropical forests; ecosystem service valuation; remote sensing

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Sharma, R.; Rimal, B.; Baral, H.; Nehren, U.; Paudyal, K.; Sharma, S.; Rijal, S.; Ranpal, S.; Acharya, R.P.; Alenazy, A.A.; Kandel, P. Impact of Land Cover Change on Ecosystem Services in a Tropical Forested Landscape. Resources 2019, 8, 18.

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