Special Issue "Exploring the Relationships between Land Use and Ecosystem Services"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (18 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Simon Willcock
Website
Guest Editor
School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW, UK
Interests: adaptation; climate change; ecosystem services; land use/cover change; migration; resilience; tipping points
Dr. Javier Martínez-López
Website
Guest Editor
Soil and Water Conservation Research Group, CEBAS-CSIC, Spanish Research Council, Campus de Espinardo 30100, P.O. Box 164, Murcia, Spain
Interests: climate change; environmental modelling; ecosystem services; remote sensing; landscape ecology
Dr. Norman Dandy
Website
Guest Editor
Sir William Roberts Centre for Sustainable Land Use, School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW, UK
Interests: forest ecosystem services; land management practice; adaptation; sustainability; resilience; plant health; wildlife management
Prof. Dr. James Bullock
Website
Guest Editor
NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Benson Lane, Wallingford, OX10 8BB, UK
Interests: ecosystem services; spatial dynamics; conservation; restoration; agro-ecosystems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interest in ecosystem services (ES) surged in the late 90s, with land cover-based benefit transfer methods used to estimate the global value of ecosystem services, causing international debate. Since then, ES research has undoubtedly moved on, but large knowledge gaps remain. When can land cover be used as a proxy for ecosystem service use? What are the links between the biophysical production of ecosystem services and their use? How can we identify who is using which ecosystem services? Do static inputs (e.g. one-off surveys or satellite images) adequately capture dynamic ecosystem service information? Can ecosystem service methods be standardized across landscapes, or do different communities require different methods?

We believe a shift in focus from land cover to land use (both at local and national scales) will help us understand the delivery of ES to society and concomitant synergies/trade-offs in use between beneficiaries and the sustainability of this use. However, to best achieve this shift, many questions need to be answered, for example:

  • What level of land use categorization is appropriate for representing ES?
  • How does land use change affect the scale and magnitude of ES in real time (i.e. rather than assuming an immediate snap to the new land use and ES level)?
  • What information needs to be added to land use to better represent ES variation?
  • How do different cultural and ethical relations to land and its use affect the flow of ecosystem services?

Such advances are necessary if the Sustainable Development Goals are to be achieved by 2030.

This Special Issue aims to provide a collection of papers that critically evaluate the links between observed land use and ES, including but not exclusive to the questions raised above. We welcome manuscripts from all disciplines (including both the natural and social sciences) and using a variety of methods (i.e. from in-depth case studies to global models).

Dr. Simon Willcock
Dr. Javier Martínez-López
Dr. Norman Dandy
Prof. Dr. James Bullock
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • beneficiary
  • benefit transfer
  • ecosystem service
  • land cover
  • land use
  • sustainable development goals

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Uncovering Ecosystem Services of Expropriated Land: The Case of Urban Expansion in Bahir Dar, Northwest Ethiopia
Land 2020, 9(10), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9100395 - 19 Oct 2020
Abstract
In Ethiopia, urban expansion happens at high rates and results in land expropriations often at the cost of agriculture and forests. The process of urban expansion does not include assessment of ecosystem services (ES). This has been causing unintended environmental problems. This study [...] Read more.
In Ethiopia, urban expansion happens at high rates and results in land expropriations often at the cost of agriculture and forests. The process of urban expansion does not include assessment of ecosystem services (ES). This has been causing unintended environmental problems. This study aims to uncover ES of three most important land use types (cropland, agroforestry, and grassland) that are threatened by land expropriation for urban expansion in Bahir Dar City. The study applied a participatory approach using community perception and expert judgments (N = 108). Respondents were asked to locate their perceptions on the use of 35 different ES, and then to evaluate the potential of the land use. Respondents were shown to have the ability to differentiate between ES and land use in terms of their potential to deliver ES. The results show that agroforestry is expected to have a high relevant potential to deliver 31% of all ES, but cropland 20% and grassland 14%. Food, fodder, timber, firewood, fresh water, energy, compost, climate regulation, erosion prevention, and water purification and treatment were identified as the ten most important services. It is not only the provisioning services that are being supplied by the land use types which are expropriated for urbanization, but also regulating, supporting and cultural services. To ensure sustainable urban land development, we suggest the consideration of the use of ES and the potential of the land use to supply ES when making land use decisions, including land expropriation for urban expansion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Relationships between Land Use and Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
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(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9020037 - 27 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Relationships between Land Use and Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle
Economic Value of Cultural Ecosystem Services from Recreation in Popa Mountain National Park, Myanmar: A Comparison of Two Rapid Valuation Techniques
Land 2019, 8(12), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8120194 - 14 Dec 2019
Abstract
Protected areas offer diverse ecosystem services, including cultural services related to recreation, which contribute manifold to human wellbeing and the economy. However, multiple pressures from other human activities often compromise ecosystem service delivery from protected areas. It is thus fundamental for effective management [...] Read more.
Protected areas offer diverse ecosystem services, including cultural services related to recreation, which contribute manifold to human wellbeing and the economy. However, multiple pressures from other human activities often compromise ecosystem service delivery from protected areas. It is thus fundamental for effective management to understand the recreational values and visitor behaviors in such areas. This paper undertakes a rapid assessment of the economic value of cultural ecosystem services related to recreation in a national park in Myanmar using two valuation techniques, the individual travel cost method (TCM) and the Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA v.1.2). We focus on the Popa Mountain National Park, a protected area visited by approximately 800,000 domestic and 25,000 international tourists annually. Individual TCM estimates that each domestic visitor spent USD 20–24 per trip, and the total annual recreational value contributed by these visitors was estimated at USD 16.1–19.6 million (USD 916–1111 ha−1). TESSA estimated the annual recreational expenditure from domestic and international visitors at USD 15.1 million (USD 858 ha−1) and USD 5.04 million (USD 286 ha−1), respectively. Both methods may be employed as practical approaches to assess the recreational values of protected areas (and other land uses with recreational value), and they have rather complementary approaches. We recommend that both techniques be combined into a single survey protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Relationships between Land Use and Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle
Linking Arable Crop Occurrence with Site Conditions by the Use of Highly Resolved Spatial Data
Land 2019, 8(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8040065 - 18 Apr 2019
Abstract
Agricultural land use is influenced in different ways by local factors such as soil conditions, water supply, and socioeconomic structure. We investigated at regional and field scale how strong the relationship of arable crop patterns and specific local site conditions is. At field [...] Read more.
Agricultural land use is influenced in different ways by local factors such as soil conditions, water supply, and socioeconomic structure. We investigated at regional and field scale how strong the relationship of arable crop patterns and specific local site conditions is. At field scale, a logistic regression analysis for the main crops and selected site variables detected, for each of the analyzed crops, its own specific character of crop–site relationship. Some crops have diverging site relations such as maize and wheat, while other crops show similar probabilities under comparable site conditions, e.g., oilseed rape and winter barley. At the regional scale, the spatial comparison of clustered variables and clustered crop pattern showed a slightly stronger relationship of crop combination and specific combinations of site variables compared to the view of the single crop–site relationship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Relationships between Land Use and Ecosystem Services)
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Open AccessArticle
Valuing Our National Parks: An Ecological Economics Perspective
Land 2019, 8(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8040054 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The annual budget for the United States National Park Service was roughly $3 billion in 2016. This is distributed amongst 405 National Parks, 23 national scenic and historic trails, and 60 wild and scenic rivers. Entrance fees and concessions generate millions of dollars [...] Read more.
The annual budget for the United States National Park Service was roughly $3 billion in 2016. This is distributed amongst 405 National Parks, 23 national scenic and historic trails, and 60 wild and scenic rivers. Entrance fees and concessions generate millions of dollars in income for the National Park Service; however, this metric fails to account for the total value of the National Parks. In failing to consider the value of the ecosystem services provided by the National Parks, we fail to quantify and appreciate the contributions our parks make to society. This oversight allows us to continue to underfund a valuable part of our natural capital and consequently damage our supporting environment, national heritage, monetary economy, and many of our diverse cultures. We explore a simple benefits transfer valuation of the United States’ national parks using National Land Cover Data from 2011 and ecosystem service values determined by Costanza et al. This produces an estimate suggesting the parks provide $98 billion/year in ecosystem service value. If the natural infrastructure ‘asset’ that is our national park system had a budget comparable to a piece of commercial real estate of this value, the annual budget of the National Park Service would be roughly an order of magnitude larger at something closer to $30 billion rather than $3 billion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Relationships between Land Use and Ecosystem Services)
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