Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 70 ›› Issue (11): 1762-1773.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201511006

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Trade-offs between ecosystem services in Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Region

Xiaonan YANG(), Jing LI(), Keyu QIN, Ting LI, Jingya LIU   

  1. College of Tourism and Environment, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710100, China
  • Received:2015-06-24 Revised:2015-09-15 Online:2015-11-20 Published:2015-11-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41371020;Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, No.GK201502010;Innovation Funds of Graduate Programs, Shaanxi Normal University


Natural ecosystems offer society important goods and services. With the rapid population growth and ongoing natural resource use, humans have enhanced the production of some services at the expense of others. This paper examines changes in ecosystem services, and the relationship between ecosystem services, in Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Region. These ecosystem changes are of great significance to the sustainable development of this economic region. The methods of "rose map" and "production possibilities frontiers (PPFs)" are applied to evaluate the trade-offs and co-benefits between NPP, water conservation, and soil erosion. Furthermore, the CASA (Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach) model, ULSE (Universal Soil Loss Equation) model, and the water storage capacity method are used to estimate net primary productivity (NPP), water conservation, and soil erosion. The study takes soil retention (the reduction of soil erosion) as a model ecosystem service, using 2000-2010 data from the study area. Three land use strategy scenarios - planning, exploitation and protection - are applied to evaluate potential changes in ecosystem services and trade-offs between NPP, water conservation, and soil erosion. The study reveals noticeable trade-offs between NPP, water conservation, and soil erosion, with co-benefits from NPP and water conservation. There are also trade-offs between NPP, water conservation, and soil erosion under the three scenarios. The "protection" scenario is the most favorable land use strategy for regulating ecosystem service capacity; that scenario results in the highest NPP, water conservation, and soil retention. The results could impact natural capital and ecosystem services planning, management, and land use decision-making.

Key words: NPP, water conservation, soil erosion, trade-offs, scenarios, Guanzhong-Tianshui Economic Region