Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (3): 607-619.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202003012

• Land Use and Ecosystem Services • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial heterogeneity and driving mechanisms of water yield service in the Hengduan Mountain region

DAI Erfu1,2, WANG Yahui1,2()   

  1. 1. Lhasa Plateau Ecosystem Research Station, Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2018-12-20 Revised:2019-12-16 Online:2020-03-25 Published:2020-05-25
  • Contact: WANG Yahui
  • Supported by:
    National Basic Research Program of China(2015CB452702);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41571098);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41530749);National Key R&D Program of China(2017YFC1502903);Major Consulting Project of Strategic Development Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences(Y02015003)


Ecosystem services, which include water yield services, have been incorporated into decision processes of regional land use planning and sustainable development. Spatial pattern characteristics and identification of factors that influence water yield are the basis for decision making. However, there are limited studies on the driving mechanisms that affect the spatial heterogeneity of ecosystem services. In this study, we used the Hengduan Mountain region in Southwest China, with obvious spatial heterogeneity, as the research site. The water yield module in the InVEST software was used to simulate the spatial distribution of water yield. Also, quantitative attribution analysis was conducted for various geomorphologic and climatic zones in the Hengduan Mountain region by using the geographical detector method. Influencing factors, such as climate, topography, soil, vegetation type, and land use type and pattern, were taken into consideration for this analysis. Four key findings were obtained. First, water yield spatial heterogeneity are influenced most by climate-related factors, among which precipitation and evapotranspiration are the dominant factors. Second, the relative importance of each impact factor to the water yield heterogeneity differs significantly by geomorphologic and climatic zones. In flat areas, the influence of evapotranspiration is higher than that of precipitation. As relief increases, the importance of precipitation increases and eventually, it becomes the most important factor. Evapotranspiration is the most important factor in a plateau climatic zone, while in the mid-subtropical zone, precipitation is the main controlling factor. Third, land use type is also an important driving force in flat areas. Thus, more attention should be paid to urbanization and land use planning, which involves land use changes, to mitigate the impact on water yield spatial pattern. The fourth finding was that a risk detector showed that Primarosol and Anthropogenic soil areas, shrub areas, and areas with slopes <5° and 25°-35° should be recognized as water yield important zones, while the corresponding elevation values are different in different geomorphologic and climatic zones. Therefore, the spatial heterogeneity and influencing factors in different zones should be fully considered in planning the maintenance and protection of water supply services in the Hengduan Mountain region.

Key words: water yield service, InVEST software, geographical detector, attribution analysis, the Hengduan Mountain region