Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems, and ecosystem services trade-offs have been widely applied to the development of land-use policy. Although previous studies have focused on trade-offs of ecosystem services, a scenario approach has been seldom used. The scenario approach can reveal the changes of ecosystem services for different land-use patterns in the future, and is of great significance for land-use decisions and ecosystem management. Based on the actual situation of deteriorating water quality and dwindling water supply in the Erhai Lake Basin of southwest China, this study put forward to convert paddy land to dry land (PLDL) in the basin, and simulated its potential impact on ecosystem services. Taking environmental pollution, social impact, economic benefit and residential participation into consideration, four scenarios of PLDL were designed. Then, four ecosystem services (water purification, water yield, soil conservation and rice production) were calculated for each scenario. The optimal scenario of PLDL in the Erhai Lake Basin was identified by trade-offs of the four ecosystem services. The results showed that the total nitrogen export could be reduced by 42.07% and water yield can be increased by 5.61% after converting 100% of paddy lands to dry land, thereby greatly improving the water quality and increasing the water yield of Erhai Lake. However, PLDL involving 100% of paddy lands also increased the sediment export by 17.22%, and eliminated rice production in the region. By comparing the four PLDL scenarios for converting just 50% of paddy lands, the residential participation scenario was identified to be the best choice for PLDL implementation because it achieved the best level of water purification and had the smallest negative effect on other ecosystem services. The optimal scenario for each township showed spatial differentiation, and there were conflicts between the optimal scenarios at basin scale and township scale, suggesting that the object and the spatial-temporal scale should be taken into consideration in land-use decisions using ecosystem services trade-offs.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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