Ecological Protection Alone Is Not Enough to Conserve Ecosystem Carbon Storage: Evidence from Guangdong, China
The increase in atmospheric CO2 caused by land use and land cover change (LUCC) is one of the drivers of the global climate. As one of the most typical high-urbanization areas, the ecological conflicts occurring in Guangdong Province warrant urgent attention. A growing body of evidence suggests LUCC could guide the future ecosystem carbon storage, but most LUCC simulations are simply based on model results without full consistency with the actual situation. Fully combined with the territorial spatial planning project and based on the land use pattern in 2010 and 2020, we have used the Markov and Patch-generating Land Use Simulation (PLUS) model to simulate the future four land use scenarios: the Business as Usual (BU), Ecological Protection (EP), Farmland Protection (FP), and Economic Development (ED) scenario, and the ecosystem carbon storage was assessed by the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model. The results show that the built-up area experience further expansion in all scenarios, the largest scale happened in ED and the smallest in FP. Besides, the forest area in the EP scenario is the largest, while the land use pattern developed based on the previous circumstances in the BU scenario. Furthermore, the carbon storage plunged from 1619.21 Tg C in 2010 to 1606.60 Tg C in 2020, with a total decrease of 12.61 Tg C. Urban expansion caused 79.83% of total carbon losses, of which 31.56% came from farmland. In 2030, the carbon storage dropped in all scenarios, and their storage amount has a relationship of FP > BU > EP > ED. To better resolve the ecological problems and conserve ecosystem carbon storage, not only ecological protection but also the protection of the land near the city such as farmland protection strategies must be considered.
Cui, L.; Tang, W.; Zheng, S.; Singh, R.P. Ecological Protection Alone Is Not Enough to Conserve Ecosystem Carbon Storage: Evidence from Guangdong, China. Land 2023, 12, 111. https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010111
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This article was originally published in Land, volume 12, in 2023. https://doi.org/10.3390/land12010111