The impact of land-use change on water-related ecosystem services : a study of the Guishui River Basin, Beijing, China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S148-S155
Journal / PublicationJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue numberSupplement
Online published29 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


Land-use change is a significant driver of ecosystem service changes. This paper explores how land-use change affects water-related ecosystem services (e.g., water yield, water purification, and soil conservation) in the Guishui River Basin, Beijing, China. Water-related ecosystem services in the Basin are vitally important for Beijing, which currently faces a severe water crisis. Understanding the impacts of land-use change on water-related ecosystem services is essential for effectively managing this crisis. To this end, the study first analyzed land-use change and corresponding variations in water-related ecosystem services in the Basin from 1980 to 2011. The analysis showed that increases in woodland and construction land enhanced water yield and soil conservation services while reforestation and urbanization degraded water purification services. The paper then developed four spatially-explicit land-use scenarios, corresponding to water conservation, agricultural expansion, a combination, and soil conservation. Each scenario quantified the impact of future land-use changes on water-related ecosystem services. This research found that water purification and soil conservation services increased under both the water conservation and soil conservation scenarios, while these services decreased under the agricultural expansion scenario. Water yield also increased under the soil conservation scenario. Overall, the paper shows that ecosystem services are spatially specific and greatly affected by different scenarios. This finding underscores the value of studies to improve land management practices. In particular, this research would be useful for those policymakers and stakeholders that intend to forecast the impacts of alternative land-use policies on water-related ecosystem services. The limitations and shortcomings of this study, including accuracy in estimating ecosystem services, are discussed.

Research Area(s)

  • Ecosystem services, Guishui River Basin, Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST), Land-use change, Scenario analysis

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