Impact of Land Use/Cover Change on Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration Ecosystem Services Value: Temporal-Spatial Patterns and Cold/Hot Spots Ecosystem Services Value Change Brought by Urbanization.
Land use/cover change (LUCC) from increased urbanization significantly impacts regional ecosystem services. Based on a cold/hot spots analysis, this paper used grain yield, food prices, price index statistics, and a land use thematic map to study the impact of LUCC on four ecosystem services values (ESVs) in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration, and determine the spatial differences resulting from the rapid urbanization LUCC. The correlation between the four ecosystem services was then studied and sensitivity analyses conducted to investigate whether any changes in the ESVs could lead to unacceptable unit value transfer uncertainties. It was found that most urban land was converted from farmland, and that before 2000, the total ESVs and the regulating services values (RSVs) increased significantly, after which it declined, the provisioning services values (PSVs) declined year on year, the habitat services value (HSV) and cultural and amenity services value (CSV) declined sharply after 2000, and the spatial distribution of the four ESVs were significantly different. Over time, it was found that the hot spots were shrinking and the cold spots were spreading. The provisioning services were found to be negatively correlated with habitat services and cultural and amenity services, the regulating services were weakly positively correlated with the provisioning services and significantly positively correlated with the habitat services and cultural and amenity services, and the habitat services were significantly positively correlated with cultural and amenity services. In the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration, the water area is the most important for the total ESVs, followed by non-bush forest. Paddy field is ranked third. Dryland, bush, grassland, and wetland are less important. The importance of barren land is almost zero. This research provides the government with a scientific basis from which to formulate spatial planning and environmental protection policies for ecological sustainable development in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration.