Ecosystem services and their driving forces in the middle reaches of the yangtze river urban agglomerations, China

Wanxu Chen, Guangqing Chi, Jiangfeng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The impact of human activities on ecosystems can be measured by ecosystem services. The study of ecosystem services is an essential part of coupled human and natural systems. However, there is limited understanding about the driving forces of ecosystem services, especially from a spatial perspective. This study attempts to fill the gap by examining the driving forces of ecosystem services with an integrated spatial approach. The results indicate that more than US$430 billion of ecosystem services value (ESV) is produced annually in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River Urban Agglomerations (MRYRUA), with forestland providing the largest proportion of total ESV (≥75%) and hydrological regulation function accounting for the largest proportion of total ESV (≥15%). The average ESV in the surrounding areas is obviously higher than those in the metropolitan areas, in the plains areas, and along major traffic routes. Spatial dependence and spatial spillover effects were observed in the ecosystem services in the MRYRUA. Spatial regression results indicate that road density, proportion of developed land, and river density are negatively associated with ecosystem services, while distance to a socioeconomic center, proportion of forestland land, elevation, and precipitation are positively associated with ecosystem services. The findings in this study suggest that these driving factors and the spillover effect should be taken into consideration in ecosystem protection and land-use policymaking in urban agglomerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3717
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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