• Journal of Geographical Sciences
  • Vol. 30, Issue 4, 04000553 (2020)
ZHENG Liang1, LIU Hai1、4, HUANG Yuefei1, YIN Shoujing2, and JIN Gui3、*
Author Affiliations
  • 1Faculty of Resources and Environmental Science, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China
  • 2Ministry of Environmental Protection, Satellite Environment Center, Beijing 100094, China
  • 3College of Urban and Environment Science, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China
  • 4School of Remote Sensing and Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430062, China
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    The Yangtze River is the third largest river in the world and the longest and largest river in China. China has adopted a national strategy to protect the Yangtze River. A better understanding of the ecosystem services value along the Yangtze River would provide support for the Yangtze River protection strategy. Using Costanza’s method to estimate the ecosystem services value, the value of 10 ecosystem services was estimated within 1 km and 2 km from the Yangtze River in 2017. These 10 services were derived from the four established groupings of provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural services. This study compared and analyzed the changes in the ecosystem services value in the upper, middle, and lower reaches of the river, and in provinces, cities, and villages along the Yangtze River. The total ecosystem services value within 1 km and 2 km from the river was 37.208 and 43.769 billion yuan, respectively. Within 1 km, the ecosystem services value in the middle reaches was 12.93 billion yuan, while the next highest value was in the upper reaches at 12.45 billion yuan, and the downstream area had the smallest value of 11.855 billion yuan. Within 2 km, the value of upstream ecosystem services was the highest at 16.31 billion yuan, while the second highest value was in the middle reaches at 14.376 billion yuan, and the smallest value was in the downstream area at 13.083 billion yuan. In the Yangtze River Basin, regulating services played a leading role, accounting for 81.6% and 78.9% of the ecosystem services value within 1 km and 2 km from the river, respectively. Among the 10 ecosystem services, hydrological regulation was the most important, while the value of raw material production made the smallest contribution. Among the provinces and cities along the Yangtze River, the highest ecosystem services value was in Hubei Province, while the lowest values were in Shanghai and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. If villages within 1 km and 2 km from the river were to be relocated, the total regional ecological value would increase by 527 and 975 million yuan, respectively.

    1 Introduction

    Ecosystem services are benefits that are directly or indirectly derived through the structure, processes, and functions of ecosystems. The concept was first proposed by Wilson (1970), and then several other researchers further developed the study of ecosystem services (e.g., Costanza et al., 1997; Daily et al., 2009). Ecosystem services are divided into provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural services, and include economic, ecological, and social values related to the ecosystem. The concept provides a specific monetization of the quality of ecosystem services and is effective in resource management. A rational allocation of ecological resources can provide a reference for environmental policy and ecological management (Bolliger et al., 2011; MEA, 2005). Ecosystem service value assessments have been widely applied in various ecosystems (Berta et al., 2014; Raudsepp-Hearne et al., 2010; Nieto-Romero et al., 2010), especially in the assessment of conservation effectiveness in nature reserves (mainly national parks). These studies have covered global, regional, and different scales, such as entire states and individual protected areas, and have also spanned representative ecosystems, such as forests, wetlands, grasslands, and deserts, and major protected objects, such as wildlife.