Ecosystem services are benefits that the natural environment provides to support human well-being. A thorough understanding and assessment of these services are critical to maintain ecosystem services flow through sustainable land management to optimize bundles of ecosystem services provision. Maximizing one particular ecosystem service may lead to reduction in another. Therefore, identifying ecosystem services tradeoffs and synergies is key in addressing this challenge. However, the identification of multiple ecosystem services tradeoffs and synergies is still limited. A previous study failed to effectively capture the spatial interaction among ecosystem services as it was limited by “space-to-time” substitution method used because of temporal data scarcity. The study was also limited by using land use types in creating ecosystem services, which could lead to some deviations. The broad objective of this study is therefore to examine the bundles and hotspots of multiple ecosystem services and their tradeoffs in Kentucky, U.S. The study combined geographic data and spatially-explicit models to identify multiple ecosystem services bundles and hotspots, and determined the spatial locations of ecosystem services hotspots. Results showed that the spatial interactions among ecosystem services were very high: of the 21 possible pairs of ecosystem services, 17 pairs were significantly correlated. The seven ecosystem services examined can be bundled into three groups, geographically clustered on the landscape. These results support the hypothesis that some groups of ecosystem services provision can present similar spatial patterns at a large mesoscale. Understanding the spatial interactions and bundles of the ecosystem services provides essential information for evidence-based sustainable land management.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Land, v. 10, issue 1, 69.

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This work is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, McIntire-Stennis Program under 1018771.

Related Content

The following are available online at https://www.mdpi.com/2073-445 X/10/1/69/s1, Table S1: Data requirement for the InVEST model; Table S2: Key parameters used in the current study; Table S3: Critical parameter settings in the biophysical table; Supplementary 1: InVEST models; Table S4: Runoff Coefficients; Supplementary 2: InVEST parameterization and validation; Supplementary 3: Customized models; Table S5: LULC class definitions from NLCD 2001 and 2011, used in the maps for Kentucky; Table S6: The biophysical term of each ecosystem service; Table S7: Land use and land cover composition in each ecosystem service hotspots; Table S8: The number of overlap of ecosystem services hotspots; Figure S1: The observed data versus modeled data (kg ha-1 yr-1); Figure S2: Land use and land cover in 2011.

The above materials are also available for download as the additional file listed at the end of this record.

land-10-00069-s001.pdf (728 kB)
Supplementary file