Regional Sustainability


Land use/cover changes (LUCCs) significantly affect ecosystem services (ESs) and their corresponding monetary value. ESs can be evaluated to analyze the ecological and environmental changes caused by LUCCs. This research aims to estimate variations in the ecosystem services value (ESV) due to LUCCs in Lahore of Pakistan, and to offer information and recommendations to policy-makers concerned with the economic improvement of metropolis areas. We first investigated the historical LUCCs from 1990 to 2019, and then simulated the future land use/cover in 2030 and 2050 based on the CA-Markov model under three scenarios, including business-as-usual (BAU), rapid economic growth (REG), and coordinated environmental sustainability (CES). Subsequently, we evaluated the ESV from 1990 to 2050 and evaluated the historical and potential future ESV changes induced by LUCCs during 1990–2019 and 2019–2050, respectively. The results showed that, land use/cover exhibited an increase in built-up land and decreases in vegetation, water body, and unused land both in the past and future. The net ESV decreased from 58.26 million USD in 1990 to 50.31 million USD in 2019. In 2050, the decrease in ESV is most rapid under the REG scenario (decrease ESV of 7.13 million USD and decrease percentage of 14.18%), followed by the BAU (decrease ESV of 5.61 million USD and decrease percentage of 11.15%) and CES (decrease ESV of 5.18 million USD and decrease percentage of 10.30%) scenarios. For each ecosystem service type, the ESV of waste treatment decreased by 18.37% from 1990 to 2019, followed by soil formation and conservation (17.52%), biodiversity and maintenance (13.23%), climate regulation (11.80%), food production (11.69%), hydrological regulation (11.11%), and aesthetic value (3.07%). These outcomes indicate that continuous land use/cover planning should focus on regenerating aquatic areas and vegetation restoration.

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