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Regional Sustainability

Abstract

Studies on carbon emissions associated with land use and cover change (LUCC) are key to understanding the impact of human activities on regional sustainability. In this study, we analyzed the temporal and spatial changes in carbon emissions associated with LUCC for production, living, and ecological spaces in Zhengzhou City of China. Landsat remote sensing images were used to classify the land use and land cover (LULC) types in Zhengzhou City in 1988, 2001, 2009, and 2015. Carbon emissions associated with LUCC were evaluated using a spatial gradient model and the niche mechanism. It was found that during 1988–2015, carbon emissions associated with LUCC in Zhengzhou City increased by 17.1×106 t, while the carbon sink resulted from cultivated land, forests, water bodies, and unused land decreased significantly. Most of the increase in carbon emissions associated with LUCC occurred in the center of the city. The peak carbon emissions were located in the northeastern, southeastern, northwestern, and southwestern regions of Zhengzhou City, and carbon emissions varied considerably in the different spatial gradient rings over time. Among the three spaces, carbon emissions associated with LUCC were mainly affected by the living space. The population size and population urbanization rate were negatively correlated with the ecological space and positively correlated with the production and living spaces. Our results highlight that Zhengzhou City should take the new urbanization path of urban transformation development and ecological civilization construction to ensure the realization of the promised carbon emission reduction targets.

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