Land use change drives the spatio-temporal variation of ecosystem services and their interactions along an altitudinal gradient in Brazil

Lucas Carvalho Gomes*, Felix J.J.A. Bianchi, Irene M. Cardoso*, Elpídio I. Fernandes Filho, Rogier P.O. Schulte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Context: Land use and land cover (LULC) changes may affect the provision of ecosystem services. However, little is known how LULC changes influence the spatio-temporal variation in ecosystem service and their interactions along altitudinal gradients. Objectives: Here we assessed the spatio-temporal variation of eight ecosystem services in an altitudinal gradient between the year of 1986 and 2015, and quantified the effect of LULC transitions on the provision and interactions of ecosystems services. Methods: We modelled and mapped eight ecosystem services in an altitudinal gradient characterized by low (< 600 m), middle (600–1200) and high altitudes (> 1200) in Zona da Mata, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. We quantified changes in ecosystem services by contrasting ecosystem service maps between 1986 and 2015, and explored how four common LULC transitions affected the variation and the interactions between the eight ecosystem services. Results: The spatio-temporal analysis indicated that six out of eight ecosystem services increased from 1986 to 2015, while soil erosion control and water flow regulation decreased. In areas above 1200 m, regulating services dominated, while in areas below 1200 m provisioning service were most evidenced. LULC transitions from forest to agricultural areas, and vice versa, resulted in trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services. Conclusions: LULC changes drive the spatio-temporal variation of ecosystem services along an altitudinal gradient with contrasting biophysical conditions. Future management of ecosystem services in the landscapes should take into the account the biophysical conditions and the consequences of specific LULC transitions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLandscape Ecology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 May 2020

Keywords

  • Atlantic Forest biome
  • Biophysical conditions
  • Land use transition
  • Synergy
  • Trade-off

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