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Quantifying the Landscape’s Ecological Benefits – An Analysis of the Effect of Land Cover Change on Ecosystem Services

The increasing pressure from land cover change exacerbates the negative effect on ecosystems and ecosystem services. One approach to inform holistic and sustainable management is to quantify the ES provided by the landscape. Using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs model, this study quantified the sediment retention capacity and water yield potential of different land cover in the Santee River Basin Network in South Carolina, USA. Also, the simulations demonstrated that keeping the offseason crop areas vegetated by planting cover crops improves the monthly ES provision of the landscape. Results showed that vegetated areas provided the highest sediment retention capacity and lowest water yield potential.

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