Multiple Scenarios-Based Impact Analysis of Predicted Land-Use Change on Ecosystem Services Value: Evidence From Nigeria

Multiple Scenarios-Based Impact Analysis of Predicted Land-Use Change on Ecosystem Services Value: Evidence From Nigeria

Aisha Olushola Arowolo, Shakirat Bolatito Ibrahim, Raheem Olatunji Aminu, Abdus Samie, Funminiyi Peter Oyawole
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2599-9.ch006
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This chapter investigates how land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes under different scenarios will affect ecosystem services provisions in Nigeria using multiple data sources. The Markov and dynamics of land system models were integrated to predict future LULC changes while the value transfer methodology was adopted to evaluate the economic value of ecosystem services. The results revealed varying patterns and trends of LULC change under the baseline, forest protection priority, and sustainable economic growth scenarios. Based on the predicted LULC change, the total ecosystem services value in Nigeria will decline under the baseline and forest protection priority scenarios but increase in the sustainable economic growth scenario. The sustainable economic growth scenario showed major positive impacts on the ecosystem service functions of recreation, climate regulation, soil formation, and erosion control. This study concludes that the sustainable economic growth scenario is the best to ensure expected production while safeguarding the environment in Nigeria.
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The wide range of goods (such as food, fodder, fuelwood, timber, game animals, and pharmaceutical products) and services (such as purification of air and water, regulation of climate, regeneration of soil fertility) provided by ecosystems are critical to the existence and welfare of humanity (Costanza et al., 1997; MEA, 2005). In recent years, driven by the growing needs arising from the expanding human population, rapid urban growth and economic development, humans have extremely and extensively modified the ecosystems more than ever before (Erle & Pontius, 2007; Wang et al., 2018). The natural covers, particularly forests, savannahs and grasslands have substantially been replaced by agriculture, and nearly 40% of the earth’s ice-free land surface is presently being used to cultivate crops or as pastures (Foley et al., 2005).

Among all human actions, land-use/land-cover (LULC) change has emerged as one of the most pressing issues increasingly drawing the public and scientific attention as it is recognized as an underlying driver of global environmental and climate change (Islam et al., 2018; Halmy et al., 2015; Kim et al., 2014) even though it occurs locally (Sleeter et al., 2013). LULC change is also a significant force that impacts biodiversity through the loss, degradation, and fragmentation of habitat (Baan et al., 2012; Newbold et al., 2015; Elmqvist et al., 2016), which causes decline in ecosystem integrity as well as genetic losses that may impede future scientific advances in agriculture and pharmaceutics (de Sherbinin, 2002; Antwi-Agyakwa, 2014). It affects air quality and increases the risk of infectious diseases (Foley et al., 2005), threatens food security (Hettig et al., 2016), impacts on water resources quality (Houet et al., 2010; Uriarte et al., 2011; Singh et al., 2013), and also determine, in part, the vulnerability of places and people to climatic, economic and socio-political perturbations (Lambin & Geist, 2006). Due to LULC change, about 60% of various ecosystem services have been degraded in the past 50 years alone (Wang et al., 2018).

Over the past decades, research has made considerable advancement in modelling LULC changes (NRC, 2014; Azadi et al., 2017), evaluating the values of ecosystem goods and services (De Groot et al., 2012; Costanza et al., 2014), and examining their variation response to LULC dynamics (Newbold et al., 2015). These studies highlight the profound influences of land changes, particularly from the natural ecosystems to artificial landscapes on the provision of ecosystem services. For example, land changes to agriculture and urban use are noted to negatively affect the provision of other crucial ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, climate regulation (Peng et al., 2006; Li et al., 2007), erosion control and genetic resources (Portela & Rademacher, 2001), disturbance regulation (Zhao et al., 2004; Wang et al., 2006), soil fertility (Schroter et al., 2005; Collard & Zammit, 2006), recreation opportunities (Nahuelhual et al., 2014) and water regulation (Schroter et al., 2005; Fiquepron et al., 2013), which are mainly provided by the natural ecosystems.

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