Ying-Chieh Lee, Lee-Ming Institute of Technology, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Shu-Li Huang, National Taipei University, Taipei, Taiwan
Presentation Title: The effects of urbanization on the loss of ecosystem services of the agricultural landscape in Taiwan’s western coastal plain
This research focuses on the changes in spatial patterns of agricultural land in the western coastal plain of Taiwan and the effects of peri-urban agricultural land-use change on a suite of agro-ecosystem services. The changes in area and landscape pattern of agricultural land in Taiwan's western coastal plain between 1971 and 2006 were examined. In order to better understand the relationship between the agricultural landscape change and loss of agro-ecosystem services, landscape metrics and ecological energetics analysis were applied in this research.
Key Lessons Learned
The results of the analysis reveal that agro-ecosystem services are related to the spatial configuration of paddy rice fields. Maintaining larger tracts and preventing paddy rice fields from fragmentation will help to improve the environmental sustainability of the agricultural landscape. With careful planning, farmland can help urban areas adapt to climate change and improve resilience to extreme weather events.
Policy/Practice Implications of Research
Farmland, as a part of urban green infrastructure, plays an important role in regulating urban microclimate and flooding. Measuring and assessing the spatial attributes associated with agro-ecosystem services can hold the potential to support performance-based guidelines for planning in peri-urban landscapes. Guidelines can be provided for planning and managing land-use change in peri-urban landscapes so as to optimize agro-ecosystem services.
Knowledge Gaps and Needs
Landscape metrics and ecological energetics analysis were applied in this research to study the relationship between the agricultural landscape change and the loss of its agro-ecosystem services in peri-urban landscapes. Further research is needed to articulate the relationship of each specific agro-ecosystem service with its landscape composition and configuration characteristics.
In a study area as large as the western coastal region of Taiwan, there exists a great opportunity to monitor the relationship between agro-ecosystem services and land-use change over time, with the goal of informing landscape planning of environmentally- and ecologically-responsible modes of change.