Tropical Geography ›› 2023, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (7): 1440-1452.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003707

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Assessments of Ecosystem Service Values in a Region with Frequent Administrative Division Adjustments: A Case Study of Nansha District, Guangzhou

Ye Cao1(), Hong Chen1(), Hongzhang Nie1, Zhengjie Shao1, Chang He1, Yungang Liu1, Huiming Huang2   

  1. 1.School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2.Guangzhou Urban Planning and Design Survey Research Institute, Guangzhou 510060, China
  • Received:2022-09-02 Revised:2023-02-26 Online:2023-07-05 Published:2023-08-02
  • Contact: Hong Chen;


Administrative division adjustments (ADAs) have been key in optimizing regional resource allocation and spatial governance. The impacts of ADAs on regional ecosystems remain unclear in the "green turn" process of China's urbanization. This research chose Nansha District, Guangzhou, as a study area due to its frequent ADAs and its changing location in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in the past 30 years and investigated the relationship between Nansha's ADAs and the changing Ecosystem Service Values (ESVs) from 1990 to 2020 through applying the equivalent factors, hotspot analysis, and gravity analyses. The study reveals that in the rapid urbanization process, frequent ADAs have affected regional ecosystems and ESV changes, with pros and cons. First, there were strong relations between the ADAs and regional ESVs during 1990-2020. The total ESV of Nansha decreased first but increased later, then again decreased according to the ADAs that happened in 1990-2000, 2000-2010, and 2010-2020. Second, land uses in Nansha District have varied because of urban sprawl since the ADAs. Ecosystems were degrading as a result of the increase of construction land and the depletion of farmland and woodland areas. . Third, at the same time, gaining higher administrative privilege had facilitated local governments to promote the restoration of the ecosystem, particularly the enhancement of wetlands, which led to a growth in regional total ESVs in Nansha. It reveals that regional ecosystem services will undergo a phased, multi-level, and multi-faceted change because of the changes in local governance, the diversification of land uses, and the various land development models. This study fills the gap in studying relationships between changes in ecological system services and ADAs at the district (or county) level. The regional ecosystem services of Nansha are sustainable, as more than 40 percent of the total land is ecological. Therefore, it suggests Nansha District Government should take the chance of ADAs to enhance its privilege in regional spatial governance by cooperating with other local governments in the Greater Bay Area through constructing, governing, and sharing a high-quality ecological conservation and restoration landmark of the rivers and shorelines. It also calls for more attention to the impacts in different phases with multiple levels and dimensions caused by the roles of governments and the land development models rather than merely assessing the changing land use structures and the overall ESV.

Key words: Administrative Division Adjustment (ADA), Ecosystem Service Value (ESV), land use, wetland, Nansha District, Guangzhou

CLC Number: 

  • Q149