The restoration of degraded vegetation can effectively improve ecosystem services, increase human well-being, and promote regional sustainable development. Understanding the changing trends in ecosystem services and their drivers is an important step in informing derision makers for the development of reasonable landscape management measures. From 2001 to 2014, we analyzed the changing trends in five critical ecosystem services in the Xilingol Grassland, which is typical of grasslands in North China, including net primary productivity (NPP), soil conservation (SC), soil loss due to wind (SL), water yield (WY) and water retention (WR). Additionally, we quantified how climatic factors and landscape patterns affect the five ecosystem services on both annual and seasonal time scales. Overall, the results indicated that vegetation restoration can effectively improve the five grassland ecosystem services, and precipitation (PPT) is the most critical climatic factor. The impact of changes in the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was most readily detectable on the annual time scale, whereas the impact of changes in landscape pattern was most readily detectable on the seasonal time scale. A win-win situation in terms of grassland ecosystem services (e.g., vegetation productivity, SC, WR and reduced SL) can be achieved by increasing grassland aggregation, partitioning the largest grasslands, dividing larger areas of farmland into smaller patches, and increasing the area of appropriate forest stands. Our work may aid policymakers in developing regional landscape management schemes.
the Grain for Green Project. This project advocates the cessation of farming on cul- tivated land that is experiencing serious soil erosion and desertification and encourages the planting of trees and grass in accordance with local conditions. Grassland is characterized by serious degradation and desertification with the proportion of desertified grassland within the available pasture area expanded from 48.6% in 1984 to 64% in 1996. In 2005, to improve the ecological environment of the Xilingol Grassland and control desertification, the government of China invested 280 million Yuan in a sand control project. Since the implementation of this sand control project and the Grain for Green Project in 1999, desertification has been suppressed, and the grassland area increased from 176,200 km2 to 177,100 km2 by 2009 Study frames increases in grassland as ecological restoration and clearly the area contains natural grasslands that have been degraded. Although specifics of how they restored the grassland are not given (e.g. if they used native species) code as restoration. But also tree planting and changes to forest cover are indicated as part of intervention with no reference to forest restoration therefore created
|Climate change impacts||Effect of Nbs on CCI||Effect measures|
|Biomass cover loss||Unclear results||annual and seasonal NDVI|
|Reduced water availability||Positive||Water yield and water retention (mm) both calculated using InVEST - including total annual and seasonal provision of these measures|
|Soil erosion||Positive||Soil conservation (ton/ha) calculated from universal soil loss equation Soil loss due to wind (kg/m2) calculated from Revised Wind Erosion Equation including total annual and seasonal provision of these measures|
Xilingol is in the center (42°32′–46°41′N and 111°59′–120°E) of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in North China and covers a total area of 200,000 km2 (Fig. 1). the Xilingol Grassland, which is typical of grasslands in North China