Sand-stabilization, the most important ecological service provided by desert and desertified lands, can alleviate severe wind erosion of soil and is induced by both climate change and human activities. However, with a lack of related data, few studies have focused on the spatial differences in driving factors of sand-stabilization services at a large scale. The present study, based on climatic and socioeconomic data, employed Inner Mongolia as a study area and assessed different climatic and human factors affecting changes of the sand-stabilization services from 1981 to 2010. The results showed that the sand-stabilization service of Inner Mongolia has changed significantly over the past 30 years over an area of 563,584 km2, and the spatial distribution of the regions affected exhibited considerable heterogeneity. With respect to regions experiencing a significant increase of sand-stabilization service, climate change, human activities, and the coupled effect of the two accounted for 68.49%, 61.25%, and 60.72%, respectively, of the total area experiencing a significant increase in area. Temperature and afforestation projects were the most important drivers of change in these areas. With respect to regions with a significant decrease of sand-stabilization service, climate change, human activities, and the coupled effect of the two accounted for 51.87%, 68.35%, and 42.64%, respectively, of the total area experiencing a significant decrease in area, which was mainly attributed to the increase of livestock stocking rates and crop area.
afforestation - potentially part of the Beijing–Tianjin sandstorm source control project
|Climate change impacts
|Effect of Nbs on CCI
|the soil retention rate (hereinafter referred to as F) was selected as the indicator used to assess sand-stabilization services; F was the ratio of the amount of soil retention (SLsv) to the amount of po- tential soil erosion under bare soil conditions (SLs), which could elim- inate the influence of climate factors and further analyze the role of ecosystem sand-stabilization.
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region lies between 37°24′N–53°23′N and 97°12′E–126°04′E in Northern China, and includes a total of 88 counties or banners (hereinafter referred to as counties; Fig. 1 and Table 1).