Urban-Rural Gradients of Ecosystem Services and the Linkages with Socioeconomics
The principle of urban-rural gradients can reveal the spatial variations of ecosystem services and socioeconomic dimensions. The interrelations between ecosystem services and socioeconomics have scarcely been considered in the context of urban-rural areas.
We investigated the spatial gradients and the mutual linkages of several ecosystem services and socioeconomic variables in the urban-rural areas of Leipzig, Germany, and Kunming, China. The results showed some regularities in the spatial patterns of ecosystem services and socioeconomic dimensions in both study areas. Habitat quality and f-evapotranspiration of Leipzig and habitat quality of Kunming demonstrated apparent increasing trends along all gradient patterns. However, the other ecosystem services presented divergent spatial variabilities in different gradient patterns. Road density, urban fabric and population density showed identical declining trends in both case study areas. Differently, household
size, housing area as well as unemployment rate in Leipzig presented inconsistent spatial dynamics with considerable fluctuations. With regard to the gradient interrelations, road density, urban fabric and population density were strongly correlated with most ecosystem services in both case study areas.
In contrast, the gradients of household size, housing area and unemployment rate of Leipzig showed inconsistent correlations with the ecosystem services gradients. Our study provides evidence to the argument that typical patterns of ecosystem service gradients do not exist in different urban-rural areas.