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Sci Total Environ. 2014 Feb 15;472:338-46. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.11.015. Epub 2013 Nov 30.

Value of ecosystem hydropower service and its impact on the payment for ecosystem services.

Author information

  • 1Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Earth Surface Process, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China; Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China. Electronic address: fubin@imde.ac.cn.
  • 2Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Earth Surface Process, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China; Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China. Electronic address: wangyukuan@imde.ac.cn.
  • 3Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Earth Surface Process, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China; Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China.
  • 4Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China; Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China.

Abstract

Hydropower is an important service provided by ecosystems. We surveyed all the hydropower plants in the Zagunao River Basin, Southwest China. Then, we assessed the hydropower service by using the InVEST (The Integrated Value and Tradeoff of Ecosystem Service Tools) model. Finally, we discussed the impact on ecological compensation. The results showed that: 1) hydropower service value of ecosystems in the Zagunao River Basin is 216.29 Euro/hm(2) on the average, of which the high-value area with more than 475.65 Euro/hm(2) is about 750.37 km(2), accounting for 16.12% of the whole watershed, but it provides 53.47% of the whole watershed service value; 2) ecosystem is an ecological reservoir with a great regulation capacity. Dams cannot completely replace the reservoir water conservation function of ecosystems, and has high economic and environmental costs that must be paid as well. Compensation for water conservation services should become an important basis for ecological compensation of hydropower development. 3) In the current PES cases, the standard of compensation is generally low. Cascade development makes the value of upstream ecosystem services become more prominent, reflecting the differential rent value, and the value of ecosystem services should be based on the distribution of differentiated ecological compensation.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Cascade development; Ecosystem services; Hydropower; InVEST model; Payment for ecosystem services; Water retention

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