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Sci Total Environ. 2020 May 15;717:137214. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137214. Epub 2020 Feb 8.

Mapping the cumulative impacts of long-term mining disturbance and progressive rehabilitation on ecosystem services.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory for Urban Habitat Environmental Science and Technology, School of Urban Planning and Design, Peking University, Shenzhen 518055, China; Environment Centres, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia. Electronic address: zhenyu.uq@gmail.com.
2
School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
3
School of Environment Science and Spatial Informatics, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221008, China.
4
Geotechnical and Hydrogeological Engineering Research Group, Federation University Australia, Churchill, VIC 3842, Australia.
5
Key Laboratory for Urban Habitat Environmental Science and Technology, School of Urban Planning and Design, Peking University, Shenzhen 518055, China; Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, Ministry of Education, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.

Abstract

Open-cut coal mining can seriously disturb and reshape natural landscapes which results in a range of impacts on local ecosystems and the services they provide. To address the negative impacts of disturbance, progressive rehabilitation is commonly advocated. However, there is little research focusing on how these impacts affect ecosystem services within mine sites and changes over time. The aim of this study was to assess the cumulative impacts of mining disturbance and rehabilitation on ecosystem services through mapping and quantifying changes at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Four ecosystem services including carbon sequestration, air quality regulation, soil conservation and water yield were assessed in 1989, 1997, 2005 and 2013. Disturbance and rehabilitation was mapped using LandTrendr algorithm with Landsat. We mapped spatial patterns and pixel values for each ecosystem service with corresponding model and the landscape changes were analyzed with landscape metrics. In addition, we assessed synergies and trade-offs using Spearman's correlation coefficient for different landscape classes and scales. The results showed that carbon sequestration, air quality regulation and water yield services were both positively and negatively affected by vegetation cover changes due to mined land disturbance and rehabilitation, while soil conservation service were mainly influenced by topographic changes. There were strong interactions between carbon sequestration, air quality regulation and water yield, which were steady among different spatial scales and landscape types. Soil conservation correlations were weak and changed substantially due to differences of spatial scales and landscape types. Although there are limitations associated with data accessibility, this study provides a new research method for mapping impacts of mining on ecosystem services, which offer spatially explicit information for decision-makers and environmental regulators to carry out feasible policies, balancing mining development with ecosystem services provision.

KEYWORDS:

Ecosystem services mapping; Open-cut coal mining; Progressive rehabilitation; Scale; Synergy and trade-offs

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of competing interest We declare that we have no actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, our work.

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