Impacts of strict cropland protection on water yield: A case study of Wuhan, China

Xinli Ke, Liye Wang, Yanchun Ma, Kunpeng Pu, Ting Zhou, Bangyong Xiao, Jiahe Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Land use and land cover change is a critical factor of ecosystem services, while water yield plays a vital role in sustainable development. The impact of urban expansion on water yield has long been discussed, but water yield change resulting from cropland protection is seldom concerned. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate the impacts of cropland protection on water yield by comparing the water yield in two cropland protection scenarios (i.e., Strict Cropland Protection scenario and No Cropland Protection scenario). Specifically, the LAND System Cellular Automata for Potential Effects (LANDSCAPE) model was employed to simulate land use maps in the two scenarios, while Water Yield module in the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model was used to calculate water yield. The results show water yield would increase by 8.7 × 10 7 m 3 in the No Cropland Protection scenario and 9.4 × 10 7 m 3 in the Strict Cropland Protection scenario. We conclude that implementation of strict cropland protection in rapid urbanizing areas may cause more water yield, which is also a prerequisite of potential urban flooding risk. This study throws that it is not wise to implement strict cropland protection policy in an area of rapid urbanization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Cropland protection
  • Ecosystem services
  • Land use change
  • Urban expansion
  • Water yield


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