Author(s): F. Eigenbrod, V.A. Bell, H.N. Davies, A. Heinemeyer , P.R. Armsworth and
In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 278:1722, 3201-3208
Type: Journal article
Link to SEI author(s):
The impact of projected increases in urbanization on ecosystem services
The authors model changes in urban land cover in Britain based on large (16%) projected increases in the human population by 2031, and the consequences for flood mitigation, agricultural production and carbon storage. They show that under a scenario of densification of urban areas, the combined effect of increasing population and loss of permeable surfaces is likely to result in 1.7 million people living within 1 km of rivers with at least 10 per cent increases in projected peak flows, but that increasing suburban ‘sprawl’ will have little effect on flood mitigation services.
Conversely, losses of stored carbon and agricultural production are over three times as high under the sprawl as under the ‘densification’ urban growth scenarios. These results illustrate the challenges of meeting, but also of predicting, future demands and patterns of ecosystem services in the face of increasing urbanization.
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