Kim, I; Arnhold, S: Mapping environmental land use conflict potentials and ecosystem services in agricultural watersheds, Science of the Total Environment, 630, 827-838 (2018), doi:
Key words: RUSLE, Soil loss potential, Land suitability index, Multi-criteria analysis, Agricultural land use
In mountainous watersheds, agricultural land use cause changes in ecosystem services, with trade-offs between crop production and erosion regulation. Management of these watersheds can generate environmental land use conflicts among regional stakeholders with different interests. Although several researches have made a start in mapping land use conflicts between human activities and conservation, spatial assessment of land use conflicts on environmental issues and ecosystemservice trade-offs within agricultural areas has not been fully considered. In this study,wewent further to map land use conflicts between agricultural preferences for crop production and environmentalemphasis on erosion regulation.Weapplied an agricultural land suitability index, based onmulticriteria analysis, to estimate the spatial preference of agricultural activities, while applying the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) to reflect the environmental importance of soil erosion. Then, we classified the agricultural catchment into four levels of land use conflicts (lowest, low, high and highest) according to preference and importance of farmland areas, and we compared the classes by crop type. Soil loss in agricultural areas was estimated as 45.1 t ha yr, and agricultural suitability as 0.873; this indicated that land use conflicts in the catchment could arise between severe soil erosion (environmental importance) and agricultural suitability (land preferences). Dry-field farms are mainly located in areas of low land use conflict level, where land preference outweighs environmental importance. When we applied farmland management scenarios with consideration of services, conversion to highest-conflict areas (Scenario 1) as 7.5% of the total area could reduce soil loss by 24.6%, while fallowland management (Scenario 2) could decrease soil loss 19.4% more than the current scenario (Business as usual). The result could maximize land management plans by extracting issues of spatial priority and use-versus-conservation conflicts as ecosystem service trade-offs from arguments over land use policy.
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