Impacts of Landuse/Landcover Changes on the Ecosystem Service Values in Pars Special Economic Energy Zone Using Remote Sensing

Document Type : Full length article


1 PhD Candidate of Remote Sensing and GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Remote Sensing and GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Remote Sensing, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor of GIS, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Ecosystem services are the benefits people get from ecosystems and human always needs ecosystem services and products for survival. These services are divided into four categories of productive, regulatory, cultural and life support services; the first three categories are directly affecting people, and the fourth one is critical for the continuation of other services provided by ecosystems. Each of these four categories comprises a wide range of services. Since ecosystem services are not either fully tradable in commercial markets or quantifiable like economic services, they are often being ignored in policy making and spatial planning. Assessing the impacts of landuse/landcover changes on the ecosystem service values is required for the special economic zones that are experiencing rapid changes in land use/land cover. Pars Special Economic Energy Zone (PSEEZ) located in southern Iran is considered as an example of these areas which has become a national and transnational zone within a short period of time due to the activities related to the extraction, exploitation, refining and exporting of gas resources. Extensive industrial investment has been made in less than 10 years in this zone. This area was established in 1998 to extract oil and gas resources from the South Pars Oil Field with economic activities carried out in the city of Assaluyeh, Bushehr province. The Nayband national marine park is located in the PSEEZ along with a part of Nayband's headland with an area of 19,500 hectares. It was designated as Nayband Protected Area in Iran. This area stretched along the coast of Persian Gulf in an approximate area of 49,815 hectares, were registered as the first Iranian marine national park in 2003. The presence of coral reefs, mangrove forests, rocky beaches, and real estuaries make this area one of the most diverse and beautiful coastal ecosystems in the world. There are also various aquatic species, marine mammals such as dolphins and whales, endangered reptiles, such as the green and eagle tip turtle and various kinds of aquatic birds in the area. The construction of PSEEZ has led to development of petrochemical refineries, which in turn resulted in an increase in population (from 2000 to 60,000) and the expansion of human settlements. On the other hand, the development has led to the expansion of land, sea, and air transport infrastructure. Due to the rapid changes in this region, it is required to assess the impacts of landuse/landcover changes on the ecosystem service values. In this regard, remote sensing as the most important way of obtaining the spatial data, allows the quantification and mapping of these services. This technology brings practical benefits to biodiversity conservation and promotes the sustainable utilization of natural resources within the arena of ecosystem services.
This research emphasizes on landuse/landcover changes as the basis of the evaluation of ecosystem services. In assessing the status of changes in the PSEEZ, a surface area of 300,000 hectares (3000 square kilometres) were reviewed over a period of 32 years. Those images of 1986 and 1998 were considered to show the trend of regional changes before the establishment of the PSEEZ, and the image of 2018 was used to show the current changes. In selecting Landsat images, we considered climate conditions as well as the characteristics of the Persian Gulf tide and its effects on mangrove forests. The weather condition of the region is suitable for farming during the winter season. According to the data captured by remote sensing images, crop fields in the months of January, February and March had better resolution than other months of the year. To classify the images for detecting the changes, Random Forest technique was used for the higher classification accuracy and processing speed compared to the other two methods. In assessing the economic value of the ecosystem services in the PSEEZ, landuse/landcover changes and global estimations of ecosystem services are integrated.
Results and discussion
The results indicate that agricultural lands and palm groves had a significant increase of 308.79 and 852.48 hectares before the establishment of the PSEEZ and the mangroves forests decreased by 67.68 hectares. With the establishment of the PSEEZ, human built-ups and mangrove forests were increased by 2756.61 and 113.4 hectares, while Barren lands, agricultural lands and palm groves decreased by 4651.92, 397.53 and 579.33 hectares.
The drying of wetlands for the construction of roads and airports has greatly reduced the size of the wetland area with an estimated loss 100 million dollars for economic value of the ecosystem services. The results also indicate that the economic value of the ecosystem services of the PSEEZ for the years 1986, 1998 and 2018 is equal to 570.02, 393.92 and 463.52 million dollars, respectively. The service function and its changes indicate that erosion control, recreation, nutrient cycling, waste treatment and food production are of the highest value in the study area. In contrast, pollination, gas regulation, soil formation, water supply and biological control have indicated the lowest value. It was revealed that during these years, water regulation, habitat/refugia, disturbance regulation, erosion control and recreation had the highest changes about 22.772, 12.445, 11.89, 10.791 and 9.192 million dollars in the study area.
Based on the findings of this research, we conclude that the status of the Nayband wetland is in a warning state, and human built-ups in its remaining space should be avoided. More attention must be paid to potential of the recreation ecosystem service of this region for its preservation. Since it is not possible to classify coral reefs in the region (Haleh and Asaloyeh) with these images, the studies are recommended to review their ecosystem service value. It is necessary to investigate the condition of the estuaries (Bidkhun or Asaloyeh, Basatin and Haleh) and mangroves in these estuaries to make policies for their preservation and development.   


Main Subjects

جعفری، ح.‏ر.؛ حمزه، م.؛ نصیری، ح. و رفیعی، ی. (1390). توسعة مدل مفهومی مبتنی بر الگوریتم Decision Tree و داده‏کاوی به‏منظور آشکارسازی تغییرات پوشش اراضی با استفاده از تصاویر سنجندة TM و داده‏های کمکی (مطالعة موردی: بخش مرکزی شهرستان بویراحمد)، فصل‏نامة علوم محیطی، ۳: ۱-30.
حجازی، ن.؛ فاضل، ر. و وحیدا، ف. (1394). بررسی تأثیر توسعة منطقة عسلویه بر کیفیت زندگی (با رویکرد رشد صنعتی)، فصل‏نامة راهبرد اجتماعی فرهنگی، 14: 87-113.
زرندیان، ا.؛ یاوری، ا.ر.؛ جعفری، ح.ر. و امیرنژاد، ح. (1394). مدل‏سازی اثرات تغییر کاربری زمین بر خدمات آبی اکوسیستم با استفاده از یک سامانة پشتیبان سیاست‏گذاری، فصل‏نامة علوم محیطی، 4: 97-112.
سازمان حفاظت محیط زیست ایران- استان بوشهر (1397). دریافت‏شده از وب‏سایت این سازمان به آدرس زیر:
عزیزپور، ف. و قاسمی، س.ع. (1389). نقش منطقة ویژة اقتصادی انرژی پارس جنوبی (عسلویه) در تحول مکانی- فضایی سکونتگاه‏های روستایی مطالعة موردی: روستای اخند (ناحیة کنگان)، نشریة تحقیقات کاربردی علوم جغرافیایی، 19: 97-110.
عزیزی، ن.؛ قربان‏زاده، ز.س.ق.؛ شهلاپور، ش. و سرابی، ف. (1393). راهنمای احیا و بازسازی اکولوژیک مانگرو EMR - سازمان حفاظت محیط، نشر شروع، ایران.
گفت‏وگو و توسعة پایدار در ایران (۱۳۹۲). ایجاد همسویی میان گروهای ذی‏نفع، خبرنامة شمارة 3. دریافت‏شده از وب‏سایت مؤسسة توسعة پایدار و محیط زیست به آدرس زیر:
Araujo-Barbosa, C.C.; Atkinson, P.M. and Dearing, J.A. (2015). Remote sensing of ecosystem services: A systematic review, Ecol. Indic., 52: 430-443.
Ayanu, YZ.; Conrad, C.; Nauss, T.; Wegmann, M. and Koellner, T. (2012). Quantifying and mapping ecosystem services supplies and demands: a review of remote sensing applications, Environ Sci Technol, 46(16): 8529-8541.
Azizi, N.; Ghorbanzadeh, S.Gh.; Shahlapour, Sh. and Sarabi, F. (2014). Ecological Restoration of Mangrove Forests, Shoru Press. Iran. (In Persian)
Azizpour, F. and Ghasemi, S.A. (2011). Thr role of south parsot economic special region in location transformation of rural settelments case: akhand village (kangan area), Scientific Journals Management System, 19: 97-110. (In Persian)
Belgiu, M. and Dragut, L. (2016). RandomForest in remote sensing: a review of applications and future directions, ISPRS J. Photogramm. Remote Sens., 114: 24-31.
Bian, ZF. and Lu, QQ. (2013). Ecological effects analysis of land use change in coal mining area based on the ecosystem service valuing: a case study in Jiawang, Environ Earth Sci, 68: 1619-1630.
Bin Zhao, Urs Kreuter, Bo Li, Zhijun Ma, Jiakuan Chen, Nobukazu Nakagoshi  (2004). An ecosystem service value assessment of land-use change on Chongming Island, China, Land Use Policy, 21(2): 139-148.
Cao, L.; Li, J.; Ye, M.; Pu, R.; Liu, Y.; Guo, Q.; Feng, B. and Song, X. (2018).Changes of Ecosystem Service Value in a Coastal Zone of Zhejiang Province, China, during Rapid Urbanization. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 15: 1301.
Congalton, R.G. (1991). A review of assessing the accuracy of classifications of remotely sensed data, Remote Sens. Environ., 37: 35-46.
Cord, AF.; Brauman, KA.; Chaplin-Kramer, R. et al. (2017). Priorities to advance monitoring of ecosystem services using Earth observation, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 32: 416-428.
Costanza, R.; Arge, R.; Groot, R.; Farber, S.; Grasso, M.; Hannon, B.; Limberg, K.; Naeem, S.; Neill, R.V.; Paruelo, J.; Raskin, R.G.; Sutton, P.; Van Den Belt, M. (1997). The value of the worlds ecosystem services and natural capital, Nature, 387: 253- 260.
Costanza, R.; De Groot, R.; Sutton, P.; Van der Ploeg, S.; Anderson, S.J.; Kubiszewski, I.; Farber, S. and Turner, R.K. (2014). Changes in the global value of ecosystem services, Global Environmental Change, 26: 152-158.
Davoodi, H.; Gharibreza, M.; Negarestan, H.; Mortazavi, M.S. and Lak, R. (2017). Ecological risk assessment of the Assaluyeh and Bassatin estuaries (northern Persian Gulf) using sediment quality indices, Estuar Coast Mar Sci, 192: 17-28.
Dialogue and Development in Iran (2013). Building Multi-stakeholder Alliances (Asaloyeh Project), Newsletter No.3. (Persian)
DOE (Iranian Department of Environment) (2018). Retrieved September 26, 2018, from.
Fang, X.; Tang, G.; Li, B. and Han, R. (2014). Spatial and Temporal Variations of Ecosystem Service Values in Relation to Land Use Pattern in the Loess Plateau of China at Town Scale, PLoS ONE, 9(10): e110745.
Favretto, A. (2018). Checking vegetation changes with remote sensing: The case of the Trieste province (North-East of Italy), Remote Sensing Applications: Society and Environment, 11: 1-10.
Gowan, Ch.; Stefenson, K. and Shabman, L. (2006). The role of ecosystem valuation in environmental decision making: Hydropower relicening and dam removal on the Elwha River, Ecological Economics, 56: 508- 523.
Han, Z.; Song, W. and Deng, X. (2016).Responses of Ecosystem Service to Land Use Change in Qinghai Province, Energies, 9: 303.
Hejazi, N.; Fazel, R. and Vahida F. (2015). Impacts of Economic Development of Assaluyeh on Quality of Life (by Industrial Development Approach), Socio Cultural Strategy Journal, 4(15): 87-113. (In Persian)
Inglada, J.; Vincent, A.; Arias, M. and Marais-Sicre, C. (2016). Improved Early Crop Type Identification by Joint Use of High Temporal Resolution SAR and Optical Image Time Series, Remote Sens, 8(5): 362.
Jafari, H.R.; Hamzeh, M.; Nasiri H. and Rafii, Y. (2011). Developing Decision Tree and Data Mining Based Conceptual Model for Detecting Land Cover Changes Using TM Images and Ancillary Data, Environmental Sciences, 31(3): 1-30. (In Persian)
Kreuter, UP.; Harris, HG.; Matlock, MD. and Lacey, RE. (2001). Change in ecosystem service values in the San Antonio Area, Texas, Ecol Econ, 39(3): 333-346.
Liu, Y.; Li, J. and Zhang, H. (2012).An ecosystem service valuation of land use change in taiyuan city, China, Ecol. Model., 225: 127-132.
Mamat, A.; Halik, Ü. and Rouzi, A. (2018). Variations of Ecosystem Service Value in Response to Land-Use Change in the Kashgar Region, Northwest China. Sustainability, 10: 200.
MEA (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment) (2005). Millennium ecosystem assessment synthesis report.
Owfi, R.E. and Owfi, F. (2018). Ecological study of Harra forests in the Nayband protected area at Bushehr province, Iran, International Journal for Research in Agricultural and Food Science, 6: 1-8.
Pal, M. (2005). Random Forest classifier for remote sensing classification, Int. J. Remote Sens, 26: 217-222.
PSEEZ (2018). About PSEEZ Field. Retrieved July 26, 2018, from.
Rai, R.; Zhang, Y.; Paudel, B.; Acharya, B.K. and Basnet, L. (2018).Land Use and Land Cover Dynamics and Assessing the Ecosystem Service Values in the Trans-Boundary Gandaki River Basin, Central Himalayas, Sustainability, 10, 3052.
Saadatian, O.R. and Dola, K. (2007). Planning for Social Sustainability in Iran's South Pars Special Economic Energy Zone. International Symposium on Cities and Conservation, Hotel Marriot Putra Jaya, Malaysia.
Seidl, A. and Moraes, A.S. (2000).Global valuation of ecosystem services: Application to the pantanal da nhecolandia, Brazil, Ecol. Econ., 33: 1-6.
Talebian et al. (2008). An analysis of the social impact of industrial development in the region Asalooye, Tehran, a Social Science, 33: 75-55.
USGS (2018a). Landsat 4-7 Surface Reflectance (LEDAPS) Product, Product Guide, Version 8.3, March.
USGS (2018b). Landsat 8 Surface Reflectance Code (LASRC) Product, Product Guide, Version 4.3, March.
Wang, Q.; Blackburn, G.A.; Onojeghuo, A.O.; Dash, J.; Zhou, L.; Zhang, Y. and Atkinson, P.M. (2017). Fusion of Landsat 8 OLI and Sentinel-2 MSI Data. IEEE Trans, Geosci. Remote Sens., 55: 3885-3899.
Yu, Z.; Qin, T.; Yan, D.; Yang, M.; Yu, H.; Shi, W. (2018).The Impact on the Ecosystem Services Value of the Ecological Shelter Zone Reconstruction in the Upper Reaches Basin of the Yangtze River in China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 15: 2273.
Zahed, M.A.; Rouhani, F.; Mohajeri, S.; Bateni, F. and Mohajeri, L. (2010). An overview of Iranian mangrove ecosystems, northern part of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea, Acta Ecologica Sinica, 30: 240-244.
Zhang, D.; Lan, Zh.; Wang, Q.; Wang, X.; Zhang, W. and Li, Zh. (2007). The evaluation of the mangrove ecosystem services value change in Zhangjiang River Estuary based on remote sensing, 2007 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Barcelona, Spain.
Zhang, P.; He, L.; Fan, X.; Huo, P.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, T.; Pan, Y.; Yu, Z. (2015).Ecosystem Service Value Assessment and Contribution Factor Analysis of Land Use Change in Miyun County, China, Sustainability, 7: 7333-7356.
Zhao, B.; Kreuter, U.; Li, B.; Ma, Z.; Chen, J.; Nakagoshi, N. (2004). An ecosystem service value assessment of land-use change on Chongming Island, China. Land Use Policy, 21: 139–148.
Volume 51, Issue 2
July 2019
Pages 317-333
  • Receive Date: 24 November 2018
  • Revise Date: 10 March 2019
  • Accept Date: 10 March 2019
  • First Publish Date: 22 June 2019