Using assessment of net ecosystem services to promote sustainability of golf course in China

Dai, Z., Puyang, X., & Han, L (2016)

Ecological Indicators


Golf courses have been shown to have a positive impact on local biodiversity, quality of life and the economy. However, the impacts of golf courses on local environment, including ecosystem services and dis-services are not clearly understood. To explore this relationship, we took two golf courses in Beijing (a links course and a parkland course) to develop an assessment framework and present estimates of economic values of net ecosystem services, in aspects of ecosystem goods, carbon fixation, soil retention, flood storage, recreation, water consumption and nonpoint-source pollution. The results showed that the two golf courses have provided remarkable net ecosystem services values (links 51.58 × 104 yuan/ha/yr, parkland 42.60 × 104 yuan/ha/yr, 6.19 yuan = 1 US$ in 2013). Over 95% of this value is generated by three services: recreation, ecosystem goods and flood storage. Our results indicate that the parkland course has better performance in sustainable supply of ecosystem services than the links course. In addition, this study provides useful improvements for golf course design and management concerning positive environmental externalities optimizing, including the scaling of non-playing areas to maximize golf course ecosystem services supply capacity, appropriate grass species selecting and irrigation with recycled water. Moreover, a policy analysis suggests that the development of public golf course in China is a necessary complement to resolve the mismatch between private and public benefits and let more people enjoy the ecosystem services.

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