Context Effectively estimating the influences of urban expansion on multiple ecosystem services (ESs) is of great importance for improving urban planning in drylands. However, there are some shortcomings in the existing urban expansion models, which lead to great uncertainties in the assessment of the influences of urban expansion on the concurrent loss of multiple ESs.
Objectives This study sought to effectively estimate the influences of urban expansion on the concurrent loss of multiple ESs in drylands.
Methods We combined the improved the urban expansion model and ES models to estimate the influences of urban expansion on five key ESs, including food production (FP), water retention (WR), air quality regulation (AQR), natural habitat quality (NHQ), and landscape aesthetic (LA).
Results The results showed that (1) our method can effectively evaluate the influences of urban expansion on the concurrent loss of multiple ESs in drylands, and the accuracy increased by more than 20% on average. (2) Under the effect of future urban expansion, FP, WR, AQR, NHQ and LA will accelerate the decline. (3) These five ESs will show concurrent degradation, and the degree will be further intensified. (4) Future urban expansion will occupy more cropland and grassland which will be the dominating reason for the intensified degradation of multiple ESs.
Conclusions We suggest that urban expansion through occupying a large amount of cropland and grassland should be strictly controlled via urban land planning to alleviate the potential influences of future urbanization on the concurrent loss of multiple ESs.