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Integrating spatiotemporal dynamics of natural capital security and urban ecosystem carbon metabolism
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The purpose of the study is to address and quantify the increase in urban expansion and carbon (C) metabolism burden on ecosystem service value (ESV), net ecosystem productivity (NEP), and C storage of urban footprint. Urban footprint is required to meet the demands arising from economic consumption and production as well as waste accumulation and assimilation. Spatiotemporal changes in main land covers (LCs) were detected using remotely sensed data (Landsat 5 and 8, and digital elevation model) between 1987 and 2016. Changes in ESV and C influx, efflux and pools associated with LC dynamics were approximated using global proxies for a western Mediterranean region in Turkey of 54,162 km2. Urban expansion over the 29-year period decreased ESV by 22% ($7.28 ± 0.4 billion), NEP by 4.3% (2.3 ± 9 Gg C), and total ecosystem C pool by 10.9% (1008.3 ± 1006 Gg C) and led to a 62.8% appropriation of the total NEP (50.1 ± 51 Gg C) of the urban footprint in 2016. The main cause of the environmental degradation across the study region was the loss of the seminatural areas. Our findings emphasize that the deterioration rate of ecosystems should be slowed down by natural capital-friendly decisions and should not exceed rehabilitation rate of damaged ecosystems in the face of rapidly increasing burdens of the cities on their footprint.