Chen, DC; Xu, XL; Jiang, HL; Sun, ZY; Luo, L; Qiao, Z (2020). Contribution of Spatial Heterogeneity and Temporal-Spatial Change of Ecosystems to the Thermal Environment of Tourist Destinations: A Case Study of Sichuan-Chongqing Region, China. ADVANCES IN METEOROLOGY, 2020, 6798958.

Tourism development activities affect the structure and functions of ecosystems directly triggering changes in the thermal environment of tourism destinations and raising a need for sustainable development of the tourism industry. Using the 2005-2015 moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) data on the land surface temperature combined with the land use data, the urban thermal environment contribution index (CI) of prefecture-level cities and ecosystem types corresponding to the study area in Sichuan-Chongqing region were quantitatively calculated under various seasonal and diurnal conditions in terms of the scales of administrative divisions and ecosystem types. The characteristics of the roles played by different cities and ecosystem types to contribute to the thermal environment of the metropolitan region were summarized, and the differences and changes in the corresponding contribution intensity of various ecosystem types were measured. The results indicate the following: (1) Different cities play different roles as the sources and sinks with respect to the thermal environment in the daytime and nighttime. Based on the diurnal differences of the contribution indices, cities can be divided into three types: the day-night heat source type, the day-sink and night-source type, and the day-night heat sink type. (2) The farmland and the grassland ecosystems are the most important source and sink landscapes in the thermal environment of the Sichuan-Chongqing Region, respectively. (3) The region is affected by the spatial arrangement of the internal ecosystems and its own development conditions, and, consequently, there are significant temporal-spatial variations and role transitions between heat source and heat sink regarding the contribution of different ecosystem types to the thermal environment of individual cities. It is important to scientifically regulate the thermal environment effect on tourism destinations and maintain the comfort and sustainable development through identifying the source and sink ecosystems of the thermal environment, controlling the quantity and spatial arrangement of the heat source ecosystems, and fully enabling the cooling effect of the heat sink ecosystems.