The present study was conducted to analyze the quality of the habitats of Abies koreana WILS. by using the InVEST model based on the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) technique and to evaluate the economic value by estimating the carbon fixation. Abies koreana WILS., an original biological species of South Korea, may be an essential element in establishing the national biological sovereignty in the future. The subjects of the present study were the national parks in Mt. Halla, Mt. Jiri, and Mt. Sobaek, which are the habitats of Abies koreana WILS. As suggested by previous studies as a limitation of the InVEST model, the utilization of the data from relevant international publications as the input data, due to the lack of the domestic input data, may decrease the accuracy of the modeling. Therefore, the AHP technique was applied for the input data. The modeling was performed with reference to the years of 1980, 1990, and 2000 for the scenario analysis.
The result of the modeling showed that the habitat quality was changed most in the national park in Mt. Halla, as the habitat quality score was decreased from 0.96 in 1980 to 0.97 in 1990 and 0.94 in 2000. In the national part of Mt. Sobeak, the habitat quality was changed most in the sub-alpine zone, as the habitat quality score was decreased from 0.98 in 1980 and 0.98 in 1990 to 0.97 in 2000.
The habitat quality was best conserved in the national part in Mt. Jiri, as the habitat quality score was 0.98 in 1980, 0.99 in 1990, and 0.99 in 2000. The estimated economic loss by the change of the habitat quality was 19,280,000 USD for Mt. Halla and 8,030,000 USD for Mt. Sobeak.
In the present study, the habitat quality of the Abies koreana WILS, the original species of South Korea, was evaluated and the economic value of the ecological services provided by the habitats was estimated quantitatively. The result showed that the ecosystem service model may be used to qualitatively analyze the quality of a habitat located in a specific region and to estimate the economic value quantitatively. The objective evaluation of ecosystem services demonstrated in the present study may be applied to promote sustainable utilization of natural resources and conservation of the ecosystem by predicting the changes that may be caused by external factors including the development of preservation areas.