Objective In the era of ecological civilization construction, the city’s demand for ecosystem services (ESs) is increasing. There is a need to balance the supply and demand of ESs. Therefore, determining and optimizing the relationship between ESs supply and demand is of great significance, especially for the coordination of ecological protection and human well-being improvement.
Methods Firstly, based on CiteSpace, this research conducts keywords and cluster evolution analysis of domestic and foreign literature on ESs supply and demand over the past 20 years. Secondly, the research reviews the research progress on the mechanisms of ESs supply and demand. In response to three models: green infrastructure, ecological network, and ecological security pattern, the research summarizes the application fields of the basic research on ESs supply and demand under the planning path of “identification −establishment − management and control”.
Results The results show that: 1) The research on ESs supply and demand has obtained significant results in both basic research and applied practice, which is related to ecological planning practice. Supply and demand relationship, ecological compensation, ESs flow, and human well-being are the frontiers and hotspots of the research on ESs supply and demand. By searching these keywords, the research finds that ESs supply and demand is mainly based on basic research in the early stage. In recent years, the research focus has shifted to the application of ESs supply and demand theories and methods. There is a trend toward combining residents’ well-being, landscape pattern, and decision optimization. Applying the achievements of ESs supply and demand mechanisms to practical research based on the ecological planning path of “identification − establishment − management and control” can solve issues in traditional ecological planning, such as weak correlation between natural ecosystems and economic-social systems, unclear ecological protection objectives, and mismatch between the supply and demand of ecological resources. 2) Green infrastructure (GI), ecological network (EN), and ecological security pattern (ESP) are the three main patterns in existing ecological planning. As for the research on the identification of ecological elements, there are mainly three quantification methods for ESs supply and demand, including the index system method, index construction and evaluation method, and spatial superposition analysis method. First, as for index system evaluation, it only considers the supply or demand side of the research in the early stage, and then begins to integrate ESs supply and demand indicators for a comprehensive evaluation later. Second, as for index measurement, most researches establish the coupling degree index, coordination degree index, coupling coordination degree model, and supply − demand balance index. Third, as for the use of spatial superposition analysis, most researches map the spatial pattern of supply and that of demand respectively, with such maps being then superimposed on the results of supply and demand measurement for matching analysis. The aforesaid three methods vary in application situation and scale. The determination of the relationship between ESs supply and demand is specific to the construction of ecological pattern. The construction of GI, EN, and ESP patterns are all based on the theory of “patch − corridor − substrate” in landscape ecology. Among them, GI construction focuses on the selection of sources and the integration of human well-being into the research on ESs supply and demand. It aims to solve the problem of serious imbalance between supply and demand for GI services and to explore the optimization strategy of GI. EN is inclined toward corridor network construction, and the determination of network connectivity and systematic strengths and weaknesses is crucial to the construction of EN pattern. ESP construction focuses on the quantification results of ESs supply and demand evaluation and aims to determine the level of ecological security patterns. 3) In the practice of management and control of territorial ecological space for optimizing ESs supply and demand, there are researches discussing such practice from different levels of territorial space. First, at the macro and meso levels, the emphasis lies on delineating management and control boundaries and territorial ecological restoration zones. Second, detailed planning is carried out to implement the results of ecological zoning at the micro level. Third, at the specialized level, reasonable planning is conducted targeting ESs functions carried by specific elements of ecological space to strengthen the management and control of spatial use.
Conclusion Based on the comprehensive analysis of the research on ESs supply and demand mechanisms and their application fields, the research proposes three developmental directions for the application research of ESs supply and demand. First, adopt multidisciplinary technical methods to calculate ESs supply and demand level. Second, shift the focus of ecological planning pattern from static supply and demand relationship to dynamic flow of ESs supply and demand. Third, replace single policy tools with a systematic policy tool system. The above contents may provide important support for improving the theory and practice system of ecological planning and accelerating the applied transformation of the basic research on ESs supply and demand.