View More View Less
  • 1 Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Lab of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology 3195 Weishan Road Changchun 130012 P. R. China
  • 2 Capital Normal University Key Lab of Resource, Environment and GIS in Beijing Beijing 100037 P. R. China
  • 3 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing 100039 P. R. China
Restricted access

The study site is the Honghe National Nature Reserve, a Ramsar designated site on the Sanjiang Plain in Northeast China. We present results regarding the spatial pattern and structure of plant communities in these most important natural but continually diminishing freshwater wetlands of China to help promote both protection and restoration. By investigating three ecological levels (landscape, ecosystem and community), this paper quantifies the characteristics of spatial pattern with the aim to identify specific ecological correlations with different hydrogeomorphic features. Specifically, the research involves hierarchical mapping of vegetation types by use of remote sensed data, and the coupling of landscape indices with fluvial topographic zones that have been deduced by GIS from DEM. Statistics from historical survey data are also used to measure the degradation of marshes as well as the historical change of the hydrological regime. We found that dominant is the Calamagrostis angustifolia — Carex spp. community type, a wet meadow and marsh complex within the prevailing landscape mosaic of shrubland and meadow. The results suggest that the sites’ hydro-geomorphic character has decisive influence on plant community structure and composition. There is only limited direct human interference in the sites and, as a consequence, the spatial pattern of vegetation distribution is natural. However, changes to the hydrological regime as the result of extensive irrigation activity in the surrounding area has led to rapid degradation of marsh wetlands within the sites, which threatens the ecological status in this storehouse of “Natural Genes” in the reserve.

  • Aspinall, R. and Pearson, D. 2000. Integrated geographical assessment of environmental condition in water catchments: Liking landscape ecology, environmental modelling and GIS. J. Environmental Manage . 59: 299–319.

    Pearson D. , 'Integrated geographical assessment of environmental condition in water catchments: Liking landscape ecology, environmental modelling and GIS ' (2000 ) 59 J. Environmental Manage : 299 -319.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Busch, D.E., Loftus, W.F. and Bass, O.L. 1998. Long-term hydrological effects on marsh plant community structure in the southern Everglades. Wetlands 18: 230–241.

    Bass O.L. , 'Long-term hydrological effects on marsh plant community structure in the southern Everglades ' (1998 ) 18 Wetlands : 230 -241.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Capon, S.J. 2005. Flood variability and spatial variation in plant community composition and structure on a large arid floodplain. J. Arid Environ. 60:283–302.

    Capon S.J. , 'Flood variability and spatial variation in plant community composition and structure on a large arid floodplain ' (2005 ) 60 J. Arid Environ. : 283 -302.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Chen, Y.Y. 1995. Research of Wetland in China . Jilin Scientific Press, Changchun.

    Chen Y.Y. , '', in Research of Wetland in China , (1995 ) -.

  • Coops, H., Brink, F.W. and Velder, G. 1996. Growth and morphological responses of four helophyte species in an experimental water-depth gradient, Aquatic Bot. 54: 11–24.

    Velder G. , 'Growth and morphological responses of four helophyte species in an experimental water-depth gradient ' (1996 ) 54 Aquatic Bot. : 11 -24.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Daily, G.C. 1997. Nature’s Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystem . Island Press, Washington.

    Daily G.C. , '', in Nature’s Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystem , (1997 ) -.

  • Forman, R. T. T. 1995. Some general principles of landscape and regional ecology. Landscape Ecol. 10:133–142.

    Forman R. T. T. , 'Some general principles of landscape and regional ecology ' (1995 ) 10 Landscape Ecol. : 133 -142.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Hoersch, B. Braun, G. and Schmidt, U. 2002. Relation between landform and vegetation in alpine regions of Wallis, Switzerland: A multi-scale remote sensing and GIS approach. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 6: 113–139.

    Schmidt U. , 'Relation between landform and vegetation in alpine regions of Wallis, Switzerland: A multi-scale remote sensing and GIS approach ' (2002 ) 6 Computers, Environment and Urban Systems : 113 -139.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Hupp, R. C. and Osterkamp, R.W. 1996. Riparian vegetation and fluvial geomorphic processes. Geomorphology 14: 277–295.

    Osterkamp R.W. , 'Riparian vegetation and fluvial geomorphic processes ' (1996 ) 14 Geomorphology : 277 -295.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Jeltch, F., Milton, S.J. and Dean, W.J. 1996. Tree spacing and co-existence in semi-arid savannas. J.Ecol. 84: 583–595.

    Dean W.J. , 'Tree spacing and co-existence in semi-arid savannas ' (1996 ) 84 J.Ecol. : 583 -595.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Liu, H.Y., Zhang, S.K., Li Z.F., Lu, X.G. and Yang, Q. 2004a. Impacts on wetlands of large-scale land-use changes by agricultural development: The Small Sanjiang Plain, China, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 33(6): 306–310.

    Yang Q. , 'Impacts on wetlands of large-scale land-use changes by agricultural development: The Small Sanjiang Plain, China ' (2004 ) 33 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences : 306 -310.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Liu, H.Y., Zhang, S.K. and Lu, X.G. 2004b. Wetland landscape structure and the spatial-temporal changes in 50 years in the Sanjiang Plain [J]. Acta Geographica Sinica 59(3):391–400.

    Lu X.G. , 'Wetland landscape structure and the spatial-temporal changes in 50 years in the Sanjiang Plain [J] ' (2004 ) 59 Acta Geographica Sinica : 391 -400.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Liu, X.T. and Ma, X.H. 2002. Natural Environmental Change and Ecological Protection in the Sanjiang Plain . Science Press, Beijing.

    Ma X.H. , '', in Natural Environmental Change and Ecological Protection in the Sanjiang Plain , (2002 ) -.

  • Luan, Z.Q., Deng, W. and Bai J.H. 2003. Protection of Honghe National Nature Reserve wetland habitat. Research of Soil and Water Conservation 10: 154–157.

    Bai J.H. , 'Protection of Honghe National Nature Reserve wetland habitat ' (2003 ) 10 Research of Soil and Water Conservation : 154 -157.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • McGarigal, K. and Marks, B. J. 1995. FRAGSTATS: Spatial Pattern Analysis Program for Quantifying Landscape Structure . Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-351. Portland, OR.

  • Merot, Ph., Squividant, H., Aurousseau, P., Hefting, M., Burt, T., V. Maitre., Kruk, M., Butturini, A., Thenail, C. and Viaud, V. 2003. Testing a climato-topographic index for predicting wetlands distribution along an European climate gradient. Ecol. Model. 163: 51–71.

    Viaud V. , 'Testing a climato-topographic index for predicting wetlands distribution along an European climate gradient ' (2003 ) 163 Ecol. Model. : 51 -71.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Mitsch, W.J. and Gosselink, J.M. 1986. Wetlands . Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.

    Gosselink J.M. , '', in Wetlands , (1986 ) -.

  • Ni, H.W., and Li, J. 1999. Biodiversity in Honghe National Nature Reserve . Science & Technology Press of Heilongjiang, Harbin.

    Li J. , '', in Biodiversity in Honghe National Nature Reserve , (1999 ) -.

  • O’Neill, R. V., Krummel, J.R. and Gardner, R.H. 1988. Indices of landscape pattern. Landscape Ecol. 1: 153–162.

    Gardner R.H. , 'Indices of landscape pattern ' (1988 ) 1 Landscape Ecol. : 153 -162.

  • Orlóci, L. and He, X.S. 1996. The entropy structure of biodiversity. Bull. Bot. Res. 16:146–154.

    He X.S. , 'The entropy structure of biodiversity ' (1996 ) 16 Bull. Bot. Res. : 146 -154.

  • Orlóci, L., M. Anand, and V. D. Pillar. 2002. Biodiversity analysis: issues, concepts, techniques. Community Ecol. 3: 217–236.

    Pillar V. D. , 'Biodiversity analysis: issues, concepts, techniques ' (2002 ) 3 Community Ecol. : 217 -236.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Ramsar Convention. 1971. Available from: http://www.ramsar.org/key_conv_e.htm

  • Rohde, A. and Seibert, J. 1999. Wetland occurrence in relation to topography: a test of topographic indices as moisture indicators. Agric. For. Meteorol. 98/99: 325–340.

    Seibert J. , 'Wetland occurrence in relation to topography: a test of topographic indices as moisture indicators ' (1999 ) 98/99 Agric. For. Meteorol. : 325 -340.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Turner, M. G. 1991. Quantitative Methods in Landscape Ecology . Springer, New York.

    Turner M. G. , '', in Quantitative Methods in Landscape Ecology , (1991 ) -.

  • Wassen, M. J. and Joosten, J. H. J. 1996. In search of a hydrological explanation for vegetation changes along a fen gradient in the Biebrza Upper Basin (Poland). Vegetatio 124: 191–209.

    Joosten J. H. J. , 'In search of a hydrological explanation for vegetation changes along a fen gradient in the Biebrza Upper Basin (Poland) ' (1996 ) 124 Vegetatio : 191 -209.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Wassen, M.J., Peeters, H. M. W., Venterink, H.O. and de Swart, E.O.A.M. 2002. Patterns in vegetation, hydrology, and nutrient availability in an undisturbed river floodplain in Poland. Plant Ecol. 165: 27–43.

    Swart E.O.A.M. , 'Patterns in vegetation, hydrology, and nutrient availability in an undisturbed river floodplain in Poland ' (2002 ) 165 Plant Ecol. : 27 -43.

    • Search Google Scholar
  • Wu, J.G. 2000. Landscape Ecology. Pattern, Process, Scale and Hierarchy . Higher Education Press, Beijing.

    Wu J.G. , '', in Landscape Ecology. Pattern, Process, Scale and Hierarchy , (2000 ) -.

  • Zhao, K.Y. 1999. Mires in China . Science Press. Beijing.

    Zhao K.Y. , '', in Mires in China , (1999 ) -.

  • Zhou, D.M., Gong, H.L., Hu, J. M. and Zhao, K.Y. (In press) A prerequisite study on hydro-ecological modeling of wetlands, Chinese J. Ecol. .