Assessing Landscape Ecological Risk for a World Natural Heritage Site: a Case Study of Bayanbulak in China
Hui Shi1,2, Zhaoping Yang1, Fang Han1, Tiange Shi1,2, Dong Li3
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1Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, CAS, Urumqi 830011, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3Tourism School, Xinjiang University of Finance and Economics, Urumqi Xinjiang 830012, China
Submission date: 2014-02-17
Final revision date: 2014-08-10
Acceptance date: 2014-09-03
Publication date: 2015-02-06
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2015;24(1):269-283
Wetland protection, floral and faunal resource management, and habitat migration are all concerns for the ecological risk of wetland landscapes. Indices of landscape-scale ecological risks have the potential to influence changes in landscape patterns, the conditions of endangered plants and animals, and influences from nature and humans. Semi-variation function and gravity center models were used to quantify risk area changes. The changes of landscape ecological risk were analyzed for Bayanbulak Wetland from 2000 to 2010. In addition to landscape and species distribution data, GIS technology and remote sensing were used in this study. Results show that landscape structure changed over the 10-year period, with high-cover grassland area decreasing the most. Landscape pattern index types also changed for the study area. The number of landscapetype patches to low-cover grassland decreased, the landscape fragmentation index of dry land and high-cover grassland was reduced, and the interference degree of middle-cover grassland increased over the study period. The index of landscape ecological risk decreased from 2000 to 2010, with the spatial structure changing from a single center concentration to a multi-center distribution. All varying ecological risk regions of gravity centers moved from the northeast to the southwest. The gravity migration of the Level 2 region moved the furthest. Additionally, evidence suggests that various threatening factors reduce the ecological function and systems of wetlands. These include climate change, biological invasion, human activities, and water pollution. This paper assesses the heritage site landscape ecological risk and calculates the gravity center change of the region, which can be formulated to enrich and develop the research of small- and medium-sized wetlands in cold, semi-arid climates.
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