Evaluation of the Biodiversity Conservation Function in Liaohe Delta Wetland, Northeastern China


  • The scientific evaluation of the wetland biodiversity conservation function is the basis of balanced wetland protection and development. Our research sought to provide references for the protection of wetland ecological environments as well as the related planning and management policies. The study established a fitting model for evaluating the biodiversity conservation function in the Liaohe Delta, northeastern China. The new model, the Wetland Biodiversity Conservation Indicator (WBCI), was with four input factors, including the vegetation coverage (VC), habitat suitability index (HI), land use and land cover (LULC) index (LI), and threat factor index (TI) of the LULC type. The values assigned to HI and TI were based on Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) habitat quality models. The weights of all the factors in WBCI were valued with the Principal Component Analysis (PCA). We evaluated the wetland biodiversity conservation function of Panjin, Liaohe Delta, China, by using the WBCI model based on Gaofen-1 (GF-1) satellite data in 2018, and the result was verified with InVEST and other models. It showed that the output map was similar to that of InVEST, with the higher-quality habitat including the wetland, tidal flat, water body, and forest, as well as the lower-quality land use types including the paddy field, crop field, construction land, and land used by traffic. The wetland biodiversity conservation function was better in areas less affected by human disturbance, with very abundant species and good-quality habitat. It was poor in areas impacted by more frequent human activities such as the land cultivation, housing, and traffic, which led to the landscape fragmentation. The WBCI model provided a more accurate reflection of the bird distribution than the InVEST model. The WBCI model was able to reflect the difference in quality of each habitat grade, in contrast to the net primary productivity (NPP) method and species distribution models (SDMs). The new model was, therefore, simpler and suitable in reflecting the quality of wetland biodiversity function in the Liaohe Delta.
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